• Joan M Sotelo LMFT, LPC

The Power of Positive Thinking

Did you know that your thoughts have an incredible amount of power to dictate your mood?

We tend to think that emotions are something out of our control, they just happen… Well, that is not necessarily true. Your thoughts have a huge role in how you feel and act on a daily basis. We can say that it is what happens around us that make us feel a certain way, but in reality it is our thoughts (or perception) about what happened that dictates our feelings. Usually a life event or situation will trigger a certain thought, which will then lead to a certain feeling, and then result in us acting in a certain way. Now this pattern can either be a negative or a positive one depending on how we choose to think about the situation.



Here is how it works


Situation: Husband forgot to take out the trash and didn’t help with chores today.

Thoughts: He is so inconsiderate, doesn’t think about me and doesn’t care!

Feelings: Angry, frustrated, alone, unimportant, hurt…

Actions: Give the silent treatment or yell at him and tell him how inconsiderate he is for forgetting.


Now take the same situations and change your thoughts to something positive:


Situation: Husband forgot to take out the trash and didn’t help with chores today.

Thoughts: It’s ok, I know he cares and probably has a lot of things in his mind.

Feelings: Compassion, understanding, patience…

Actions: Calmly reminding him that you really want his help and it’s important to you.


Here is another example


Situation: You didn’t get the results you were hoping for.

Thoughts: I’m a failure, I’m not good enough, what’s the point!

Feelings: Angry, frustrated, disappointed, sad, disillusioned…

Actions: Give up, beat yourself up with negative self talk, isolate yourself, stop trying.


Now take the same situations and change your thoughts to something positive:


Situation: You didn’t get the results you were hoping for.

Thoughts: I can move forward, learn from this experience, and try again.

Feelings: Motivated, at peace, encouraged.

Actions: Start to figure out ways to try again and be successful at your goal.


Try it yourself! Get a piece of paper and make a triangle. Write out your immediate thoughts about a situation. Then identify how those thoughts made you feel. Then remember how those feelings led you to act in a certain way. Now with the same situation write out a more positive way of thinking about it and see how your emotions and actions change for the better. If you are up for a challenge write down all the negative thoughts that you have in one day. At the end of the day go through these thoughts and try to come up with one or two positive alternative thoughts for each negative thought you had. As you practice positive thinking you will notice that your overall mood will begin to change. You will notice a reduction in anxiety, stress, anger, sadness; and an overall improvement in joy, peace, and motivation.


You do not have to be a victim to your circumstances! We have the power to choose how we feel, act, and think about any given circumstance in our lives. Though there may be a surge of immediate negative thoughts that flood your mind, you can choose to not let them linger and change them to positive thoughts. Use the power of positive thinking to move you in the right direction!



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Sugar Land TX 77477

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