The Art of Positive Thinking

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Us humans are funny, aren’t we? We are always striving to live happier lives yet we actually spend a lot of the time focusing on the lack rather than the abundance.

We have a tendency of seeing the negatives rather than the positives in a situation. We look at the things that are going wrong in our lives rather than what is going right.

And I don’t just mean on a large scale – our everyday thinking and perspectives on things can cause a huge impact on our mood and general emotional wellbeing. Choosing to purposefully see what’s good in a situation really does have an amazing effect on our minds.

For larger parts of our lives, maybe you don’t love your job but you have a good boss and you work with great people. You might be single but you’re able to have the time and freedom to do activities that you love, or meet up with good friends.

Positive thinking is a mind shift and an easy one really. When things don’t seem to be going right in our lives, that in itself is just a perspective that we choose to see. We have the power to change the way we perceive things and the situations going on around us. We can choose to see the negative or we can choose to see the positive. It’s really that simple. And which one would you rather do?

I can’t stress enough how we only have one life. Why choose to spend it worrying and living in a constant state of lack and unhappiness? (ok, it might not be that bad, but we probably tend to do this more often than we think!) Why not shift the thinking to a more positive spectrum? If this will guarantee a happier life then it seems the logical way to go. And the more we think positively and the more we radiate it, the more it will affect the people around us, our relationships with others which, in turn, will bring more positivity into our lives.

So in your daily life, just note how you react to things. Are you thinking in a negative way or a positive way? Also, notice the words that you speak. Are you speaking with a negative slant? Are you always complaining and moaning about things rather than talking about things in a good light? You may be surprised at how much the negativity is apparent in your daily life and this may just be fixed with a simple mind shift. Try and stop yourself when you find the negative chatter coming in and think of a way to spin it around on its head. A rainy, miserable day is only that because you’ve chosen to see it that way. I’m not saying to pretend it’s beautifully sunny but life and plans don’t have to stop because it’s wet outside. If it wasn’t for rain, we’d be living in a barren desert. Find ways to enjoy the rain or just embrace it more. If not, then at least find a more neutral way of looking at it.

So maybe make a habit of thinking more positively. Experiment over a couple of days and see how it changes your general outlook. And remember…you can’t live a positive life with a negative mind 🙂

 

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Meditation: What Is It and Should I Be Doing It?

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I have to admit I was always a bit sceptical about meditation. It never really entered my awareness and when it did, I just thought I’d leave it for the hippies and Buddhist monks halfway up a mountain in Tibet. I mean, what good does it really do?

Then about a year ago, a friend of mine mentioned a mobile app called Headspace. I was having a bit of a stressful time and decided to give it a go. This really is a great little app. For newbies like me it takes you through 30 days of guided meditation sessions for 10-20 minutes a day, building it up and teaching you the basics of focusing the mind.

Fast forward a year and yes, I’m still using this app. Am I any better at meditation? I’m not so sure but I do believe it’s made a really huge impact on me since I started.

Meditation has been used by Buddhist monks for centuries and for the last few decades it’s been making its way over to the western world. It seems to be a popular way to take some time out and just focus the mind on something that’s not going on around you.

It’s all about being in the present moment which sounds silly because aren’t we always living in the present moment? Well, actually no we’re not. At least our minds aren’t. How often can you say that you’re not thinking about something in the past or something that’s going to happen in the near or distant future?

Meditation gives you the chance to really be in the moment. Sitting quietly and hearing the sounds going on around you, feeling the weight of your body in the chair and noticing and feeling each breathe that you take. You are essentially connecting yourself to yourself and this really isn’t something we consciously do enough.

I’m not going to lie, it’s really really difficult to sit there and not really think about anything. Your mind is going to fight you on this. One minute in and you realise you’re thinking about what you want to have for dinner this evening or that you really must get around to fixing that door NOW. This is usually the point where people give up and decide meditation’s not for them, it doesn’t work or that they’re just crap at it so no point carrying on.

I was one of those people, still sort of am but I’ve kept at it. Just 15 minutes a day, everyday and now I’m definitely better at it. It’s given me a greater appreciation of what’s going on around me, my mind doesn’t seem to be racing around at 100mph like it used to. Both leading to a happier vibe all round.

Meditation is essentially exercise for the mind. It transforms our minds from negative to positive. There are definite scientific benefits to meditation but that will be saved for a future blog post 🙂  So… why not start today and give it a go?

Welcome to my blog!

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Welcome to my A Life Less Ordinary – Habits for Happiness blog!

Happiness is probably the number one feeling that we strive to get on a daily basis. We all want it but it can be a bumpy journey sometimes. So many things can get in the way of us feeling truly happy and sometimes the simplest things can make us feel on top of the world.

So what can we do to make that journey a smoother one? What is it that makes us happy? Money? Maybe. Love? Very possibly. Everyone has their own definitions of what they think will make them happy or happier but what are the fundamental basics to living a serene life?

For me, travel is a big happy factor. I try to travel as much as I can and experience different places and cultures. For others it may be working in a job they enjoy, being successful or having a good network of friends or family. Whatever your way of being happy, it is the feelings that you are after not the physical things and we should be having these feelings now, not just when we have achieved our goals.

In this blog I will be bringing up different ways and perspectives to feeling more happy and content with our everyday lives – simple things we can do and how we can apply positive psychology. Self-development is big business but why are we so unhappy that we have to turn to strategies to somehow keep us on the right path? We need to crack the code to feeling happy now!

I hope you enjoy!