A to Z of Happiness: T - Thoughts #atozchallenge @AprilA2Z

Human mind is a fascinating thing. It can be our biggest strength, but it can also be our biggest weakness. If allowed to run amok, it is like a wild elephant, creating havoc wherever it goes. But, if tamed, it can be our very own, wish-fulfilling, magic genie!

Throughout centuries, a lot has been written about the "secret" power of mind. Ernest Shurtleff Holmes and Norman Vincent Peale, Buddha, Swami Vivekananda, and, in most recent times, Rhonda Byrne, they have all emphasized upon how we can shape our own destiny with what we choose to give space in our mind.

Majority of us, of course, shrug it off as fantasy, but the few who DO decide to give this "secret" a try, manage to create a life of their dreams. If you learn to harness your mind, there is no limit to what you can achieve. Financial success, professional success, health, love and, above all, happiness!


How Do Our Thoughts Affect Our Happiness Quotient?

Our lives and our happiness depend upon what thoughts we choose to hold in our mind, because it is our thoughts that create our feelings. And our feelings create our moods. But the process doesn't stop there, because our moods affect our decisions and behaviors, which, in turn, can create further happiness or sorrow for us.

For example, when I'm in a happy state of mind, and a customer at my shop asks for something that I cannot provide, I will say no to him with a smile, and will also suggest alternatives. He might settle with one of those alternatives, or he might just smile back at me and say "no thanks". But, if I'm already in an irritable state because of something that might have happened half an hour ago, I will reply curtly to him, and I won't bother to give him any other suggestions either. The customer will think I am rude and unhelpful, and might decide to take his business elsewhere. Or, if he's also in a bad mood, he could even give an angry retort, making things worse for the both of us.

Bottom-line is that if we think negatively about any situation, it gives rise to negative emotions within us, which make us react negatively, creating MORE negative situations. And we get caught in this loop of negativity. On the other hand, if we try to remain positive about things, then we can avoid creating further negativity, and maybe even turn possible stressful interactions into positive ones!

But how do we think positively about something bad that has happened in our day? For example, the maid did a no-show without prior information. Or the kid accidentally knocked over his glass full of milk. Or someone else got in the cab that we flagged over, in the morning rush hour. Or we reached office and discovered that we forgot an important file at home.

There could be hundreds of other things like this. Is is even possible to NOT get upset at them? I don't think so. Not for majority of us anyway. So how do we keep our thoughts positive in these situations?

How To Remain Positive In Negative Situations?

  1. ACCEPTANCE (Covered under 'A'.)

    Bad things happen to the best of us. And there will always be some people in our lives who bring our energy levels down. Instead of giving these circumstances and people any more space in our mind than the bare minimum, we should just accept what happened and move on.

  2. MINDFULNESS (Covered under 'M'.)

    The longer we remain in a negative state of mind, the more likely it is to become a habit. The good news is that we can hold only one thought in our mind at any point of time. The moment we think of something else, the first thought is gone, until we think of it again. And here's where mindfulness comes in. If we recognize that our chain of thoughts is going negative, we can consciously choose to think of something positive. In this way, we can replace all our negative thoughts as soon as we become aware of them.

  3. JEST (Covered under 'J'.)

    Finding humor in adversity is one of the best ways to come out of negative situations as quickly as possible. It not only keeps our spirits high, but also keeps us emotionally detached from our stressful situation, so that we are better able to find our way out of it.

  4. INSPIRATION (Covered under 'I'.)

    When we are in an inspired state of being, we are not affected so much by the "small stuff". It does not hold significance for us anymore. We are driven by something stronger, something within us. And we derive our strength and positivity from our inspiration.

  5. DISREGARD (Covered under 'D'.)

    If we spend too much time surrounded by negativity - negative people, negative work environments, stressful situations - it becomes difficult for us to keep our spirits up. (I speak from personal experience.) We should let go of negative people and environments before they start affecting us in any major way.

By using these five techniques, it is possible for us to keep our "dominant" thought state positive. Our dominant thoughts are the ones that have a greater impact on our happiness and life. They occupy maximum space in our mind, and are recurring. They are the ones that shape our BELIEFS. (Covered under 'B'.)

