Positive Thinking for Beginners

Positive Thinking for Beginners

by Lisa Edwards


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504301978
Publisher: Balboa Press Australia
Publication date: 06/23/2016
Pages: 140
Sales rank: 994,574
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.33(d)

Read an Excerpt

Positive Thinking for Beginners

By Lisa Edwards

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2016 Lisa Edwards
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-5043-0197-8


What You See Depends on What You are Looking For

Do you ever notice how some days you can look in the mirror and your heart sinks because you can see nothing but

• pimples,

• fat tummy/hips/thighs, etc.,

• wrinkles,

• dry, flaky skin,

• oily, greasy skin, or

• too many wobbly bits.

Then, on other days, you just get ready without really noticing anything about yourself — or you may even notice something that's working well, such as

• clear skin,

• clothes looking good on you and fitting well,

• smooth skin,

• a healthy glow,

• good hair,

• a healthy physique, or

• looking good.

What actually changed? Did you suddenly lose five kilos? No? Did you have your hair done professionally? No? Did you get a facial or a facelift? No? Did you wake up after a good night's sleep feeling good, and are you having a good day? Yes? I thought as much.

Your emotional state has a huge impact on what you look for and, therefore, what you see and what you notice. If you are feeling negative, you will naturally see the negative in everything around you. The more negative things you see, the more negative you will feel. The more negative you feel, the more negatives you will see — and if you are not careful, you will find yourself on a downward spiral of negativity.

Feeling negative doesn't just affect how you see yourself but also how you see other people, your work environment, your home environment, your local community, the wider community, the country you live in, and the world as a whole. This impacts on how the world around you responds to you; if you put negatives out, you'll get negatives back (even if you did get any positives back, you wouldn't notice them). There is good in everything and everywhere, but if you are only looking for the bad, you may never see the good.

Seeing the world from a negative perspective can be detrimental to your whole well-being. It not only affects how you look at things but how you respond, the language you use, your relationships and, ultimately, your health. The impact being/feeling negative can have on your health and well-being include

• general grumpiness/moodiness,

• loss of sense of humour,

• negative self-talk,

• low self-esteem,

• increased alcohol, cigarette, and/or drug use,

• insomnia,

• being judgemental,

• anxiety, or

• general sadness.

A negative attitude generates negative behaviour, and negative behaviour affects your ability to even set goals for yourself, let alone achieve them.

When you are feeling negative, you are more likely to reach for the junk food and snacks and less likely to do any physical exercise.

Have you ever driven up to your house and, just as you were pulling into the driveway, thought to yourself, My garden looks really pretty? Have you walked into the lounge room and thought, My room is so cosy? Or maybe you've driven past the local park and noticed the ducks swimming happily on the surface. If you find yourself noticing these kinds of things, it isn't because they have changed since yesterday — it is because you have changed since yesterday. You are feeling good and therefore noticing and appreciating the positive things around you.

The more positive you feel, the more you positive things you will notice going on around you or in your life, and the more positive things you see, the more positive you will feel.

Seeing the world from a positive perspective has the opposite effect on your whole sense of well-being. Again, it not only affects how you look at things but how you respond, the language you use, your relationships and, yes, your health. The impact being/feeling positive can have on your health and well-being includes

• feeling motivated,

• smiling/laughing,

• greater self-belief,

• increased social life,

• better posture, or

• improved sleeping pattern

People who have a positive disposition also are more likely to do positive activities, such as

• eating healthily,

• being more active,

• taking up a hobby,

• getting involved with the community, or

• letting their creative side create.

What you see as a good thing will depend on your perspective. I once had a client who refused to believe the concept of "what you see depends on what you are looking for." To her, things were just what they were: a chair was a chair, a liar was a liar, etc. Negative things were negative, and positive things were positive. At that point in the conversation, we were sitting in the garden, and I noticed an old, faded, worn-out, grubby cushion lying on the floor in the corner. I asked her what she saw when she looked at the cushion, and she described it much as I just have. I asked her to close her eyes and imagine she was homeless, to imagine that she was cold and tired and had slept on nothing but hard concrete or park benches for weeks. Her head was weary and her body ached; she would give anything for a hot meal and a warm bed. I asked her to look at the cushion again and tell me what she saw. She looked at the cushion and said, "A soft, warm, cosy, and comfortable pillow for my tired head." She laughed at her realisation, and said that she would endeavour to be much more open-minded in the future.

No matter how negative something may appear, there is always a positive side to it, if not for you, then for someone else. Everything has a purpose; everything that happens to us/around us happens for a positive reason. If you really can't find it, then it probably contains a lesson you need to learn. As soon as you have learnt the lesson, it will disappear from your life as quickly as it arrived.


Putting Off the Inevitable

Again, this is something that I think most of us can identify with. We know we have a task/job to do, but we either

• are unsure how to do it,

• don't like doing it,

• don't want to do it, or

• are worried about doing it.

