Developing Positive Thinking is easier to do when life is going smoothly. You can see all around you evidence of God’s blessings. It’s a snap of the fingers to say, “My job is going well. I have a happy marriage and family. My kids are great, and my health is good. I feel good about me, others, and the world. God is great and He is good.”
Good parents educate and teach their children to see the world in a positive way even if things go bad. They help children to store positive messages in their heads to use when times are tough. They do this by repetition and by sharing messages they were given. Examples are: “Don’t let any one tell you you’re no good. You are a Smith and the Smiths are outstanding people.” Or in bad times, the message is given: “Tomorrow is another day. You are resourceful. You can make it happen. I believe in you.”
It becomes more difficult to practice positive thinking when you suffer from depression or anxiety. If there is a chemical imbalance, you have to fight that as well. Serotonin helps the brain feel good. If you are low in that chemical, it can alter how you see the world and feel about it.
If you come from an abusive family or a neglectful one, you were probably never given positive messages to store inside your brain. Chances are the messages you received from your parents were: “You’re no good. You can’t do any thing right. You will always be a failure.” These are internalized in childhood and are pulled out later in life to explain their world and how they see others relating to them. As adults, they have to learn new messages and get affirming feedback from others about themselves. This presents an extra hurdle in developing positive thinking.
God tells us we are to develop positive thinking by focusing on the positive things in our lives instead of the negative. Even when times get hard, He teaches us to focus on having faith in Him, relying on Him to help us, and to train our minds to think differently about life and other people. He often tells us that tomorrow is another day filled with many possibilities. He makes it clear that we have a choice, and that we have to work on having a better attitude, a better perspective on Life. He didn’t tell us it would be easy. He tells us, it will be hard.