How to Think Positive: Tips from a Yogi

Rica Lewis
How to Think Positive: Tips from a Yogi

Leave it to a yogi to master balance. But what about when we leave our mats and enter the world outside our asanas?

There’s rush hour traffic, your micromanaging boss, and those bad hair days that seem to only happen when you have somewhere fabulous to go. It’s hard enough to stay balanced with all this commotion, but it’s even more challenging to be positive.

Despite all this, we can cultivate a better attitude, even on days where the worst things are happening. Here are some yogi-approved tips on how to think positive and help you live your best yoga life.

1. Remind Yourself: Stress Has a Purpose

Although none of us want to experience stress and go swinging from our moods like Tarzan on a vine, stress actually has a purpose.

Since our brains are hardwired to take action when we find ourselves in an emotional state, stress can actually help us if we use it to propel us into action in certain circumstances. Most of us can actually do more when the fires of stress are ignited.

But let’s not dwell on that, because most people have the opposite problem with stress: keeping it in check so it doesn’t become a normal state in which we live. Yes, the adrenaline highs are good on occasion, but we cannot operate well on full blast at all times.

So how do we stay positive if we’re currently on fire? Or maybe we’ve had a meltdown and done something pretty un-zen. If that's the case...

2. Don’t Give in to Guilt

Start by talking to yourself with compassion and not criticism. Don’t give in to guilt, because stress has a purpose, remember? And you’re just a human with an imperfect ability to moderate its effects, and navigate this crazy, mixed up world in which we live.

Use a mantra to build yourself up, and bring yourself back to a place that feels positive.

  • “I am imperfect, and that’s okay.”
  • “I allow myself space to be sad, angry, hurt, even as I work toward a more positive outlook.”
  • “Joy is a journey, not a destination. ”
  • "I keep my heart open, my head light.”

Author Nischala Joy Devi says in her book The Secret Power of Yoga, “Your relationship with the Divine Consciousness deepens and lessons according to your observance and treatment of yourself and others.” Choosing compassion for yourself and others is a surefire way to stay positive -- regardless of the situation.

3. Slow Down

Much of my anxiety arises when I’m rushing, when I feel the pressure of a deadline looming, or fall into that busy-ness trap that ensnares so much of the world. The push to do, do, do can get me down -- fast. But I have learned to think positive even when piles of work litter my desk, and obligations have overtaken my calendar.

It might seem counterproductive to slow down when there’s so much chaos. But that’s the best time to breathe, to take a quick walk to reset my emotions, and to get my head in the game.

Today was one of the busiest days I’ve had in a long time. With a ton of work projects on the table, I did more in one day than I typically do in a few. Given my schedule, it might have seemed appropriate to skip my yoga workout. But I know better.

Those minutes on my mat likely saved me from a full day of tense muscles, unsavory thoughts, and mindless mistakes due to distraction and frustration.

Maintaining wellness helps me work smarter, not harder, and it helps to stay positive as well.

How do you combat stress and think positive? Leave us a comment below.