The (st)art of positive thinking
Me in the Sacred Valley, Peru in February 2020
I was chatting to my yoga students last night before the class. I can’t remember how we got onto it but we started talking about being positive and positive thinking. One student said that just recently, one of her colleagues had described her as a ‘glass half full’ person. She agreed and said that whenever anyone starts talking about something negative, or starts to complain, she always says something like, ‘Ah well, it will become better,‘ or ’There is a different way of looking at it, you know.’
Have you ever noticed when someone sets a negative tone when they talk to you? The weather is a perfect example! On a rainy day, how many people you chat to say, ‘Isn’t it miserable?’ Or ‘What a miserable day, I hate the rain.’ What do you reply? Do you agree and join in with miserability of it? Are you aware of what you actually say and how you respond?
Awareness is the first step towards positive thinking. Noticing how you reply in conversations, noticing if you fall into the trap of someone else’s negative mood. You don’t have to! And why should the weather spoil your day and mood? (The photo of me above, in rainy Peru, guess how I was feeling?) How many rainy days do we have in England? If you’re miserable because of the rain, then you’re likely to spend more than half the year feeling sorry for yourself!
Ok, I know it’s rhetoric, but awareness is key. In yoga, it’s called dharana. The word mindfulness is now being used more and more and it’s the same thing. Being mindful when someone starts a conversation on a ‘woe is me‘ tone. Being mindful when you utter a negative word. Being mindful when you have a negative thought. ‘Well, that’s put paid to my plans today, I’ll just have to sit inside and be miserable’.
What‘s a different way of looking at your day or your plans? Can you turn your thoughts and speech into positive ones? I think you can, you just have to be aware of it and then do it. It’s pretty straightforward, really.
So how do you want your work colleagues, friends and even family to describe you? ‘Glass half full’ or half empty? I know what I choose.
Photo from Unsplash by Miguel Bruna