Here is a quote from Willie Nelson (Musician, Actor, Activist): “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
My question to you is: do you think this statement is true or false? What have your experiences shown you?
Our experiences are an amalgam of our thoughts and feelings. An example of this collage of states of mind could be the smart watch. They have these little icons on a very small screen that after a certain age you can’t see well. (ha-ha). If you move them around, the ones in the center become bigger, you can see them and click on them.
Imagine, all those little icons are emotions and thoughts. Positive thoughts, positive feelings. Negative thoughts, negative feelings. We have them all.
On your life’s screen, do you have more positive feelings or negative? You would know by the following examples.
Ever have the morning when you wake up feeling great! Your head is clear. You have a lot of energy. Everything is clicking along. The coffee is ready and good. You get all the green lights on the way to work. Everyone is pleasant at work. Work flows well. Personal relationships are excellent! You easily accomplished what you wanted today, and you go to bed feeling wonderful.
Then you have a different day. You wake up tired. You’re out of coffee. Every light is a red and you get stopped by the train, now you are late!
Your co-workers are snarly this morning. Everything you attempt at work drops you into rabbit holes with no end in sight. You have a fight with your lover. Just a regular pissed off day and you fall into bed, exhausted.
The scenarios can be different, but you get the idea. One is a great day, and one isn’t. The thing is, with each experience we accumulate positive and negative emotions. Which pot is bigger for you.
If you have a huge pot of positive feelings and thoughts, you will experience more “sunny” days. On the other hand, if your larger pot is full of negative emotions, you will experience a lot of sucky days.
What do you want to experience? Happy, ease, flow? Or stuck, gray, constriction?
If you are in the positive flow, keep doing what you are doing. If you are stuck in misery, and want to escape, keep reading.
We all have down times and bad times. It is life. Sometimes we get the sweet orange juice and other times the sour lemons. That said, what we do with life’s offerings will invite our out experiences.
I grew up with a lot of trauma. I learned to experience the world as not friendly and unsafe. I spent years in depression and misery. Being the seeker, I learned some practices to change my experiences to contentment and even happy and joyful.
One technique I learned, and practice is an attitude of gratitude. Very simple and very powerful. During those dark times, I wouldn’t give the platitude of gratitude a glancing thought. I would think “why bother, life sucks!”
But… I did my gratitude list every night. I started to replace those negative thoughts and feelings with positive ones. My huge bucket was no longer filled with negative crap. My big bucket is filled with wonderful things. As I made the change from negative to positive, my life changed.
How did I move from a negative mindset to a positive one? That is a very good question. There are probably dozens of ways. As noted above, I started with a gratitude list.
When I would find myself in a bad, dumpy mood, I would try to become present. Becoming present means to come into the present moment. Frankly when the negative thoughts would be circulating, that would pull me into a past or future event. I would “catch myself” and take a slow deep breath with the intension of being present. I feel my feet on the floor. If I’m sitting, feel my seat in the chair. I listen to the sounds around me. What are the smells. I begin to relax my body. Believe it or not, my vision clears.
I used a mantra for a long time “my vision is clear” and I would envision my eyes like a camera lens, focusing. Very powerful. That little practice doesn’t take all that long and can get you out of the negative loop.
A number of years ago, I became involved with HeartMath. They have a very nice program for changing your mood for the better. They even have a “Freeze Frame” program for children. Works for children and the young at heart.
A HeartMath program of Attitudinal Breathing is very simple and powerful.
First step: Stop and get comfortable.
Second step: Slow, deep easy breaths.
Third step: After you have been doing the slow deep breaths for a few minutes, think about something about which you are grateful. It can be a sunset or sunrise. Or a child or grandchild. Or a beautiful flower. Something that opens your heart. Take the slow deep breaths while you hold this attitude of gratitude or love or joy for as long as you can.
Do this practice on a regular basis. Daily is good. Two times a day is very good and three times a day is excellent.
Five minutes is good. Ten minutes is very good. Fifteen minutes is excellent.
This will be an ongoing practice although it will change as you go through life. You will find that it will become a continuous practice. As you do this, the flavor of your life will change for the better. It is a change from the inside out.
I credit this practice in turning my life around. I am a much happier person and most of my days are good. You deserve to feel good and have a nice life. Go for it.