In a counseling session with one of my students, she asked me a question. “How can we avoid negative thinking in every day life”? My answer was simple. I said every time you say “Thank You” it is a good thought. As you plant better thoughts, the negative thoughts will slowly disappear. You can start appreciating your life such as your family, your health, your career, your home, your friends, your surroundings, your meals, your plants, your pets and the wonderful beauty of the day etc.
Give praise, compliments and thanks to all things that you are having right now. Knowingly thinking good thoughts is exactly like planting seeds. As you think good thoughts you are planting good seeds inside you, and the world will help you to transform those seeds into a garden of beautiful minds.
Life is full of positive and negative events. It is up to us that how much we learn from these events and use that learning experience to avoid negative thoughts. With the help of this concept we can even conver negative thoughts into positive ones.
I am sharing with you what I have learned about life from my day to day activities to overcome negative thoughts. These are 5 life principles I am sharing with you and I hope it will have an impact on your life journey too.
- Kindness matters the most
Every day we meet different people who hurt us and cause us pain or discomfort, but we must learn to be kind to them. This will help us to forgive them & not hold grudges towards them eventually being not a part of that negativity. Life is very precious gift of God to all of us for sharing and living together. We can only live peacefully if we learn to be kind. When we talk about being kind to others at the same time I must say that we should learn to be kind to ourselves too. We might think that we made the biggest mistake of our life, and if only we didn’t do that we wouldn’t be in pain right now.
Instead of that, we should keep suggesting our-self that we are human beings and we are entitled to make mistakes; everyone does. In fact, we are going to learn from them and use those lessons to improve the quality of our life. Remembering the fact that if we want to feel LOVE again in the future, the first step is to prepare ourselves to give and receive it. We can only do that if we feel love toward ourselves; and that means forgiving & being kind to our-self for the mistakes we have already made in the past.
If we will be kind to others as well as our-self then it will help us to build more positive thoughts every day.
- Learning from your own mistakes
Everyone make mistakes in his/her life that’s Ok but eventually we should learn from our mistakes because this is the easy way to improve the quality of our life by not repeating them again. We must develop the wisdom and sense to make good decisions and choices in our life which can only be developed if we learn from our mistakes.
I believe we start growing as soon as we identiy our mistakes and learn how to prevent them from happening again. If we will not accept our mistakes we can never learn from them. First step is self-catharsis which will help us to recognize and identify our mistake. We all make mistakes in life, this can be considered normal, but how we learn from them it matters a lot. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we will be making that same error again and again until we are forced to learn.
I must qoute Thomas Edison here who tried two thousand different materials in search of a filament for the light bulb. When none worked satisfactorily, his assistant complained, “All our work is in vain. We have learned nothing.” Edison replied very confidently, “Oh, we have come a long way and we have learned a lot. We know that there are two thousand elements which we cannot use to make a good light bulb.”
There are even mistakes made by some of twenty-five Prophets as mentioned in the Quran were pointed out publicly by Allah so that we can all learn from them. Adam’s error of judgment is well-documented. “Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts appeared to them, and they began to put on themselves leaves from Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray”. (Ta-Ha 20:121)
So moral of all the above discussion is that once we learn from our mistakes then we shine up as a more brighter and positive person who knows that fact that being negative is nothing but being positive and creating positive thoughts may lead him to the SUCCESS.
- Forget the past not the lessons
We all have good & bad experiences in our lives. Sometime people are unable to come out of their past and keep recalling their life experiences even if there are bad or good happenings. They try to relive with them. For example, people who had good experiences in their past, they keep on living with those good memories of the past which actually stops them from being progressive in the present time. The same thing happens with the people who have bad experiences. They keep on sharing negative pictures with others and give an impression that there is nothing better in their life now.
In both cases we should learn from the bad or good experiences and move on instead of trying to relive with them. Past is actually gone and we are living in the present. What we are doing in our present time, will create our future. So let’s focus on what we are going to do now. Let’s think, how can we improve ourselves today? How can we help other people who are struggling with different life issues? How can we safe-guard our future in a better way? In life there are regrets we will have to live with them, but we must learn to leave the past behind and realize it is something we can’t change now.
I would like to share a very famous example here to clarify the concept of leaving your past behind & move on. There was a wise man and he once sat in the audience and cracked a joke. Everyone laughed like crazy. A moment later, he cracked the same joke again and a little less people laughed this time. He cracked the same joke again and again, when there was no laughter in the crowd, and then he smiled and said:
“When you can’t laugh on the same joke again and again, then why do you keep crying over the same issue over and over again?” Forget the past and move on. All things in life are temporary. If things are going well enjoy it, they are not going to last forever. If things are going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either. Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles but it takes away today’s peace. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, Allah smiles from above and says, “Relax, it’s just a bend, not the end! Always have faith in Allah & remember “when Allah is with you, your troubles are in trouble”.
Leaving the past behind and focusing on your present time to make your and others future better is what gives you strength to fight against negative thoughts.
- Honesty is the best policy
Since childhood we have been told by our elders & teachers that “Honesty is the best policy”. This should be very important aspect of life for all of us. Here a question should rise in our mind that to whom we should be honest. I strongly believe that the journey of being honest starts from our self. We must not only be honest to our-self but to our families, society & everyone around. Being honest to our self may be defined in short as to think positive and to live positive.
The encouraging fact is that that being honest gets a lot easier with practice, especially when we realize that others started to identify our authenticity and our respect grows accordingly. In the same way we will be considered more reliable & balanced personality among every age group.
Our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH once gathered all the people of Mecca and asked them, “O people of Mecca! If I say that an army is advancing on you from behind the mountains, will you believe me?” All said in one voice, “Yes, because we have never heard you telling a lie.” All the people, without exception, swore to his truthfulness and honesty because he had lived an extremely pious life among them for forty years.
So being honest makes you become more positive person and it helps you to plant more positive seeds of thoughts in your mind helping to grow a garden of positive minds.
- Challenge your problems to challenge you
Life is never been an easy journey for any one. There are going to be obstacles at every stage of life that will cause interference, but we must learn to overcome these problems and grow stronger.
First of all change the word “problem” with the word “challenge”. In fact problem is considered a negative word whereas challenge is considered a positive word because it seems like we are going to attempt something new, something big or something great. It gives positive energy to be more motivated and excited to do the difficult tasks even. I personally use a word of “situation” in some cases. For example if I am taking to my team members I would prefer to say “We have got a situation now” instead of saying “we have got a problem now”.
Remember, every problem is an opportunity in fact. If we will be able to handle it we will be successful otherwise we will learn few more ways to avoid failures in future. So whenever we are in any difficult situation we should take it as a challenge and be motivated instead of being depressed and down. There are fears that will hold us back from what we want, but we must learn to fight them with the courage from within us.
Remember my friends, your life is in your hands. You hold the key to your own future. Everything in life happens for a reason. So continue to live a life that is positive, fulfilling and meaningful. Being positive is the only solution we have to creating more positive thoughts and making our life more productive and meaningful.