Positive thinking isn't something we're born knowing how to do. As we grow into adults, we often learn to expect negative outcomes as a means of protection. As Alisa Bowman, YourTango Expert & author of Project: Happily Ever After, says below: both negative and positive thinking are self-fulfilling prophecies. In relationships, it's easy to fall into a routine of negative expectations, but if it's a positive outcome we're after, it's time to ditch the negative and start practicing positive thinking.
Being positive takes practice.
First, identify the dominant theme of your negative thoughts. For example, "men/women don't respect me," "I am not lovable," "nothing is ever good enough," etc. You will notice when your partner or love interest does something you dislike such as being distant, the theme emerges. You may immediately hear a flood of thinking about not being good enough, which leads to emotions and actions that create disharmony in the relationship.
More from YourTango: What Guys Really Think Of Texting
To stop the pattern, create new supportive beliefs such as "I am good enough," "I am smart," etc. and find a way to get these new ideas to get into your subconscious. 6 Dead-End Dating Patterns—And How To Change Them
Daily hypnosis or meditation can get you to naturally think more positive. You will notice people and events that mirror your new supportive thoughts. If your partner or new love interest seems distant, you won't personalize their actions. You won't project neediness or insecurities, but self-love and joy. If you are single, you will attract more loving partners. If you are married, your partner will seem to magically appreciate you more. All great relationships are formed from the inside out.
—Debi Berndt, Therapist/Coach
What's the point of a positive outlook, anyway?
Think about who you would rather spend time with—the Dali Lama or Bill O' Reilly? I'm guessing, regardless of your religion—it's the Dali Lama, and it's because he's so soothing, calm, easy going and happy. Happy people are contagious. So are sad people. What contagion would you rather catch? For me, it's happiness.
More from YourTango: Do Women Expect Too Much From Men?
Happy people cause us to feel good about them and about ourselves. They also allow us to feel safe. They create a sense of hope and opportunity. They instill confidence. Think about who you would trust for advice. Would you trust a sulky sad person or a bright happy one? You'd trust the happy person because the happy person seems to have stumbled over some elusive secret.
Study after study has linked positive thinking with happiness and peace of mind. These studies have been done all over the world and on all types of people. They've been conducted by psychologists on people who struggle with depression. They've been conducted by researchers on Buddhist monks who cultivate a happy state of mind as part of their religious practice. The results are all quite consistent—the regular practice of positive thinking leads to happiness and peace of mind.