Ultimate Guide to Positive Thinking
Positive Thinking Webinar with Swami Sitaramananda
Yoga Farm DirectorSwami Sitaramananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda and acharya of the US West Coast centers and Ashram. Swamiji is also the acharya of the Sivananda mission in Asia, especially in Vietnam, where she hails from.
Thinking positively implies understanding what thought power is and how to master thought and how to practice thought transformation.
Understand Everything as Opportunity for Growth
Positive thinking is understanding that everything is an opportunity for growth.
Swami Sivananda taught that “Life is a great opportunity provided by the Lord for His children to evolve into Himself…The great central aim in life is the conscious realization of our Oneness with God.“
This means that to turn a negative thought and feeling around, we need to consciously see things from the point of view of our Oneness with God, and not from our separate individual points of view.
Source of Wisdom
Positive thinking is connection to the Source of wisdom within.
“There is a Power, an Energy, which each person can tap into if he knows it is available. This Force inspires, encourages, reinforces and gives strength to those who seek to grow in a positive direction.”
– Swami Vishnudevananda
We live in a multidimensional universe. We experience a subtle reality of thought, and at the same time experience the gross body and the gross universe. What we think upon, is what we become.
Thought is Subtle
Thought is a subtle force. Thought can build and it can destroy. We all need to learn to manipulate these subtle forces in our minds for our own progress and well being. Negative thinking can be destructive and bring about depression, stress, illness, and friction.
Here is a blog post on transforming negative emotions.
Thought Vibrates at Different Wavelengths
Thought is an energy. Thought is prana. Thoughts are not of equal value. Some thoughts are of higher vibration and some of lower vibration.
Our duty is to increase our vibratory wavelength to the maximum, by purifying our mind through appropriate methods of Yoga. If our energy is high, our thought will be of a higher frequency automatically.
Thoughts are all-pervasive. We are at all times swimming in an ocean of thoughts. This article is on how to conserve prana.
Thought Atmosphere Influences
The energy of a place or a thought atmosphere is composed of all the thoughts generated there for a very long time. It is composed of similar dominant thought.
For example, financial districts of big cities generate thoughts of greed, shopping centers radiate thoughts of “Buy! Buy!”, a red light district generates thoughts of lust, and some dangerous neighborhoods generate thoughts of fear.
Keep your mind in a healthy environment and choose your company. If you take a bath in dirty, filthy waters, you will come out dirty and filthy. If you swim in an ocean of unidentified negative thoughts, you will pick up the energy of the place like picking up a virus or flu. Find out more on how to keep the mind elevated.
We are like Radio Transmitters and Receivers
We tune to different thought wavelengths, transmitting thoughts and receiving thoughts of the same nature as our own.
Our bodies and minds are like radios. Through yoga, we keep them strong so we can receive and transmit powerful vibrations.
Here are some tips on dealing with stress.
Help others by Maintaining Positive Thoughts
One student of a Positive thinking course said to me: “Before, if my husband is down, and I feel okay, I have to lower my vibration and happiness in order to be at the same wavelength as him. Now, when he is not happy, I remain positive and he becomes positive like me.”
Positive Thoughts have a high vibration
Positive thought wavelengths are more difficult to get because they take more prana.
Negative thought wavelengths are easier to produce because they take less effort.
That is why it is easier to be negative than positive as you can just relax and complain.
The 5 Points of Yoga bring back Positivity
1. Asanas – Yoga Postures help move the prana. The most important energetic benefit of asana practice is the circulation of the flow of prana; through moving the prana, we can unblock mental blockages and restore positivity.
To do so, the sequence of the asanas needs to be respected, and proper concentration and relaxation in between postures should be observed. This article is and in depth explanation on how hatha yoga heals.
Recharge the Battery for Positive Thinking
2. Proper Breathing or Pranayama balances and supplies new energy. Do regular breathing exercises such as abdominal yogic breath and alternate breathing to recharge and balance the two hemispheres of the brain.
