I have spent countless joyous hours reading personal improvement books. The universal theme in many of the books I have read is the importance of positive thinking. What we think about we attract to ourselves, and I believe this wholeheartedly. When I sit in a contemplative state reflecting on this, the path to happiness is perfectly clear: Think positive thoughts; always expect great things. So, why is it that when we are experiencing something undesirable and feeling a negative emotion, all of this wonderful knowledge seems to fly out the window?
I always found myself struggling with the how? How do we change our thoughts when we are in the midst of something we feel is stimulating negative thoughts? Whether it is unhappiness with our partner, dissatisfaction with our job, or seeing an unwanted reflection in the mirror, once we are in that negative space, how do we change gears and think positive thoughts? We cannot just lie to ourselves and say that something does not bother us, so what do we do?
Think about anything positive. Rather than wallow in the negative thinking about what does not please us, we can change our thinking. Get out of the negative loop you are stuck in, and start thinking of anything positive, even if it is not related to the current situation. Focus on something that makes you feel good, and when your mind goes back to the negative thought, think about yet another thing that makes you happy. Literally redirect your thinking as much as you need to until the negative thought is diffused and the sting of negativity is not as strong.
Look for what is good. When the emotional charge has settled down a bit, look for what is good in the situation. There has to be something that is good, or something you can appreciate about the circumstance. If you are unable to look for what is good about the current situation right away, then you might need to go back to diffusing the negative emotion, but once the negativity is not so powerfully charged, return to identifying something you can appreciate about the situation.
Change your vibration. I recently re-read “Ask and It Is Given,” by Abraham-Hicks, which explains that we are part of a vibrational Universe. Our thoughts carry a certain vibration, and because of the Law of Attraction, the Universe responds to the vibration we are offering. Abraham uses a great analogy of a radio signal: “In every moment, with every thought, you are offering a vibration, sort of like a radio signal, and the entire Universe is responding to that signal. And so, by Law of Attraction (that which is like unto itself is drawn), those things that are a vibrational match to the signal you are offering are what you receive back. It’s not so different from your radio tuner. You are dialing in to that specific station you’re wanting to hear” (http://spiritlibrary.com/abraham-hicks/radio-tower-controlling). We attract things to us that have a similar vibration, and when we change our thoughts, we change our vibrational frequency.
Let it in! Stop looking for more evidence to confirm the negative thought. Allow the feeling elicited by the new positive thought to wash over you and bring you the happiness you are seeking. It is impossible to feel good and to feel bad at the same time. If you are consistently reminding yourself of why you are unhappy, you will block any progress you have made. Don’t sabotage your efforts by not letting the good feelings in when they come! Look for what is good, be willing to allow your attention to shift, and then relax into the good feelings as they arrive.
Being prepared with the proper tools to handle a negative situation is the first step in regaining control over the situation. Rather than allowing the situation to dictate our happiness, we can make new connections and practice new ways of thinking. Some occasions require more practice than others at redirecting our thoughts, but when we get the hang of it, we can spare ourselves from a lot of discomfort!
*For more insight on The Law of Attraction and our vibration, I recommend reading any of the wonderful books in the Abraham-Hicks collection. Visit the Abraham-Hicks website here: www.abraham-hicks.com