by: Mark Webb, M.S., L.M.F.T.
The world has a lot of negative people in it. Are you one of them? Do you expect the worst from situations? Do you criticize more often than praise? It does not have to be this way. A positive attitude can be as simple as changing the way you look at things.
The solution is simple but changing old belief patterns is not always easy to do. Most of us have been stuck in old belief patterns for quite some time. The problem with negative patterns is that they do not get us what we want out of life.
For example, we often believe the events of our past can pretty much predict our futures. With this being the case, we spend a lot of time worrying about our past and our future. By doing this we miss the opportunity to enjoy today.
So how do we learn to live in the here and now? What we often forget, is that we have a choice. We can choose to experience happiness instead of getting caught up in the chaos of negative thinking. Making the goal of peace of mind and happiness your single most important goal. When you catch yourself falling back into old negative ways, switch your focus back to your goal.
Other factors are also involved. For instance, we spent a lot of time trying to control others; their thoughts, their feelings, and their actions. We can only change how we see the world, other people and ourselves. Once again it boils down to what we choose to do.
We can also learn to see the goodness in ourselves, our relationships and in our work place. Happiness will come easier this way as opposed to finding fault in our world.
A part of having a positive lifestyle is sharing it with others. So you remember how good it feels to do something for someone else without being asked to do it. This is what is called an unconditional gift of love. Look for opportunities to do good deeds for others or give them praise for their abilities. Goodwill can be contagious.
Another factor needed for true happiness is forgiveness. Forgiveness is more than just telling someone, “I forgive you”, it comes from sincere intentions. This will free us from our negative feelings such as guilt, sadness, fear, anger and resentment.
Knowing these principles is one thing, living them is another. It takes time to change old ways of thinking but it is worth the time and effort. If we are willing to work at being consistent in what we think say and do, true happiness will be ours.