Imbalanced personality such as too much right brain thinking (emotional) or left brain thinking(rational) brings about negativity. When both flows of breath through both nostrils are balanced, you will experience well being and centeredness. This article goes in depth on the topic of understanding our prana and what to do with it.
We should not only do pranayama, but also make wise choices that will help us increase, conserve, balance and channel our prana.
Spending time in retreat, limiting outgoing senses and too much activity, and offering selfless service are some ways to rekindle your energy and positivity.
Conscious Relaxation removes Stress
Proper Relaxation includes physical relaxation, when there is no tension in the body, mental relaxation, when the mind is concentrated on something positive–such as the breath–and also spiritual relaxation, when one develops faith and knowledge .
The main causes of stress are failure to adapt, lack of prana, and existential unresolved questions about life, death, and our nature and purpose. This article explains in depth the science of relaxation.
Relaxation allows you to Recharge and go deep inside
- Physical letting go brings awareness that you are not the body
- It frees your mind from concerns and anxieties.
- It helps you get in touch with your inner peace
This article gives relaxation techniques to release tension and stress
Proper Diet and Lifestyle Lifts you up
Proper diet includes taking wholesome and organic food at regular intervals that is easily digestible and full of life force. Avoid substances like drugs, cigarettes, and intoxicants, which clog the energy channels and create damage to your energy system.
An unwholesome diet contributes to an unsteady, distracted and weak state of mind.
Meditation Calms, Connects, and brings Positive Thinking
Meditation recharges and purifies thoughts. In the meditative, silent mind, you feel reconnected with your purpose and God.
Reserve a set time for your meditation practice. Let go of the past, present, future, and all ideas who you are and what you are doing. Practice meditation without expectation, fear or judgment.
To prepare for meditation, keep the mind concentrated and live a simple life. Read about what is yoga meditation.
This articles gives guidance on how to meditate for beginners.
What you think is what you become
You create your destiny through your thoughts. You attract thoughts to you of a similar nature and repel other thoughts.
Think “strong”, and you will become strong. Think “weak”, and you will become weak.
Take Responsibility for your Thoughts
As much as you do not throw trash around and pollute the environment, do not throw negative thoughts around and pollute the thought atmosphere. You are not a victim. Know that you can create a sustainable positive life for yourself by practicing Yoga and meditation.
This practice will wake you up, calm you down and make you realize your blessings!
Here is an article on creating positive health.
Positive Thinking is Now!
Do not wait for an ideal situation to come for you to become positive. Let go of expectations and preconceived ideas about yourself and others.
Learn to turn all situations into blessings and realize that all is perfect and no one is to blame!
Life brings you exactly what you need, not what you desire.
You are the Prime Victim
Negative thoughts afflict you, the thinker first, as they drain your prana (energy), separate you from others, occupy your consciousness and prevent you from enjoying the peace of your soul.
They make you sick and keep you in a sort of prison of your own negativity.
This articles talks about how to progress towards Peace of Mind.
Take Care of the Problem Immediately
You can be your own doctor or paramedic.
Thought is fast, and negative thoughts can be triggered without warning.
Therefore, you need to take care of it yourself, immediately, like an emergency.
This articles talks about the power of here and now.
Techniques of Positive Thinking
There are different methods to deal with any negative situation or thought. Just like in a first-aid kit of an emergency doctor or paramedic, you have different tools or medicines to respond to any emergency.
- Try different things the best you can.
- Allow yourself to explore alternatives and different attitudes.
- Do not get stuck in one way of reacting.
Your habitual way of reacting has become your personality and identity.
Allow yourself to explore other ways. This is an opportunity to expand your horizons and your knowledge of yourself.
Technique Number 1 – Replace a negative thought with its opposite thought
This is a Raja Yoga technique. Examples of how to change our thoughts are:
- Fear change to Courage
- Anger change to Non-attachment
- Hatred change to Love
- Attachment change to Detachment
- Grief change to acceptance
- Desire change to contentment
Here is an article on 10 ways to overcome negative emotions.
