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I climbed up the giant tree, with rope ladders strapped to its side, and step by step, my heart beating so fast, I moved higher and higher to my impending and mind altering moment! The challenge had been set and there was no backing down now!

We are all faced, at one time or another in our life, with a decision or a challenge that we know will either take us higher, or set us on a path to just let things be and just drift along!

It’s in those moments of major decision that our lives can change. However for many people, when faced with that option of should I or shouldn’t I, that’s when the unknown and scary monster rears its ugly head! Much like a train that travels into the mist or a path that goes on and disappears into the distance!

So how do you keep a positive attitude to all of life’s ups and downs and lead a better and more fulfilling life? One major way is to maintain a positive mindset!

The “power of positive thinking” is a popular concept, and sometimes it can feel a little cliché. But the physical and mental benefits of positive thinking have been demonstrated by multiple scientific studies. Positive thinking can give you more confidence, improve your mood, and even reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as hypertension, depression and other stress-related disorders.

All this sounds great, but what does the “power of positive thinking” really mean?

You can define positive thinking as positive imagery, positive self-talk or general optimism, but these are all still general, ambiguous concepts. If you want to be effective in thinking and being more positive, you’ll need concrete examples to help you through the process.

Here are a few examples to bring about that positive vibe!

1. Start the day with positive affirmations.

How you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Have you ever woken up late, panicked, and then felt like nothing good happened the rest of the day? This is likely because you started out the day with a negative emotion and a pessimistic view that carried into every other event you experienced.

Try talking to yourself in the mirror, even if you feel silly, with statements like, “Today will be a good day” or “I’m going to be awesome today.” You’ll be amazed how much your day improves!

2. Focus on the good things, however small.

Almost invariably, you’re going to encounter obstacles throughout the day — there’s no such thing as a perfect day. When you encounter such a challenge, focus on the benefits, no matter how slight or unimportant they seem.

3. Find humour in bad situations.

Allow yourself to experience humour in even the darkest or most trying situations. Remind yourself that this situation will probably make for a good story later and try to crack a joke about it.

I have always had a great sense of humour, maybe it comes from being Scottish, or maybe it was because all my aunts and uncles used to be great comedians! Laughter can lift you to a higher place and brings around many positive benefits!

4. Turn failures into lessons.

You aren’t perfect, but then who is? You’re going to make mistakes and experience failure in multiple contexts, at multiple jobs and with multiple people. Instead of focusing on how you failed, think about what you’re going to do next time and make it better!

In my work as a hypnotherapist, there have been times when certain procedures and things, just failed in a big way! But I was able to redefine them and retune them and next time they just worked so much better! Persistence and determination are great qualities to have!

5. Learn to be present in everything you do.

When you become present and really engaged in the now, your whole life will become so much easier and you will realize how your problems will start to disappear, little by little.

If you get too caught up in your mind, if you think too much about what happened in the past and about what may happen in the future, you will create a great deal of pain and suffering, and the energy you will generate will be toxic, not only for yourself but also for those around you, because you see, energy is contagious.

So what was the mind altering challenge that I experienced after climbing that giant tree? Well it was the first time, as a 15 year old, that I experienced the zip wire, and travelling down the 400 metres course at light warp speed! But I loved it all!!