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The Power of Positive Thinking

Submitted by Emily Snedecor on June 15, 2010 – 6:55 pmComments

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Emily Snedecor at Reasonably So

We Choisters are living in the time of instant gratification - digital cameras, cars available to rent by the hour, chatting face to pixelated face with loved ones many miles away, books that magically appear on devices that fit conveniently in one’s purse. It seems like we can have everything, whenever we want it and however we want it. But what about how we feel? Can the same sort of instant gratification occur for our moods?

I’m not a firm believer in almost anything, except for the power of positive thinking. Don’t get me wrong, I do not think that positive thinking will get me that billion dollars I dream about. Nor do I think positive thinking will stop all of the crime and inhumanity in the world. It probably will not clean up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. However, I do believe that positive thinking, in one form or another, can change your mood and brighten your day, instantly.

Picture this: you’re on a crowded subway in New York City, and the train, for no apparent reason, has stopped. The conductor comes on the loudspeaker “we are being held because of train traffic ahead of us.” All around you, people are sighing heavily and shaking their heads. Some are even making comments “Are you kidding me?” “Aw, come on!” as if others are listening and  interested. Here’s what you do: take a deep breath and say (in your head), “there’s nothing I can do about this situation.” It’s true that this isn’t exactly positive thinking in the motivational speaker sense of the idea-it’s not exactly looking at the bright side (like “Hey, this train delay might just be what saves me from falling in an uncovered manhole!”), but at least you’re not complaining to no one in particular about something you can’t control.

This is what it boils down to, and I write only from my personal experience: if I refuse to let the stress of a delay get under my skin, my day is all the better for it. Same goes for a stubbed toe, long line at the grocery store, and impolite strangers. I do my best to let it all roll off my back, and sure enough, I find that my day is much improved because of it.

Most of us have little or no control over what happens to us along the bumpy journey of life. I’m doing my best to make choices that affect my mood in all circumstances - smiling, laughing, taking deep breaths-you know, all those things that people tell you to do to chill out and you make fun of because it sounds cheesy? I’m doing them, these days, and guess what? It’s working. And I like it. Give it a shot, because it’s instantly gratifying.

Starbug via Flickr

P.S. Fellow Choice Effect Blogger Maya Burkenroad has the right idea with her Smile Project!!

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  • Mano


    You have a very wonderful blog. To turn into a prosperous human being the standard point is to have positive thinking. Appreciate Sky Rocketing Achievements with Turbo charged Positive Affirmations... Develop Positive Thinking So You may Remove Strain From the Existence, Improve Your Self-Confidence and Program Yourself For Lifetime Achievement!

  • Maya

    Emily, I'm picking up what you're putting down :) I think you are totally right - what you give to the world, it gives right back to ya ( most of the time).

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