Technique 2 – Be Indifferent to Negative Thoughts
This is a meditation technique.
The moment the thought appears, observe it with detachment and let it go.
Do not dwell on it or identify with it.
This article talks about why we need to meditate and the benefits.
Technique Number 3 – Sublimation
Sublimation means to use up the energy for something positive or higher. Turn negative thoughts into less harmful thoughts.
Channel your thoughts, or In other words, refocus and redirect the energy.
Our blog category on Karma yoga gives insights on how to do this.
Technique 4 – Positive Visualization
- Have a mental image of yourself endowed with the positive quality you seek.
- Keep visualizing the virtue you seek in a symbolic image.
- Example: Siva the meditator and a detached personality, Lakshmi the Goddess of Love and prosperity, Saraswati the Goddess of Knowledge and Wisdom, Ganesha the remover of obstacles.
You can learn more in our teachings on Bhakti Yoga.
Technique Number 5 – Positive Self Affirmation
Like taking regular doses of medicine or vitamins to prevent the re-occurrence of habitual thoughts, consciously repeat the opposite thought to yourself.
“I am becoming better and better everyday,
in every way”
– Swami Sivananda
This article has 17 affirmations that one can use.
Technique 6 – Concentration Technique
Concentration brings calmness and clarity.
Focus the mind on positive thoughts only.
Keep the mind engaged at all times. A distracted mind is a source of negativity.
Swami Sivananda said that “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”
Technique Number 7 – Maintain a Cheerful Attitude
Do not take yourself so seriously.
If you can laugh at yourself, the worst is over. Keep having a sense of humor.
This article gives guidance on finding the guru and how to turn within.
Technique 8 – Change one thought at a time
Be careful of your impatience and the tendency to want to change everything at once. It might lead to setbacks and disappointment.
Change one thought at a time and go on with business as usual.
Technique Number 9 – Invite Positive thoughts and their friends
Beware that negative thoughts never come alone.
One negative thought allowed in will invite many friends of the same nature to bring you down.
In the same way, one positive thought will bring a host of friends to uplift you.
This blog post is on the topic that your mind is your best friend or worst enemy.
Karma Yoga Formula
- Karma Yoga means to get out of yourself and serve someone
- It is not about me, I am here to serve
- I am doing my duty, I do the best I can
- I offer the results of my actions to God. I am only the instrument.
“The best way to find yourself is lose yourself in the service of others”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Bhakti Yoga Formula
In Bhakti Yoga we say –
- “Everything happens all the time for the best.”
- “There is always a good reason for things to happen the way they do.”
- “It is the doing of the Divine Mother, she is perfect and beautiful.”
- “Let go, let God.”
- “It is not my will, it is God’s will, I surrender to God’s will.”
This article talks about how emotions works.
We are One
There is no “other”. Everybody is my own Self.
- “I am in you and you are in me. “
- “I see my own self in you.”
- “I am what I think is separated from me.”
- “I am like the drop in the ocean that is identical with the ocean itself.”
- “I am your own Self.”
- “Love thy Neighbor as thyself.”
- “Names are Many, but God is One.”
- “Paths are many but Truth is One.”
- “I am Sat Chit Ananda – Existence Absolute, Knowledge Absolute, Bliss Absolute. “
This article talks about how to be aware of that Self in all beings.
I am Free
“Real freedom is freedom from the bonds of karma, from egoism and desires, from thoughts, likes and dislikes. Real freedom is identification with the supreme Self. “
– Swami Sivananda
This pages explains what is true freedom.
Everything is all the time Perfect
- May the whole world attain Peace and Harmony!
- Asato Ma Satgamaya Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya – Mrityor Ma Amritam Gamaya
- Om Purnam Adam, Purnam Idam Purnat, Purnamudachyate
- Purnasya Purnamadaya Purnameva Vashishyate
- Om Shanti Shanti Shanti