How to Create Positive Thought Rhythms

by Henrik Edberg

How to Create Positive Thought Rhythms

Image by jaja_1985.

Note: This is a guest post by Karl Staib of Get Happy Now.

There is no such thing as perfect happiness because it varies widely. That’s the beauty of honing your ability to enjoy life. It strengthens your mind to adapt to new ideas.

“We are what we focus on.”

In other words: The people who practice happiness every day are the people who bring happiness into their lives.

Since you are reading this you probably have a healthy brain, which will allow you to create a positive rhythm for your thoughts.

How does someone create a positive thought rhythm?

The easy answer is replacing the negative thoughts with positive thoughts. As we all know it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Negative thoughts are there to help us stay grounded. If we were all a bunch of happy go lucky flakes we wouldn’t hold down our jobs and probably have trouble keeping our relationships together.

I wouldn’t want you to turn your mind into a positive thought factory, forcing yourself to think positive thoughts. If you did, you would be suppressing energy that will one day need to be released. Positive thinking (Yin) needs its negative counter part (Yang), but they need to be balanced. Instead of forcing yourself to think positive thoughts, it’s all about finding the right inspiration and going with it.

I’ve been practicing a three step process that has helped me find the positive rhythm in almost any situation.

Step 1 – Tune into the way a situation makes you feel

Let’s imagine we are in a tough situation, such as a fender bender. No one is hurt, but you put a little dent in the back of the other person’s car because you weren’t paying attention. You both pull over and both of you get out of your vehicles. Your car also has an indent and crack underneath the right headlight. You should get upset at this situation. You were being absent minded and not paying attention. The negative attack begins. “How could I have been so careless?” and “Man, I’m going to be late for work.” and “This sucks.” The negative thought usually arrives first because it’s a mistake that you made, but underneath them be aware of other feelings.

Step 2 – Understand why your feelings are there

Why do these negative thoughts and emotions occur when we make a mistake? Everyone needs emotion to learn from and help process the situation. After the first wave of thoughts wash over us this is where most of us have our “tipping point.” It’s at this vital moment that we can direct our thoughts toward the rhythm that we want. We can either continue the negative thinking or we can allow the positive thoughts to start creeping in. A little fender bender can turn into a big ordeal, causing a bad day, or it can be just another moment in a day to deal with.

Step 3 – Find the smallest enjoyable detail and build on it

That’s why we must find the little detail that helps us build on a positive rhythm. Such as: “No one was hurt.” or “The damage wasn’t that bad.” or “At least I hit a nice person who didn’t freak out on me.”

Then we must build on this detail: “My friend is a body mechanic and he can take care of this.” or “Thank my lucky stars that my insurance is awesome.”

By adding to each positive thought we can create a rhythm that allows optimism to take over.

Karl Staib writes about unlocking and kicking open the door to happiness at his own blog: Get Happy Now. If you enjoyed this article, you may like to subscribe to his feed, or read one of his most popular articles, Creating Happiness in Each Moment.

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{ 4 comments }

karl Staib - Your Happiness Matters February 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Being positive is not always easy, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s just a matter of being playful and creative to make it happen.

Thanks for publishing my guest post! It’s an honor to be on your blog.

Henrik Edberg February 5, 2008 at 10:42 pm

I totally agree, Karl. It’s so worth the effort and I have found that being playful has been especially helpful.

Thank you for the very practical and useful post.

Lori February 8, 2008 at 5:32 pm

Three great tips for a more positive approach to life. I especially agree with the third; I have found that focusing on a positive detail, no matter how minute, can change the way I process any event. I have some info about my own experiences with chasing happiness at http://www.betweenusgirls.info. Becoming a happier person isn’t easy for born pessimists like me, but I find I am making headway. Helpful tips from people like you makes it easier. Thanks.

Paul February 13, 2008 at 12:03 pm

This is great! how would the would be if we only had good things and nothing negative? i have never thouhgt of why i have been tring to find solutions to most problems(negative thoughts) i get day in day out.perharps that is why i discovered your important and inspiring information.
I have come to conclude that learning only takes place where there is confusion because without confusion, you are not bothered with anything, life just flows and everything seems perfect.
Negative thoughts are very good if you can control them and also get their positive counter parts like you said. this is good especially because poitive thought are rare if any!!!! FOR THE FIRST TIME I HAVE SEEN SOMETHING GOOD WITH NEGATIVE THOUGHTS IF AM NOT MISTAKEN.

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