Vitality 40 Ways to Trigger Positive Thinking Think good, feel good, do good By Zuzu Perkal Each day you wake up with a choice. Reality is yours to create and transformation is at your doorstep. Will you decide to be grateful, spontaneous, enlightened, and joyous, or will you choose the alternative? We all have the power to set the tone for our own lives. The power of positive thinking cannot be underestimated. Each moment we are granted another opportunity for greatness. Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, uses the example of stumbling across a tiger to explain how negative thoughts can inhibit us. If you were to come face-to-face with a tiger, you would probably have immediate negative thoughts and feelings. Your body and mind would freeze up, as your awareness fine tunes itself to the tiger in front of you and the fear within you. In this moment, nothing else in the world would be of importance and your mind would tell you to run. When we experience negative emotions, our mind and focus narrows. Negativity is like survival instinct, we can only see what’s in front of us: Tunnel vision. Instead of seeing the whole picture, we are only in tune to the things directly surrounding us. This example can be taken into everyday experiences when we have negative thoughts and emotions and our focus becomes directed on what’s right in front of us rather than being able to see the big picture. Imagine a time when you have been overly stressed about something. It’s possible, in the whirlwind of stress, you may not be able to be productive or indulge in happy thoughts. We become paralyzed in our negativity. I’m sure you’ve heard of the law of attraction: the idea that what we put out into the universe, comes back to us. When we open ourselves up to the possibility of good things happening, they do! We have a choice. Every fleeting moment is another chance to switch thing around and to tap into the power of positivity. Here Are A Few Ways to Stay Positive: Think happy thoughts! Call someone you care about and tell them something nice. When we are kind to others, we feel better about ourselves. Wake up and tell yourself that you’re beautiful and you’re going to have a great day. Do something that makes you feel good. Play outside, write in a journal, join a yoga or gym class, listen to your favorite song, or hang out with people you enjoy being around. Find positive affirmations that make you feel good and repeat them throughout your day. Listen to your gut. Do what feels right. Remind yourself of how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are and be proud of yourself. Daydream. Tell yourself that it’s all going to work out… because it is! Don’t forget that everything is temporary. Life is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy whatever moment you are in for what it is. The future is a series of “nows.” Find happiness in the small things. Praise the sun, moon, and stars—they’re watching over you. Meditate! Take a vacation and spend the whole time spoiling yourself. Play outside. Move slower and enjoy more. Exercise regularly. Breathe. Focus on what you want, not the things you don’t want. Go to a museum or art gallery and take in the beauty that surrounds you. Spark up a conversation with a stranger. Give someone a compliment. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Be present. You are here now for a reason. Let go of things that don’t really matter. Live with gratitude. Free yourself from fear of the unknown. Be adventurous. Foster new relationships with positive individuals and absorb their energy. Let go of old memories that no longer serve you. Sit somewhere quiet and pay attention to your five sense. Settle in. Tell someone you love them. Believe in the magic that surrounds you. Laugh! Find things that inspire you and let them in. Don’t forget that you’re awesome! Expect less. Live simply. Every day is a new day filled with limitless possibilities. Love yourself just the way you are. — Zuzu is an independent artist, photographer, yoga instructor, and adventure enthusiast in Austin, TX. Her days are filled with coffee, paint, and daydreams. She believes mistakes are simply a beautiful opportunity for growth and that our own life experiences serves as our most valuable teachers. Zuzu recently graduated from Wanderlust’s first Teacher Training Program and is on a mission to continually expand her consciousness while following her journey down the yogic path. She is currently experimenting with the concept of a floating yoga studio and mixed medium practice.