The Power of Positive Thinking - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking


Published September 2, 2010

Positive thinking is a skill that can be mastered just as Kung Fu or Tango. Some people have learned it from a very young age while other struggle to acquire it in adulthood, through cognitive behavioral therapy, for example. Whatever the case, positive thinking is one of the keys to happiness. Positive thoughts elicit positive feelings just as negative thoughts elicit negative feelings. We humans are constantly thinking, we even think while we sleep, and we are continuously scanning our environment and reacting to it.

The way we view our world and the different situations in our lives, affects the way we feel and the way we act. For example, if we are constantly thinking that the world is a dangerous place and that we need to be constantly on the lookout we will feel fearful and we might have difficulty trusting people. But how can we change our mindset and think more positively? This is no easy task and it requires some mastering but the most important thing is to be aware of how our thoughts affect our feelings. And just remember… “don’t worry, be happy!”

Lucky or unlucky, is there something to this? Are some people destined to succeed and others to fail? Some people believe in the power of luck and see it as a positive force that can influence and change circumstances. Some people, for example, carry with them lucky charms, objects and images in order to improve good luck. I believe that what determines luck, or lack of it, is the meaning that we give to the different events in our lives and not necessarily some sort of mystical power that can be called upon. It is we who select the meaning that we give to our experiences, we all have an opportunity to take what happens to us and make the best of it, or the worst of it, we all have a choice. That is, are you unlucky you got into an accident or lucky to be alive? Or are you unlucky you got dumped or lucky to be single? So the next time you are feeling unlucky ask yourself, what can I learn from this experience? And remember, you have a choice.

My best friend’s boyfriend made a pass at me but he was pretty drunk that night and I don’t know if he even remembers what happened. They seem to have a stable relationship and recently had a baby and I don’t want to ruin that. I love my friend but I find myself making excuses to meet her. I don’t know what to do, should I tell her?
It sounds like you and your friend have a very special relationship and that you care a lot about her, but avoiding her is not the right thing for you to do at the moment. She definitely needs her best friend right now that she just had a baby and feeling rejected by you will not help her out. It sounds as if you feel guilty about what happened, but what you need to realise is that it is not your fault. There is no reason to justify his actions, what he did is wrong whether he remembers it or not. There are several things you could do; you could do nothing and continue to avoid her, you could talk to her again and never mention what happened or you could tell her the truth. Whatever you decide to do is completely up to you, but first ask yourself this question: what would my best friend do if she were in my situation? Putting yourself in her shoes will help you decide what to do.

I love my wife and we have a very good relationship but she sometimes gets pretty upset when I go out with my friends. How can I spend more time with my friends without hurting her?
In every relationship it is important for each partner to have time as individuals to meet friends, practice a hobby, practice a sport or just relax. Likewise, partners also need time to spend as a couple. It is important for the two of you to have a talk and explore the reasons why she feels upset about you meeting your friends. Talking about this can help you clarify misunderstandings and share important feelings on this issue. Additionally, it could be helpful for you to agree on the amount of time each of you desires to dedicate to your hobbies and/ or friendships as well as to the relationship. The key here is finding a balance that makes sense for the two of you.
Need some help solving your dilemmas? Ask Paola by sending your questions to: askpaolasala@gmail.com 

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