The Power of Positive Thinking
After last week’s mishap with my website, I’ve been practicing a lot of positive self-talk. Staying positive, especially amid unfortunate events, isn’t easy. Like all the other wellness tools I’ve mentioned before, focusing on positive thinking is essential for my continued healing.
It’s my belief that the energy around us has a big impact on our thoughts, hopes and dreams.
Have you ever walked in a room and immediately felt the excitement literally bubbling out of various people in the room, whether they were laughing or sharing a funny story? Or just the opposite: have you ever walked into a room and wanted to just turn and run because the tension you felt was so thick you could cut it with a knife?
I know I’ve certainly experienced both and, quite frankly, I would much rather be in an atmosphere that’s happy and filled with joy. I don’t know about you but I’ll go out on a limb here and guess most people would rather be surrounded by positive energy than negative energy.
Yet, I can’t help but wonder, do we have a choice?
And does negative energy really impact our ability to be happy?
If you’ve been reading my posts since I started my website, you’ll know I’m all about seeking out credible, scientific based facts to support my theories and recommendations in coping with the physical and mental challenges we all face in life. Unfortunately, science still needs to catch up on the topic of positive and negative energy and its impact on our physical and mental state of being. Thankfully, though, there are many who have been living it and have decided to share their findings with others (see below for some of my favorites).
But since I have an inner geek that likes to research and think in concrete terms (that’s why I love math!) I feel compelled to share what science does know about energy and how it really does fit in with New Age thinking.
First: energy is all around us. It can take the form of chemical, radiant or thermal energy, to name but a few.
Secondly: in physics, energy is a property of objects that can be transferred to other objects. Even further, in Newtonian physics there is a universal law of conservation of energy stating that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; however, it can change from one form to another.
So, if energy can be transferred from one object to another, does it matter if you surround yourself with positive or negative energy?
In my book it matters every single day.
And then there is the Law of Attraction. Again, there’s no “scientific proof” that this law exists, but many researchers have pointed to the teachings and words of great philosophers, including this quote from the Buddha: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
The Law of Attraction is the belief that “like attracts like.” Basically, positive thoughts, feelings and actions attract more positive thoughts and feelings. And vice versa: negative thoughts, feelings and actions attract even more negative thoughts and feelings.
Having lived with the anger, pain and sadness as my husband Larry got sicker every day and eventually died brought me to a level of despair I never knew possible.
The first year following his death it felt as though I was living Murphy’s Law: if anything could go wrong, it did!
My kids and I suffered one illness after another. Appliances broke down and other maintenance issues for the house popped up. And then, the icing on the cake: we found out our new puppy was born with a severe congenital heart defect and most likely wouldn’t live past a year.
There were so many days when I just wanted to throw in the towel. I was constantly filled with anger, resentment and jealousy- all negative emotions.
However, while it felt like I had a black cloud following me wherever I went, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by love: love from my children, my parents, siblings, extended family and friends. This love (a very positive emotion) helped me to keep going. The more love I let in, the more seemed to flow my way.
I knew from my years of following the New Age works of people such as: Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra and Louise Hay that I would have to work at releasing the negative feelings before they began to impede my path of healing.
I had to consciously make choices every day and- trust me- there were many days I was left exhausted by the efforts I was trying to make to heal.
Fatigue plays a huge role when I’m struggling to transform negative feelings into positive energy. I’ve joked with family and friends that focusing on healing and converting negative energy into positive energy can feel like a part time job that never ends! But the peace and happiness that I gain in my life is certainly worth it.
You might be wondering why, if I focus on surrounding myself with positive energy, do I still have negative energy around me?
Because I live in the real world!
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of anger, hostility and jealousy out there.
Simple acts of driving and going to the grocery store can invite negative energy into your life. A negative comment from a friend can turn your happy mood into a somber one pretty quickly. An argument with your spouse and/or kids can ruin an entire day (or more!).
The point is, there really is no escaping the negativity around us and a lot of it is out of our control. But what isn’t out of our control is how we let the negativity impact us.
We have the ability to make choices.
Yes, when someone cuts me off or flips me the finger while I’m driving, I can choose to flip them back (which I have) or… I can choose to ignore the person and concentrate on my driving. While the former is enticing, revenge and retaliation are both negative energies, if I go this route I find these feelings stay with me far longer than if I choose the latter and simply wave and smile back!
Self-talk is another avenue that can transform negative and positive energy.
Negative self-talk is prominent amongst adolescents (even the teens who seem to have it all together experience negative self-talk), people who feel they are down on their luck and, I admit, anytime you face a difficult life challenge.
I mentioned above that science is behind in researching positive and negative energy, but I was happy to see the Mayo Clinic supports positive thinking to reduce stress.
The information they present is very informative and provides guidance in how to “rephrase” negative thoughts into positive ones. To read the report- appropriately titled, “Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress”- click on the link below:
I share this with you because I know that after facing the biggest loss of my life- my husband Larry- I will struggle with staying positive and warding off negativity, depression and anxiety for as long as I live. Each time I hit an obstacle, my initial reaction can be negative, but I’m able to recognize my negativity quick these days before any negative self-talk even begins.
And I can tell you after living in an abyss of darkness from grief I’ll do whatever I need to in order to stay positive and as healthy as possible in my body, my mind and my spirit.
I pray you will do the same.