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I’ve decided that I’ve been in a darker place than I’d like to be lately. My fears are controlling me. They are dictating how I feel and what I do. So I’m forcing myself out of this black hole. I want the sunshine on my face again. I want to feel warmth again. I want to see the hope again. I’ve been numb and I want to feel again.

I still have the same fears that I’ve had since day one and I suppose its time I really address them and make some decisions.

For now, I’m starting with changing my mindset. I was doing well with this for awhile. Then allowed myself to be sucked in by my fears. So, I’m back to the starting line. I found the following information on http://sooniwill.be/happier/positive-thinking-exercises/

Be Grateful

Gratitude requires you to focus on everything good in your life. You can start out by keeping a gratitude journal and writing down a few things you’re grateful for every day. This allows you to take control of your thought patterns and turn them in a different direction. Instead of thinking about that jerk who cut you off on the way home, you think what a great meal you had. Which do you think is more likely to make you happy?

Practicing gratitude has a cumulative effect that makes you happier over time. It physically rewires your brain to stop negative thought patterns. When you’re grateful, you’re able to see beyond the defeatist perspective and take a more positive approach in handling whatever setbacks you encounter. This is, in my opinion, one of the most effective positive thinking exercises you can do.

Forgive and Apologize

Making peace with your past has a way of clearing the mind. Although forgiving is invariably a hard thing to do — especially when you’ve been seriously hurt — it’s important to remember that life isn’t a volleyball match. You get no additional points for being “right” or holding a grudge. In the end, only two things matter: our health and our relationships, and both benefit when you can let go of the past.

Remember that we all make errors from time to time and it’s only human to do so. Every action a person takes seems like the right thing to do at the time, and other people — just like you — are trying to find their little slice of happiness. Sometimes others get hurt along the way, and it’s best to simply acknowledge it, mend the relationship, and do your best to move on.

Embrace Change

Some people cling to their misery simply because they fear change. They become attached to their story: “I’m the guy who developed a drinking problem because his wife cheated on him,” or “I’ve been overweight my whole life and I’d rather have someone accept me for who I am, than get in shape.”

While change is often difficult at first, it’s the only way we grow and develop more effective ways of thinking. These stories exist only in your own mind; think about the people you know, and then count how many people you identify as “The person who ________.”

It’s just not what we do; we take a broader view of people than that. And taking a broader view of yourself is the way you embrace change. Stop getting caught up in your own story and work toward a brighter future.

Find The Gift

This positive thinking exercise is recommended by many psychologists and authors (including Dr. Robert Glover and Olivia Fox Cabane). Whenever you have a bad experience, turn it around by imagining that it’s actually a good thing that it happened to you.

Ask yourself: “What if it was a gift?”

  • Late for work? What if it was a gift? Maybe you avoided a deadly car crash as a result.
  • Boyfriend cheated on you? What if it was a gift? Maybe now you’ll have the opportunity to meet the perfect guy.
  • Diagnosed with an illness? What if it was a gift? Maybe it brings you closer to your family and teaches you to appreciate what you do have.

Sure… sometimes it’s a stretch. But it’s your life, and you can draw any conclusion you want. There are no right or wrong answers.

Here’s why: life is full of infinite possibility, and there’s no way to know if any one event was the best — or worst — possible outcome. You’ll never know if it was a good thing you were late for work, so you might as well assume it was for the best.

A study at Stanford backs this up; they found that changing beliefs was easier and more effective than suppressing the emotion.

So make a habit of doing this; after a while it will become second nature to ask, “What if this is a gift?”

Positive Thinking Exercises: Summary

More often than not, the most practical solutions are actually the simplest ones. Gratitude, change, and forgiveness are highly effective positive thinking exercises that will help you conquer negativity. Make a habit of these, and you’re on your way to a brighter future and wider emotional spectrum.