So, what do we do? We put it in the "too-hard" basket and leave it to fester until we can put it off no longer. The trouble is, just like the clutter in the back of the cupboard, we know it is there; whether we think about it consciously or not, it is there in the back of our minds. And whilst it is in the back of our minds, our minds cannot be completely clear and fully focused on anything else. There is always that nagging reminder, sometimes consciously but quite often not, that we haven't done the task in hand. By procrastinating, we are causing a very similar (if not the same) effect to the one that worrying brings.

By trying to ignore the task, we put it to the back of our minds, where the longer it is left, the more daunting it becomes. Every time we consider attempting it, it appears harder to achieve and more difficult to master. By the time we get round to the jumping the hurdle we didn't want to attempt, it seems to have quadrupled in size, and we feel overwhelmed at the mere thought of it.

The lack of concentration on other things, the short temper when anyone asks whether we have done it, the fear building up inside our minds affects everything we do in a negative way. If we were feeling and acting in a positive way, we are less likely to have procrastinated to the extent of causing ourselves so much stress.

When we are feeling positive and we are unsure how to do something, we have the confidence and the initiative to find out how to do it for ourselves or to ask for help. Asking for help is one of the hardest things to do; it is even harder when in a negative mindset.

When our backs are against the wall and we can procrastinate no more — maybe we have nearly hit the deadline, or the pressure to get it done outweighs the fear of the task — we bite the bullet and look at what we need to do logically, and we get started on the task. Once we have managed to get this far, we often find it wasn't as bad as we had anticipated.

Procrastination is not always a bad thing. Putting off doing something that is not urgent — to give ourselves some time out or to pamper and look after ourselves or do something fun and let off a bit of steam — can quite often prove to be more productive, as we return well-rested and refreshed and ready to get on with the non-urgent things in life. It's when we procrastinate the urgent, essential, non-negotiable things that we don't want to do, or don't know how to do, or are scared of doing that the problems arise.

If something is too overwhelming for you to do, ask for help.

Things are rarely quite as difficult or as scary as they seem. The fear of the task can be so big that once you manage to get past it, the task itself seems relatively easy in comparison. So when you next find yourself procrastinating for the wrong reasons, try this:

• Recognise it and acknowledge it.

• Remind yourself that the fear is greater than the problem/task.

• Look for practical ways to complete the task.

• Break the task down if possible, and then tackle one small piece at a time.

• Ask for help if you need it.

To help clear your mind of the overwhelming tasks you have to complete, make a list of all the things you have been putting off. Whether they are big or small, write all of them on your list. When you have completed your list, work out any you can get done now, do them, and cross them off. Work out a plan to enable you to complete the rest of the tasks as soon as is possible for you. You will get a sense of satisfaction crossing the items off the list, and when you look at the list with the crossed-off items, it will remind you that

a) You have already done and achieved so much.

b) Nothing is so difficult that you can't do it.


Rewarding Yourself

As you work your way through this book and start to make positive changes in your life, no matter how small the changes are, congratulate and tell yourself how awesome you are by rewarding yourself.

For instance, let's say you have just read the chapter "Mind your Language." You decide to listen to yourself and you find that, yes, you do use negative words a lot. You make a promise to yourself to change your vocabulary to the positive whenever you can and to only talk about positive things. Then, in the middle of a conversation with a colleague, you are tempted to share a rather juicy piece of gossip with him, but just before you let the words roll off your tongue, you stop yourself, realising that spreading gossip is a negative activity. Well done! That is a hard habit to break — so now you can reward yourself for making the change, in any way you want to. It can be a little reward or a big one; you decide. Some ideas of rewards you might like to treat yourself to include

• a large hot latte

• a long soak in a luxurious bubble bath

• a takeaway and a night off from cooking

• a night out at the movies

• a massage

• a pedicure or manicure

• a lunch out

• a few hours with the phone turned off, curled up on the sofa with a good book

• a bunch of your favourite flowers

• a scented candle

It does not matter what you do or how you do it. It doesn't matter whether it is an expensive reward or you are simply rewarding yourself with "me time." It only matters that you do it!

By rewarding yourself, you are acknowledging your efforts to change into being the positive person you have always wanted to be. You are telling yourself, Well done, you did good — you rock! If you had a friend that did well, you would tell him or her. So how about being your own new bestie and all that? It's only right that you tell yourself when you have done well and treat yourself to something you really want or something that you usually don't make time for.

Rewarding yourself is a wonderful way to make yourself feel great. Only you truly know the journey you are on and can recognise when you have made progress or have had a breakthrough. These are the times you need to say "Well done, congratulations." Don't wait for someone else to tell you that you are doing well. The only validation you need is the way you feel about what you have achieved. So when you feel good about something you have done or achieved, recognise that you have taken steps in the positive direction of your goals, or changed the way you talk to yourself, or started to do that exercise you have been saying for years you'll do. Whatever the achievement, big or small, it deserves to be rewarded, and you are just the person to do it.


