I was having coffee with a friend the other day, who mentioned in conversation that she believes our natural state to be well-being and feeling good. She talked about how all of our worries and negative thinking -- all created in our minds -- cover that up, but that when we let go, the well-being is there waiting to come out.
Of course, this made me think of public speaking, and how we build up fears and anxieties in our minds that are frequently based in fantasy.
I've talked before about my own experiences with panic attacks, and how sometimes when we think we've licked a problem, we still might face temporary setbacks.
I'm fully aware that the panic attacks were not based on reality or anything that might really happen -- after all, how could I possibly be harmed by sitting in the middle seat in a movie theater? But reality is clouded when your fears are so strong, and you do feel like you're out of control.
In this article, I share some tools for turning negative and fearful thoughts into positive ones.
But I also want to go beneath that and encourage you to cultivate a positive outlook on life in general that makes these fearful times less powerful overall and less likely to linger.
I admit it, I'm an optimist. I was born that way. But according to my friend, we're all born that way! We let our experiences jade us and turn our minds dark with worries, anger, fear and negativity, instead of focusing on the good in the world and in our lives.
She believes that meditation and yoga have brought her to this new awareness and ability to focus on the positive, but you don't have to get into yoga to change your thinking. You just have to want to see the world in a different way, and make the effort.
Sometimes it's not easy, but I believe it's worth it to let go of the negative, feel the weight lift from my shoulders, and truly enjoy the life I've been given. (I'm even working on a new blog, yet to be published, on the happy and positive snippets I encounter in my life every day).
If you're a chronically negative person, imagine how your life could be better by letting go of the dark thoughts. What more could you accomplish if you always believed you could? How much more could you enjoy life if you allowed yourself to enjoy life? How much time do you waste on fear, anger, melancholy, worry and drama?
And what will it take for you to improve your outlook, to help stimulate the positive thoughts in your mind?
Do you need to:
Get out into nature?
Spend more time with people who enrich you?
Take more time for your favorite hobbies?
Try something you've always wanted to?
Get your hands in the dirt and grow something?
Volunteer for a cause you believe in?
Are you willing to try?