One dog is positive, happy, optimistic, and hopeful. The other dog is negative, mad, sad, pessimistic, and fearful. These two dogs often fight inside us but guess who wins the fight?
The dog who wins is the one you feed the most.
You have to feed the positive dog inside you and starve the negative dog. The more you feed the positive dog, the more it grows. The more you starve the negative dog, the more it shrinks and weakens. You become the dog you feed, so feed the positive dog and your big problems will give way to big blessings and a bright future.
The Benefits of Being Positive
The research is clear.
It really does pay to be positive. Positivity makes us happier and healthier. It helps us live longer and improves our relationships. It makes us better leaders and leads to greater success. Being positive is not just a nice way to live. It’s the best way to live. Best of all, the research doesn’t just apply to humans. It also applies to dogs because, as everyone knows, dogs have thoughts and feel emotions, too.
Simple as a Smile
Too often we wait for something in life to make us smile. We wait until we feel positive and a smile happens. But you don’t have to wait to feel positive enough for a smile to happen. You can generate a positive feeling by smiling. Your smile can be the source of your positivity, not just the result of it
When you think of smiling remember this: Waiting for something to make you smile is like sitting in a dark room waiting for someone to turn on the light switch. But making yourself smile is like turning on a light switch inside you. You have the power to make yourself feel good. In fact, when you smile you produce more serotonin in your brain—serotonin is an antidepressant that makes you feel happier and more positive.
Take a Thank-You Walk
While you are walking you just think of all the things that you are thankful for. You think of all the positive things about your life.
You don’t want to start your day thinking about what you don’t have and don’t like. That only feeds the negative dog. You want to start your day thinking about what is good in your life, what you are thankful for, what you appreciate.
Tell Yourself Positive Stories
Can we change our story? Of course, we can.
The great news is that you can change your story anytime you want from a negative story to a positive story. If you are living a drama then you can decide to change it to an adventure. If you are living a horror story you can decide to change it to an inspirational tale. Think about it: In the horror story and inspirational tale, the main character gets knocked down. In the drama the victim stays down, but in the inspirational tale the victim becomes a hero, gets back up, and armed with optimism and belief in a positive future, takes the actions necessary to create it.
Get to instead of Have to
humans say the words have to all the time. If you hear them talk they say I have to take the dog for a walk or I have to go to work or I have to pick up the kids.
You don’t have to do anything. You get to take your dog for a walk. You get to rub his belly. You get to go to a job while so many are unemployed. You get to pick up your children in your car, because you should be thankful that you have children.
Changing two words really makes a difference. Changing just two words can change your mind-set and approach. When you change have to to get to you change a complaining voice to an appreciative heart.
Blessed instead of Stressed
When we are stressed we activate the part of our brain associated with stress and fear and this causes us to focus on our survival. We become very territorial and our primary concern becomes our own safety. Instead of making new friends and developing positive relationships we see others as threats and we go into fighting-angry dog mode. This is a good thing if we are being threatened by a mean dog or human, but most of the time this is not the case and so our stress more often hurts us than helps us.
The good news is that there is an antidote to stress and it is to feel blessed. When you feel blessed you can’t feel stressed. When you are thankful you activate the part of your brain associated with positive emotions. You think more clearly, make better decisions and you feel better about yourself and everything in your life.
While it may not be possible to practice gratitude all the time, remember that anytime you are feeling stressed you can turn it around by feeling blessed. When you count your blessings you’ll reduce your stressings.
Challenges or Opportunities
No one goes through life untested. We will all face challenges in our lives. But we have a choice. We can allow these challenges to destroy us or they can make us stronger—and it is our perspective that decides the outcome. We can choose to see adversity as just a challenge or as an opportunity that helps us learn, improve, and grow.
Researchers studied 500 humans in Britain who seemed to have it all—wealth, success, happiness. The researchers were surprised to learn that these very successful people all had bad things happen to them like everyone else. However, one key characteristic they all possessed was that they turned bad events into good outcomes. While they were in the midst of their challenges they looked for the opportunity and they turned misfortune into fortune.
How do I do turn challenges into opportunities? It’s as simple as asking yourself a few questions. You ask: What can I learn from this experience? How can I grow from it? What do I do now?
Positive Energy is Contagious
Both positive energy and negative energy are contagious.
Whatever you are thinking and feeling you are projecting to others and impacting them. That’s why positivity is not just about you. It’s about everyone around you. If you are negative, you impact others in a negative way. If you are positive, you impact them in a positive way. That’s why the decision to be positive is so important.
The simple fact is that each day you have a choice. You can be a germ and infect people with your negative energy, or you can be a big dose of vitamin C and infuse them with your positive energy. Either way, you are influencing people, so it’s important to choose to influence people in a positive way
Everyone intuitively knows these things, but because of the daily grind of life and the stress and challenges we face, we forget the simple things we know. We forget that simple is powerful. We forget the powerful impact of a simple smile. We forget the transformative effect our laughter has on others. We forget the influence our positivity has on the world.
That’s why you need to remember that your positivity not only changes the way you feel, but also impacts how others feel and the actions of others. Your positive energy can and does change the world one person at a time.