People are tested for their patience, tolerance, adaptability, expressive consistent good nature. They will be riled by people who are very dominating, putdown by people who tend to be arrogant, teased by people for sake of fun, who are there just to inflict pain on others. Sensitive people take the brunt of all these characters who are up to making their lives miserable, because they are meek and allow others to tread on them as if they are doormats. Life is never an easy, comfortable one, as it comes, with good and bad, sad and happiness, give and take, expectations and acceptances, failures and challenges, life’s journey is all about how one balances everything as it comes, happens.  If you see achievers in life they, have all gone or done things out of their comfort zone and nothing could be achieved in cosy way.

Being emotional never serves its purpose. As when important decision is made in confusion, high-strung emotion, this will be always regretful later. When the going is easy, you don’t have to be concerned, when it gets tougher that’s when how one handles situations matters. Conquering challenge and failure is essential to one’s life. One can learn to cultivate that resilience by training their brain to stay POSITIVE, when times are tough. People tend to have cognitive bias toward their failures and toward negativity. Our brains are more likely to seek out negative information and store it more quickly to memory. Of course, that bias is not always bad. Acknowledging problems and facing failures can lead us to better solutions. But too often, we go overboard, beat ourselves up for our failures or let ourselves up for our failures or let ourselves dwell in negative.

Humans nature by itself is, they can conveniently forget or not register in their minds all good and positive things, while they can remember one negative thing on a scale of 1-10, one negative thing or event gets fixed in the mind easily and would never leave the mind, when its stuck, out of its own volition. By consciously increasing our focus on the positive, we can start to even the balance. We find a happy medium where we can address failures and challenges without letting them get us down, leaving us more motivated, productive and to succeed.

There are three tips to help train your brain to STAY POSITIVE,

  1. EXPRESS GRATITUDE, Negative events loom large unless you consciously balance them out. When one is faced with challenges, it’s important to take stock of what’s going well and good. Thinking about the good in your life can help balance that bias, giving your brain the extra time it needs to register and remember a positive event. To help your brain store positive events, reflect on what one is grateful for and why? At least once a week. Write down one’s blessings, such as the opportunity to pursue a career you love or a family that supports you. If one prefers this to be a daily habit, then keep a nightly log of good things that happened that day and try to keep it very short, as too much of hammering gratitude, then it would turn out to be an another mundane task.

  1. REPEAT POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS, When one tends to hear a message often, the more is the possibility or likeliness they would believe it. The same goes for messages about who you are and what you are capable of doing. By repeating positive affirmations with conviction several times each morning, you are training your brain to believe them. Over time you will start to internalise them. Repeat your affirmations silently if you feel self-conscious.

For an example, choose two or three affirmations that represent your values, goals such as “I can handle whatever comes my way, there is plenty of time, or I am getting better every day”. This repetition will influence the way you interpret negative events, making you more resilient, especially if you are pre disposed to negative thinking this can be extremely effective.   

  1. CHALLENGE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, Each time a negative thought arises, we have to choose how we respond. If left to our own devices, we tend to dwell on it more than what is required. Our brains home in on negative events so they seem much bigger and more significant than they are. To combat that, start by imagining the thought as separate from oneself, as something one can observe and deconstruct. Get in the habit of distancing yourself instead of dwelling.

Next, challenge negative thoughts that are unfairly self-deprecating. For an example, if a business venture does not get the expected business that one hoped, then one might think that they are a failure. That’s untrue and unproductive. Instead, practice interpreting the same event differently, by saying that one worked hard but didn’t account for a quirk of the market so its ok to be disappointed. Then push oneself up and say I am going to try again with new information, technique, strategy.  This interpretation is gentler, truer, more proactive. At first this will be hard and one will think it doesn’t work, but over time it will become automatic and negative thoughts will be less likely to come up. No one does this naturally, as one has to learn and practice.


VIJAYASHREE RAMESH. Chennai based advocate.