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Focus on your breath: take in a deep breath, and as you inhale, feel the positive energy flowing into you…then, as you exhale, feel the negativity leaving your body…now relax as you draw your attention to the top of your head, your face, your shoulders, your arms…

My first session of Positive Thinking at Inner Space began with us feeling completely relaxed and carefree in a meditative state.

Week one of this three-week course involved understanding what exactly positive thinking is: the kind of thoughts we have and how we can try to experience more positivity, despite our circumstances.

When asked why we were all there, most of us said something along the lines of:

  • “I’m going through a tough time right now and I’d like to learn how to cope.”
  • “I often have negative thoughts and I want to know how to avoid them.”
  • “I think being more positive would improve my health.”

If this sounds like you too, read on!

Four types of thought

We were told that on a normal day we have about 60,000 thoughts, which can be a combination of:

  1. Positive thoughts: benefit yourself and others e.g. happiness, acceptance, gratitude, love and peace.
  2. Negative thoughts: harm yourself and others e.g. anxiety, fear, doubt, envy and greed.
  3. Waste thoughts: have no value e.g. random musings, thinking about the past/future and pointless planning.
  4. Necessary thoughts: accompany everyday tasks such as eating, drinking, working etc.

What is a thought?

We were given the analogy that a thought is like a seed that you plant in the soil (your mind). Your life is the garden and you, the gardener, are in control of its upkeep.

You can either water the seeds with positivity so that healthy plants and flowers grow (positive feelings and actions), or neglect the seeds and allow weeds to grow (negative feelings and actions).

You also need a fence around your garden so that people don’t throw rubbish into it. This is the metaphorical shield you need to prevent the harmful things in your life from influencing/affecting you.

Apparently it’s completely possible to have a garden full of beautiful flowers and plants, and not a single weed. You and only you are in charge of your garden.

Ways to think positively

1) Live in the moment!

Put simply:

Past = Pain

Future = Fear

Present = 🙂

And you can aim to live your life in the present by:

  • Focusing on the task at hand.
  • Doing things you enjoy, whether that’s yoga, listening to music or seeing friends.
  • Learning to meditate.

2) SOS

This is a handy acronym for consciously changing the way you think:

Step back: from a negative thought

Observe: your thought process

Steer: your thought in a positive direction

So basically, once you’re aware you’re thinking negatively, replace that negative thought with a positive one.

3) Examples of positive thoughts 

…towards:

Yourself: you are unique: accept and believe in yourself.

Others: everyone is equal: appreciate, help and be grateful towards others.

Past: accept it, let go and move on.

Future: look forward to it and anticipate that you will succeed.

Can’t wait for next week!

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