Hi, I’m Honey Lansdowne, a Hypnotherapist and friend of Tracey-Jane and very pleased to be here as a guest blogger. This blog will ask is positive thinking all it’s cracked up to be?
Has someone ever said these things to you?
If you have ever told someone you feel depressed, you may have experienced them telling you to ‘just’ need to think positively. And you will know the little difference that made!
People also tell people suffering from anxiety that they are ‘just’ being silly and nothing bad is going to happen and if you have ever felt angry you may have been told to ‘just’ calm down.
As much as I love positive thinking it’s taken a lot of work for me to become good at it and I am very mindful when I see clients that everyone’s starting point is different.
Noticing your feelings is important
Let’s think first though about the importance of noticing feelings. We need to notice feelings like we need to notice pain. Pain is a signal that something is up. It gives you the chance to address any issues and heal them. The same goes for emotions. It’s good to really feel your emotions and understand them.
Once you have noticed an emotion you then have a decision to make. Do you want to continue to experience this emotion or change it? The emotion will create a state for you. A state is how you feel at any given time and can change in seconds. Imagine feeling a bit down and then hearing one of you favourite songs and you start to sing along. That’s a state change.
Stick or twist
So once you are aware of your state, you can CHOOSE whether to stay in that state or to change it. By jumping straight to positive thinking you might miss an important step. The opportunity to assess a situation and learn from it. This is your chance to evaluate your behaviour or input in a situation that put you in a certain state. Rather than a chance to beat yourself up. Really be objective and learn.
When you view the situation objectively, you will also see more options available to you. Understanding yourself really is the key to self-development. You might not like everything you learn but all of it can help you. You might choose to think more positive thoughts, but that will be a conscious choice by you.
Facing your feelings, good and bad is very helpful. People often avoid situations that create feelings that make them uncomfortable or they are fearful of. Some examples being:
- Speaking in public
- Putting themselves forward
- Losing weight
- Social occasions
- Approaching new relationships
- Exciting opportunities
- Travel experiences
But avoiding situations often builds the fear in your mind. Your mind is very powerful and imaginative and will often imagine that the thing is much worse than it would have been if you had actually done it!
Download your free thought diary and measure where you are at
To assess if you are a negative, neutral or positive thinker I would suggest keeping a thought diary and recognise the feelings that are being generated. I’ve made a thought diary which you can download free here. In a week you will have a record of the feelings you have experienced. You will be able to clearly see if you are more of a negative or positive thinker. Feelings might vary and include feeling:
And many more. It is said that we can experience up to 34,000 emotions!
Get your positive thinking cap on
So being upbeat and positive is a lovely state to be in. But it doesn’t need to be forced and it can be very tiring for you if you try and make the jump from negative thinking to positive thinking. My advice would be, just like most things, small consistent actions to make a long lasting difference. Once you’ve used the thought diary to capture your thoughts, you will have a good idea of where you are starting from. Then you can use the ideas below to start your positive thinking journey.
I’ve broken down some ideas for different levels of where you might be starting from. Some ideas on how to do this are:
Your thoughts are mainly negative:
- Make a gratitude list. A list of things you are grateful for. They can be small or large. Anything goes because it is your list! You can find out more on how to write one here
- Say your thoughts out loud. There is something about speaking what you feel that makes it feel different.
- Think about what you would say to someone you cared about that had these thoughts and say them to yourself.
- Remind yourself that you have a choice about whether to experience a negative or a positive thought at any given time.
Your thoughts are mainly neutral:
- Fake it until you make it. Put a smile on your face and find things that make you laugh. Experience the sensation of happiness. There is evidence that when you smile you feel happier.
- Examine how much you think you are playing to your strengths in your life. Make a list of things you are good at. Are you doing any of these on a daily basis? When you do things you are good at you will feel more positive and rewarded.
- Find a photo of yourself when you felt really happy. Think back to what you were doing that made you feel that way and try and replicate it.
- Try exercising to generate some natural endorphins in your body.
Your thoughts are mainly positive:
- Keep up the good work!
- Share your positivity. Many positive people ‘give back’ to the world by supporting and encouraging others which in turn generates even more positivity for them!
Thank you for having me Tracey-Jane and thank you for reading this everyone, I hope you found it useful.
Sending you positive vibes.
I’m Honey Lansdowne, a Hypnotherapist based in West Sussex, UK. My intention as a therapist is to make you feel better from the very first session. I use Hypnotherapy, NLP, Reiki and tapping in a blended form of therapy so you get the best possible outcome. I can help you with depression, anxiety, stop smoking, weight loss, going sugar free and stress. So don’t let these things get in the way of you living the life you deserve!