Self-help: The power of the mind and positivity


Self-help expert Karen Northshield offers advice on positive thinking.

“The mind is a flexible mirror, adjust it to see a better world.”
Amit Ray

There are many authors who write on the subject of positive thinking and the power of the mind. Stephen Richards, author on mind power and cosmic order, claims: “You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.” To use an analogy, the unconscious mind is to the conscious mind as the dog is to his master.

Both the unconscious mind and the dog can be tamed. Similarly, both the unconscious mind and the dog can be masters. Put differently, either you take your dog for a walk or the dog takes you for one. We are either in command of our thoughts or we let them rule (ruin) our

Do you know someone who is almost always happy, smiling and positive? On the contrary, do you know people who are negative complain and are rarely happy? Both of these emotional and mental ways of behaving are part of human nature. We can either let our emotions take over our mental state or we can decide to be happy and make the best of every situation. Richards reminds us that we are ultimately responsible for our thoughts and circumstances when he states that “our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes”. The question is, who controls your mind and how do you gain a positive outlook on life?

Just like yawning or laughter can be contagious, so are the thought patterns of the mind. Positive thinking is infectious. But so is negative thinking. It is more addictive to be around positive people than those who are negative. Negative thoughts, words and attitudes are like poison. They create negative and unhappy feelings, moods and behaviour which can lead to negative states such as failure, frustration and disappointment.

Self-help positivityUltimately, we attract and are attracted to people who resemble us. Most of our thoughts are done in an automatic manner. We are often not aware of our thoughts let alone how we integrate them in our minds. Usually, we automatically accept these thoughts, letting them shape our actions, behaviour and decisions. It can become harmful when negative thoughts sink into our mind and affect to the extent that they rule our lives. There are some tricks and processes taught in psychology such as NLP (neurolinguistic programming) that deal with positive thinking and the power of the mind.

It all starts by being aware of your thought process and believing that you can control your
thoughts. By becoming aware of your thought process and by acknowledging that you can be the resource of your thoughts, you can turn a negative thought into a positive outcome. Any time a negative thought appears, replace it with a constructive thought and keep doing this until you see your situation under a more positive light. Persistence will prevail. Just as an athlete works on his skills and strength, engaging the mind can lead to mental strength and a positive thought process. Going back to the dog-master analogy, domesticating a pet animal is like raising a child. It takes patience and maturity, but with time and diligence the dog just like the child can be become obedient and disciplined. You wouldn’t want your child to run around the house making constant messes just like you would rather your dog tended to his needs outdoors.

To sum up, don’t make excuses or wait for life to be what you expect it to be. Start today, start small and enjoy each step as you create it. Read up on the topic, attend courses and lectures and surround yourself with people who have a positive outlook on life and who can have a good influence on you. Constructive and lasting changes take time but by taming the mind and cultivating mental strength, positive thoughts will emerge, irrespective of the difficulties and challenges we face.

To end with a statement by Richards: “Never allow your mind to wander untamed like a wild animal. Tame your mind with consistent focus on your goals and desires.”