By using these techniques, we can ensure that our negative thoughts become transient, or "non-dominant". The non-dominant thoughts are merely superficial "reactions", that disappear as quickly as they flare up. These thoughts don't stay in our energy field long enough to create any substantial effects.

Summary: Benefits of Positive Thinking

Inculcating a habit of "Positive Thinking" has several benefits.

  • It has a positive effect on our health and WELL-BEING (covered under 'W'), reducing chances of depression.
  • It helps us remain CALM (covered under 'C') in times of stress.
  • It makes us more OPTIMISTIC (covered under 'O').
  • It increases our RESILIENCE (covered under 'R').
  • It helps foster an attitude of GRATITUDE (covered under 'G').

All of these, in turn, add to our "happiness meter".

What is your dominant state of thoughts? Do you tend to dwell more on the positive or negative? Is it easy for you to move on from negative situations in life? Or do you get stuck there for quite a while?

This is my 20th post for A to Z of Happiness.

I have completed this challenge once before, and published it as a kindle ebook. You can get it on amazon: A to Z of Blogging: Take Your Blog To the Next Level.

(Continued below sponsored content)

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Want to Add Something?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chicky - love the quote - that's clever ... and yes if we focus, and keep the thoughts in mind - we can follow through and succeed at our chosen goal, or journey along that path ... cheers Hilary


Anita said...

Let's all enhance our Happiness Quotient!
Very nicely linked with all the topics you have covered,Chicky :)
Have a great week!
Anita, The Explorer of Miracles

Roshan Radhakrishnan said...

A very insightful post. And yes, I too ended up becoming a major believer in the power of 'the secret' a few years ago, choosing to attract good things into my life.

Tabrizi's Restaurant - Choosing Humanity over Profit

the little princess said...

That's is such a wonderful post! We have about 30000 thoughts per day or about 40-50 thoughts in a minute! Our mind is such a tricky place! I loved your pointers to keeps the negative thoughts at bay!

Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

Geetika Gupta said...

We are what we think. Our thoughts shape us and build us... and it is so important for us to have positive thoughts and take control over the negative ones!


Emily Bloomquist said...

Hi Chicky, How nice to provide a road map for people who may struggle to get out of a negative state of mind. It is easy to bring ourselves down further once we start down the negativity path in our minds. Ideas for how to bring ourselves back out are always helpful.

Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Tide Pools in Puerto López

Shirley Corder said...

Thank you for this post Kaddu. I have a constant battle keeping my thoughts under control. Even when I'm in bed at night they jump around reminding me of things I don't need to remember, and stressing how important non-urgent issues are! I need to read through all your posts when the challenge is over! T is for Tempting Titles as you Build a Better Blog. #AtoZchallenge.

Vinodini Iyer said...

The mind indeed can go berserk if not tamed properly. Being mindful is no less than an art. I am a big fan of law of attraction. But it is not as easy to keep the flow of thoughts positive all the time. Your example on how you talk to customers is perfect. I wouldn't like to go to a shop with a foul tempered shop-keeper in it. :)

Cathy Graham said...

Gee, great minds think alike, Eh, Chicky? I did Thoughts today, too. Very informative and wise post you wrote. So true that negative thoughts can affect our every waking moment. Our thoughts define us. So simple yet so hard to reign them at times. I can succumb to negative thinking on occasion. Such a self defeating way of being that wastes so much energy and time that could be used for better things, don't you agree? I had a negative thought this morning that why am I bothering to do these posts as no one reads them anyhow. Talk about negative! I had to banish that thought and keep writing.

I like your format how you are connecting all your posts. So cohesive that way.

Shilpa Garg said...

Agree with the thoughts and pointers you shared. They say, the soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts. So it's important that we dye it with happy and positive thoughts.

shalz75 said...

Great tips for happy thoughts Chicky. They say we can thin kour way to happiness by sending out our thoughts into the universe and the divine complies with our wishes!

Crackerberries Anderson said...

I am fascinated by peoples minds on a daily basis. Sometimes I think I should keep my thoughts to myself. I used to dwell on the negative, but I'm getting better at letting go.

Donna H said...

It depends on how big something is as to how easily I can let go of it. I do try to check myself if I'm interacting with others to not take it out on them. Girl Who Reads

Roslyn Core said...

