We can overcome negative thoughts by injecting more positivity into our lives. We can follow the strategies given below to bring more positivity into our lives:
1)Practise Gratitude: The studies of Robert Emmons, SonjaLyubomirsky, and many other scientists, show that practicing gratitude is “one of the most reliable methods for increasing happiness and life satisfaction; it also boosts feelings of optimism, joy, pleasure, enthusiasm, and other positive emotions” (https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/gratitude/definition#why-practice)
Say thank you to people for every big and small thing that you receive from them. Keep a gratitude journal where you write down every day at least five things for which you are grateful that day. Write “thank you letters” expressing gratitude to people who are significant in your life.
2) Practise Kindness: Studies show that different forms of generosity make people happier and healthier. In their article, “ 5 Ways Giving is Good for You,” Jill Suttie and Jason Marsh report that different researches show that giving “activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. Scientists also believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the ‘helper’s high’” Practise kindness by helping others, doing voluntary service, giving donations, etc.
3) Bless Everyone and Everything
“To bless means to wish from the bottom of one’s heart, in total sincerity, the very best for the other person—his or her complete fulfillment and deepest happiness”(Pierre Pradervand, The Gentle Art of Blessing, p. 17). To bless is to wish well-being for the other person. When we bless we become more positive.
We need to bless not only persons but also everything around us – the plants, the rivers, the mountains. They affect us and we affect them. We are all interrelated.
We need to bless not only those who do good to us, but also those who harm us. It maybe difficult but forgiveness and wishing the other person well is the only road to happiness. The words of Jesus are very enlightening and illustrative: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Lk 6:27-28).
The Yajurveda declares:
May all being look at me,
With friendly eye.
May I look at all
With friendly eye.
May all look at one another
With friendly eye” (XXXVI.18).
(to be continued)