Most of us are under the impression that opposites attract. And although this may be true for magnets and couples in bad romances when it comes to the spirit, the opposite is true: like attracts like. In its simplest form, this means that if you learn to harness the power of positive thinking, you’ll attract more positive circumstances.
However, if you’re negative, you’ll attract more negativity and pain.
At first glance, you might think this describes Karma but in fact, the two concepts are very different.
With Karma, it is believed that if you do “good,” you will be rewarded; if you do “bad,” you will be punished.
With the Law of Attraction, though, blessings are entirely up to you.
Think positively and you will call positive things to you.
If you have a cynical, insecure, or pessimistic worldview, your negativity will be a self-inflicted, self-fulfilling prophecy.
Like attracts like.
Why It’s Difficult to Think Positive
Humans have a predisposition to negativity. We pay far more attention to dark emotions like anger, sadness, pain, and disappointment than we do to great feelings like joy, gratitude, and contentment.
It makes sense when you think about how bad news stays with us, but good news tends to expire.
A picture of a cute puppy in the morning will be long forgotten by the afternoon, but a violent crime far away can haunt us for years.
Believe it or not, there is science behind this…
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and evolve depending on our life circumstances.
What’s even more intriguing is that if thoughts are repetitive, our brain will connect synapses that weren’t previously stimulated to associate those thoughts with other behaviors and turn them into habits.
For example, if you hate your job and you work in a coffee shop, over time you will find that you despise the smell of coffee. In actuality, you don’t — but your brain has decided that since you are constantly upset when surrounded by the smell of a fresh brew, the brew itself must be the problem.
In this case, your neurons that light up by the smell of coffee will connect with the neurons that light up when you are depressed. From then onward, the smell of coffee will dampen your spirits.
With this information comes the harsh lesson that when we are sad, suffering, or in emotional pain, it’s because we choose to be.
Negativity is addictive, even though positivity is so much nicer to feel.
We spend too little time appreciating our joy and being happy. We tend to believe that thinking positively and being happy is not a habit — rather, it’s a celebration.
Pain, also, is something we have trained ourselves to feel. Our addiction to it, as with everything else, can be conquered, and it is truly as simple as making the choice to be happy instead.
Choice Heals All Wounds
Although the concept of choosing to be happy is in itself a simple decision to make, executing it will require some focus and dedication.
You will have to rewire your brain with the power of positive thinking before you can truly heal.
Here is a powerful video by the “modern-day Yoda,” Dr. Srikumar Rao, on how to rewire your mind for happiness and success:
Fear not, doing so will be easy — as long as you commit to it.
You can learn to leverage this power of positive thinking and thus, be able to heal yourself and train your mind for happiness, by following some of these simple tips below.
6 Tips to Train Your Mind for Positive Thoughts
Meditating might just be the best way to clear negativity from your life and bring about emotional and spiritual recovery.
Meditation rejuvenates the mind, makes us more resilient, and rids the body of harmful chemicals that cause stress and anxiety; it centers us.
Think of it this way: if your mind is wired to be miserable, meditation would be the reset button that allows you to unplug, switch off, and tune out. Then, you can easily learn, through meditation, to turn your brain back on and tune into positive thinking frequencies.
Meditate often enough and a lot of damage will be undone. You’ll be left with a clean slate and a refreshed perspective.
2. Be thankful
Innumerable studies have proven that gratitude makes us happier.
It floods our brains with dopamine, the one chemical that has the potential to drown out the negative thoughts and anxious feelings we too often carry throughout the day.
Gratitude invokes the law of attraction. Remember, like attracts like. If you make an effort to be grateful, you will find that you will be blessed with more things to be grateful for.
A fantastic way to consciously practice gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal. Every night before you go to sleep, list everything you were grateful for throughout the day. Over time, you will see your lists become much longer!
Having a gratitude attitude is really using the power of positive thinking to its highest degree.
3. Be Kind
Kindness has also been proven to make us happier and less stressed.
Studies have also proven, time and time again, that kindness is contagious. If someone is kind to you, you will be inspired to pay it forward, and the person who receives your kindness will feel the same, so on and so forth.
Kindness also inspires gratitude and makes us more inclined to be grateful, so if you are truly struggling with positive thinking and finding something to be thankful for, do a good deed for someone else — you will notice immediately how great it makes you feel.
4. Take time for yourself
Part of the reason why it’s so easy for us to be miserable is that we place more importance on empty things than we do on the well-being of our souls.
Using the example of your job again, if it makes you unhappy, what are you doing to combat that negativity?
Are you setting time aside to focus on your hobbies and passions, or are you vegetating in front of the TV during your downtime?
We often forget that if we have the energy and willpower to slave away for eight or so hours a day with little reward outside of financial gain, we could easily spend an hour or two a day doing what we actually enjoy.
Again, remember the law of attraction — like attracts like.
If you hate your job, but all you ever do in your waking hours is work, you will be unhappy.
However, if you designate certain days or times just for pure pleasure, you will begin to look forward to those moments rather than dread everything else.
You must decide to take care of yourself spiritually because no one else can.
5. Stress less
Imagine stress as fire, and all other negative and unhealthy conditions such as sadness, anger, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, and addiction as the smoke.
Extinguish the flames and the smoke will dissipate. Fan the flames, and the smoke will thicken.
Stress is usually the sole cause of everything that goes wrong in our lives, and as with emotional distress, it is usually self-inflicted.
If you work too hard, you will be unhealthy. If you sleep too little, you will be exhausted. And if you neglect your family or friends, you will feel lonely.
So why not rid yourself of most negativity by just choosing to relax?
Drink plenty of water, eat balanced meals, exercise, meditate, and enforce a rigid sleep routine on yourself. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and follow the previous advice of taking time for yourself.
When stress leaves your body, your cells regenerate more efficiently. Less stress is literally more healing.
6. Talk yourself up
Be your biggest fan! Tell yourself at least once a day that you are beautiful, talented, or just plain awesome. Do this for a while and you will come to believe it.
Pep talks work — they motivate, inspire, and uplift.
There is no reason why you can’t perform pep talks for yourself. You don’t have to exaggerate or lie to yourself, but the simplest way to do this is to view the glass as half-full.
For example, the next time something goes wrong, instead of telling yourself “This is bad,” instead affirm, “I can handle this” or “I will be okay.”
Laugh in the face of sadness (even if it’s forced) and more laughter will follow.
What you tell yourself, you will believe. So, be kind.