I realized that I have been practising positive thinking since I was an innocent kampong girl. I appreciate that my behaviour and the way I think is actually something big in making a successful person. “I can do it” has always been my motto.
I remember that I always wanted to be the top of the class, the best athlete in our school team and the best child in my family. Alhamdulillah, so far I have achieved and done everything that I’ve ever wanted. I am living my life to the fullest with the power of positive thinking.
The Qur’an has a lot to contribute towards positive thinking. The positive thinking style can be divided into four aspects:
- Not to lose hope in Allah’s mercy. Examples: (Yusuf: 87); (Az-Zumar: 53); (Ali Imran : 139).
- To have hope and trust in Allah’s guidance and help. Examples: (Ali Imran: 154); (At-Talaaq:3)
- The concept of reliance (Tawakkal) upon Allah. Examples: (Al-Maaidah: 23); (Ali Imran: 159).
- The concept of fate (al-Qadaa’ and al-Qadar) if taken in its correct interpretation by making the required effort and then submitting to Allah’s will. Examples: (Al-Furqaan: 2); (Al-Hadid: 22-23).
Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.
If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.
You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice.
9 tips to practice positive thinking
- Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it’s work, your daily commute or a relationship, for example. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
- Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
- Be open to humour. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humour in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. Learn to manage stress.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
- Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.
- Reliance and trust in Allah. Look to our greatest role models for encouragement, we need to put our trust in Allah 100 per cent, knowing that nothing can happen except by HIS will.
- Be enemy with fear. Fear of failure or success is the biggest and main obstacle that holds people back, and as a result we end up sabotaging ourselves unconsciously, at the same time hiding our self-esteem. There are no regrets except lessons to learn. Fear throws us off balance, giving us a sense of insecurity and uncertainty. You need to become fearless, just feel the fear and do it anyway. Whenever you walk through fear, you overcome an inner barrier that has held you back and you can now move on to new territory. We will never exactly welcome fear, but we can learn to accept it as part of change. See your fear as an opportunity to grow and play to your strengths.
- Self-Indulged powerful statements of positive affirmation. Affirmations are positive statements that you speak out loud when you need encouragement. They are always formatted to accentuate the positive as if the desired results have already been achieved. So, if you are being held back by self-limiting belief that you’ll never be able to memorise the Qur’an for example, you could start saying these affirmations:
- So far Allah is pleased with me; I am careless what anyone else thinks!
- No matter what happens, I can handle it
- Just do it! Face it head on!
- Allah will not burden the shoulder of HIS slave with what he cannot bear
- Allah knows I can handle it and that’s why HE has given me this test!
- I deserve the success that has come into my life.
Choose 3 top power statements that serve you, write them down and place them where you can see them always. If you repeat your affirmations several times in the morning, whenever you have spare time during the day, and again before you go to bed, you will be conditioning your self-conscious mind to start the process of making you successful by removing the inner chatter and barriers that are holding you back.
If you tend to have a negative outlook, don’t expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice and doa, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you. Plus, when you share your positive mood and positive experience, both you and those around you enjoy an emotional boost.
Practising positive self-talk will improve your outlook. When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.
“Our Lord, give us in this world [that which is] good and in the Hereafter [that which is] good and protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Al-Baqarah: 201)