How Can We Think Positive and Talk Positive When We don't Feel Positive?

Thinking, talking, feeling, and the way we act are all connected; one affects the other. By focusing on one thing at a time, we will make headway into changing our thinking to the positive; this in turn will affect our feelings and emotions. Once we get our feelings and emotions positive, it stops feeling like work and a challenge and it becomes second nature to us. With every chapter in this book you will learn another small, yet effective, way of changing your thinking to positive, and every step you take along the way will have a gentle, yet profound, effect on you.

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

When I started learning how to think positive I thought I had hit rock bottom. Then, before I could put any of it into practice, I dropped even lower. It has taken me a long time to get here, and on two particular occasions I was so low I needed help getting over hurdles, so I had a session or two with a psychologist. Over the years I was very lucky. I only went to two psychologists, both of whom were amazing and totally on the ball. I will always be truly grateful for the help, support, and insights I received from both of them. Both psychologists encouraged my studies with positive thinking, and once I was over the hurdles, I continued on with them.

As I moved along the path of bringing positives into my thoughts and my life, I found a lot of the things I hadn't dealt with over forty-something years buried deep within my subconscious. I found myself imagining a little man wandering around in the darkness of my subconscious with a little torch, highlighting a box of stuff marked "negative thoughts" — particularly those planted by others, such as parents, siblings, teachers, friends, etc. — and then a box marked "limiting beliefs" such as not good enough, ugly, not worthy, fat, stupid, etc. The little man with the torch picked this box up and threw it into my consciousness, where it stayed nagging at me until I bit the bullet and dealt with it.

Once I had dealt with it, not only did I feel better, lighter, and more confident, but when I decluttered my mind, other things became clearer. My mind had been so full of negatives that the few positives I did have were so buried that I had forgotten they were even there. Some of them had been buried so deep and for so long that it wasn't a case of recognising them when I found them; it was case of introductions all round, and I have to say I was very pleased to meet them after all that time.

I discovered several ways to help me deal with and discard those thoughts. As I said, for two of the very persistent and stubborn thoughts I went to see a psychologist, but for a lot of them I found other ways, which you too will discover as we work our way through Positive Thinking.

Every little step we take towards living a positive life will help us feel positive. The more positive we feel, the more positive we behave. We have already seen the vicious circle of thinking negatively; let's create a miraculous circle of positives.

Two things are going to determine how long it will take you to turn your life around and make it the positive life you have always wanted, the life in which you do the things you love to do with the people you love around you:

1. How much time and effort you are willing to put in to implementing the positive changes in your life, and

2. How quickly you learn to let go of the negatives in your life/ unconscious mind.

Letting go of the negatives is just as, if not more, important than implementing the positives. Positive thinking/positive actions/positive language, etc. cannot change your life alone; if you still have negatives counteracting them, they can never flourish.

If you find it hard to let go and need or want some assistance, there are lots of people who can help you. For dealing with any really heavy baggage, you could see a psychologist. Life coaches are great for this kind of thing, too, and they have lots of tricks up their sleeves to help you to let go and move on.

As you let go and relinquish your negative, limiting beliefs, your negative thoughts will gradually lessen, making way for your newfound positive thoughts.

Just the action of letting go of the past and/or limiting beliefs will make you feel lighter and less burdened. You may even find that lifting that emotional weight from yourself not only frees you from a negative state of mind but propels you into a positive state of mind, making positive thinking and living positively much easier to put into practice.


Excerpted from Positive Thinking for Beginners by Lisa Edwards. Copyright © 2016 Lisa Edwards. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Preface, ix,
Introduction, xi,
What You See Depends on What You are Looking For, 1,
Putting Off the Inevitable, 6,
Rewarding Yourself, 10,
How Can We Think Positive and Talk Positive When We don't Feel Positive?, 12,
Labels, 15,
Negative to Positive, 18,
Test It for Yourself, 21,
Worrying, 23,
Finding the Positive, 27,
Mind Your Language, 29,
Affirmations, 36,
Believing Affirmations, 44,
Gratitude, 47,
Start Your Day the Positive Way, 54,
My Daily Good Habits, 60,
Clutter: Physical and Mental and the Connection between the Two, 62,
How We Treat Ourselves, 69,
Taking Good Care of Ourselves, 72,
Now for the Physical Exercise, 77,
What on Earth are You Wearing?, 82,
Forgiveness, 86,
Finding out Who Your Friends Are, 90,
How We See and Treat Others, 92,
Reacting to Others, 93,
Meditations, 94,
Money, Money, Money, 107,
Negative to Positive Ratio Revisited, 110,
Tools to Keep You Positive about Being Positive, 112,
Positive Daily Challenge, 115,
Epilogue, 117,
Bibliography, 119,
Index, 121,
About the Author, 123,

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