To piggyback off my article, How to be Positive, I want to talk about looking for silver linings in every seemingly negative situation.
One guaranteed way to more positive thinking is to look for the silver lining. “Every cloud has a silver lining”, after all.
For instance, you crashed and wrecked your car, and it was your fault. Now you have to pay the deductible and that’s going to hurt you financially.
The good news and silver lining is? Well, at least you didn’t hurt yourself or another person in that car crash — it could have been FAR worse. What if a child had been in the car with you and the child was hurt? Or someone else you love and they had been hurt? Or, similarly, what if you hurt someone in the car you hit, and the car accident is your fault?
Always look for silver linings in every situation that at first seems negative. Doing so will help you to feel more positive about the situation overall.
Another example: you faced a tough job interview process and were rejected for the position. Perhaps you have faced rejection after rejection through the job search process. One could easily view this situation as entirely negative.
The silver lining? That job wasn’t right for you, nor were the others. The interviewing process has also given you more information and experience to help you land the right job. Look at it as: what can I learn from this and how can I benefit from this experience so that I will be successful?
There are both negative and positive ways to view every situation you come across.
The more negative mindset tends to only view the negatives, while disregarding and neglecting any positives.
It’s like looking through the world with a lens covering your eyes, allowing a person to see just one viewpoint. That is erroneous, to see just one viewpoint in life, just as though you have a lens covering your eyes.
A way to more positive thinking and greater happiness in life is to be aware of the existence of multiple viewpoints, i.e., positives and negatives, and to emphasize the positives.
Once you start looking for silver linings, you will find that a situation may not be as horrible or dire as you once believed.
And amazingly enough? Once you look for the silver lining in a given situation, you actually will feel better, lighter and happier!
It’s not that hard, either. You can train your mind, even if you are used to more negative thinking. All you have to do is stop and think, what are the silver linings I can find in this situation? Are there any positives that I can find or see?
Sometimes, it may be really hard to find one. The suicide of a loved one, for example. Or, the death of a loved one who suffered for years with cancer or any other long-term illness. In these cases, the only silver lining is: at least they are no longer suffering and at least they are no longer in pain. While a death is still of course extremely tragic and sad and can take a long time to overcome, these kinds of thoughts can help lessen the pain of the loss.
The one case I can think of where a silver lining may be tough to find: an accidental death. This is indeed most tragic, and there really are no positives, except perhaps the person at least may have lived a good life up until then, one would hope.
However, in most cases, silver linings can be found. So, the next time you find yourself steering your mind to the far negative, look for the silver lining. This is just one pathway to greater happiness and more positive feelings in life!
Here’s to you and to your happiness!