Author Topic: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY  (Read 1982 times)

MMMdude

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How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« on: December 29, 2012, 02:32:42 PM »
One of the things I want to work on in the New Year is to start thinking more positively.  All my life I have tended to be a 'realist' on a good day and downright pessimistic on a bad day.   I know this and would like to swing the pendulum more to the optimist side.    I know that I need to start working out more as when I stop it definitely makes me crankier and I have been off the exercise wagon for quite a few years. Things are great for me financially, I'm in a good career $ wise (although I don't love it and hence why I'm on this site), good relationship, etc however I tend to focus on what is wrong with my lot in life.   Are there any good books out there that could help me?  Anyone else been able to change their outlook? 

Karl

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 02:54:33 PM »
MMMdude,

You may want to start by looking at this book:

Title: The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook
Authors: Martha Davis, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, and Matthew McKay

Specifically, chapters 12 (Refuting Irrational Ideas) and 13 (Facing Worry and Anxiety) might prove helpful to you in suggesting ways to change your outlook and thought processes.

Several of my students have used these materials to do this,

Karl

arebelspy

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 03:03:22 PM »
MMM had the post on outrageous optimism, which sparked a similar question to yours with discussion here: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/continue-the-blog-conversation/outrageous-optimism/
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Miss Stachio

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 03:40:07 PM »
Exercise definitely raises my energy levels.  Spending a little bit of time every day on meditation and reflection is also very helpful.  During a down time, I kept a small journal in which I wrote down three things I appreciated every day.  Books that may be helpful:

Taming Your Gremlin - Carson
How We Choose to be Happy - Foster & Hicks
Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart - Epstein

I've found that reading gives me a lot of ideas but, just like FI, it's the practicing those ideas that gets me somewhere.

Crabricorn

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 07:53:52 PM »
Learned Optimism by Martin E. P. Seligman might be up your alley! He also wrote a book called Authentic Happiness which is quite good. It teaches you how to use your character strengths to improve your life. Seligman is a self-confessed grump and he says these techniques have worked well for him. As a bonus, optimism is associated with many health benefits :-)

Good luck!

destron

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 01:29:39 PM »
I enjoy stoic philosophy -- it helps me to stay positive in the face of negative things in my life (or things that I could choose to take negatively). I have been reading the classics -- Marcus Aurelius, Seneca.

Although I am not religious, I also really enjoy a Catholic prayer that goes something like this:

Lord give me the strength to accept those things I have no control over, to change the things I can, and to know the difference between the two.

One bizarre form of negative thinking I find myself trapped in is running scenarios of negative things that may or may not happen and my response to them. I developed this habit as a result of my job as a police officer. I am constantly analyzing every situation I am in and what could go wrong, how I am going to stop or change it. Instead, when I catch myself doing this, I decide not to think about it and move on. The cyclic negative thinking does me no good. 
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Gerard

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 02:40:00 PM »
I second the suggestions of more exercise (and fresh air). Also, turning off the TV is awesome for increasing optimism. Especially the news. (I know, this sounds obvious and trivial, until you start doing it regularly).

Abouscent1961

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 01:24:03 AM »
Although I haven't found it to be useful for much else, I've noticed that autosuggestion has been very successful in breaking me out of negative-thinking ruts in the past.

EngGirl

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 07:37:44 AM »
Things really changed for me when I started volunteering at a children's hospital. It's really hard to complain about a mean boss or your partner's underwear on the floor when you see children battling terrible illnesses on a weekly basis.

There are volunteer opportunities for all kinds of experiential learning: a senior's center if you want to put your life into perspective, HIV/AIDS hospices if you want to learn about forgiving yourself, food banks if you want to feel wealthy, etc.

James

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 07:49:48 AM »
Great ideas here.  Stoicism helped me, as well as exercise.  I'm struggling a lot right now and I see my current lack of exercise and focus as being the main cause.

The big thing to remember is that being positive is like being physically fit.  You don't get fit by reading books about diet and exercise, you get fit by putting what you know into practice.  Often you need to do some reading and research to make sure you are eating and exercising right, but that research isn't what makes you fit.  Read and research positive thinking, but more importantly start putting things into practice.  Even if it isn't exactly what you need to be as positive as you want, any small change for the better can help you build toward your goals and is better than just reading more about the subject.

A Guide to the Good Life is a book I found very helpful, but only you can know if you need more info.  You may need to just start putting into practice things you already know.

Good luck!
Badassity is a journey, not a guided tour.

Blackbomber

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 08:34:55 AM »
Great thread. MMMDude - I'm following your resolution plan. Thanks for raising this topic at a good time for me.

Mike

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 08:43:58 AM »
Try "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg - that book sheds some light as to how habits form and how you can go about changing them / replacing them with better ones (such as regularly exercising).


skarn

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 11:19:26 PM »
You mentioned you're in a good career money-wise. That's a happy situation that many people would desperately long to be in.

Try finding something else that you like to do, be it a hobby, part-time studies, or athletic pursuit. Learn something new. Go out, walk around and talk to more people. Get in touch with friends, hang out around positive people. And once you occupy yourself with meaningful, interesting tasks you might have less time to dwell on the negatives in life!

englyn

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2013, 07:01:40 AM »
Here's a little idea I've seen on facebook recently: start a jar for the year and write on a slip of paper and put it in the jar whenever something good happens. Then at the end of the year (or when you need it) you can review all the awesome stuff that happened.

pedostache

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Re: How can I start thinking more POSITIVELY
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2013, 08:01:40 AM »
My small advice would be to watch this awesome awesome college commencement speech which I believe speaks for itself

"This is water"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vET9cvlGJQw    part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEjVnB7AeBQ    part 2