Hi. Thanks for visiting my blog. You've clearly put a lot of thought and energy into your topic - well done!

All the best with the challenge,

Ros from Fangirl Stitches

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Hilary. It is very important to keep focus on our goals.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Anita! You have a great week too! :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

I'm still working on it, Doc! It's getting more easier now though! Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

40-50 thoughts per minute! :O
That's a LOT, Princess!

Chicky Kadambari said...

Oh yes, Geets! It is crucial to be in control of our minds!

Chicky Kadambari said...

Hi Emily! I've been on that downward road for several years. This series is actually more for me than for anyone else. Thank you for stopping by :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

Same here, Shirley! There was a time when I was actually scared of bed time! 'Coz that's when all the "demons" in my mind would start to haunt me! Took me a long time to find my way out of that place.
Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

It sure is an art, Vinodini. And it requires constant vigilance to keep our thoughts in control.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Oh yes, Cathy! The wastage! I forgot to mention that! Glad you brought it up!

Whenever I get into a negative spiral of thoughts, I end up feeling worse because of all the time I wasted in that state! Like you said, we can do so many other things in that time.

Well, only 6 posts left now. And I hope you complete them, because I'm enjoying all your funny poems! :D

Thank you :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

I like happy colors, Shilpa! And my shop is full of them! I just have to lift my head and look around me! :P

Chicky Kadambari said...

And it does work, Shalini. I have tried it personally. Though I haven't yet mastered this art.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Same here, Crackerberries Anderson. I was caught in a vicious negative thought cyclone few years ago! And you're right. We don't feel like sharing our negative thoughts with anyone, because people tend to invalidate them. And that just makes us feel worse. I find it better to spend time with people who make me forget all the negativity in my mind.

Chicky Kadambari said...

That's an important point, Donna. Some things are easier to let go of than others.

Chicky Kadambari said...

Thank you, Ros! :)
And same to you!

Sreesha Divakaran said...

I admit that I had dismissed the secret theory in the past. Of late though I'm making a lot of changes, and yes, I see where all your tips apply. The most important thing would be to cut off negative people - you'd be surprised when you find out how bogged down you were cos of them.

Chicky Kadambari said...

I've been doing exactly that, Sreesha, for the last few years. And it is already helping.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts! :D

Suzy said...

I truly believe that thoughts create and you attract what you give focus too. But it is hard to maintain a constant positive state. The trick however is not to dwell in the negative thoughts for too long.

Suzy at Someday Somewhere

Chicky Kadambari said...

Exactly, Suzy. Thank you :)

Mandy 'n' Justin said...

Great suggestions. I definitely need to do better at reacting with a positive attitude to what could be "bad" situations. I'll keep your post in mind next time I find myself in one. Thank you for sharing. :)

With Love,

Rajlakshmi said...

The mind needs to be trained... Else it will conjure images and emotions that might not be so good for our well being. True, the longer you stay negative, the more it becomes a habit. These are great tips. You know what, you could easily be a wellness and lifestyle coach :D

Chicky Kadambari said...

You're welcome, Mandy 'n' Justin! I'm glad you could find this useful! thank you for visiting :)

Chicky Kadambari said...

True, Raji... and it gets difficult to break out the habit once it's formed!
LOL! At the moment, I'm only interested in coaching myself! :P
Thank you :)

Menaka Bharathi said...

Our mind is so fast and furious - just thinking of the volume of the thoughts you have specified makes me wonder how we really are able to do all these things with such a small brain.

Chicky Kadambari said...

I know, Menaka! I have wished so often that I could take my mind out and put it in the freezer for a while!

Arlee Bird said...

You really nailed the truth in this post. What we think essentially is who we are and what we become. It's a mystery to me why different people think as they do. I've always been a relatively positive thinker. Even in my darkest times of pessimism it's difficult for me to be consistently depressed or have a continually negative outlook on the future. Life is good when we make it good no matter what the situation might be.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Chicky Kadambari said...

You have a point there, Arlee. I'm one of those perpetual pessimists. At least, I have been so for the last few years. I wasn't like this earlier though. Maybe I got exposed to too much negativity for too long? I think one thing leads to another, and eventually, we get caught in a loop. Thank you for stopping by!

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