It is all about the attitude: positive thinking

Do you know the tingling feeling in your heart when you can’t think about anything else but how beautiful life is? When everything seems right on track and you are full of positive thoughts? That is how I usually feel. Do you know why? Because I want to.

What I learned in the past few years is that everything is perception. There are so many things going on in our life, and how we experience them is only based on our attitude. We can feel sorry for ourselves, sink into sadness and sorrow in hard times, or we can toughen up and change our angles. It is possible to consciously train our brain to focus on the bright side, find the positive aspect even in seemingly terrible situations.

This kind of mental shift is not easy; it takes time and a good deal of self-discipline and commitment.  The first step is to realize that there might be a problem with our mental attitude. I used to easily get trapped in dark places because I was so fixed on my own misery I completely forgot to appreciate the happy moments. After a few years slipping in and out of this melancholic state of mine, I realized that self-pity is not going to solve my problems. I can stay this grumpy, sour person or I can do something about it and convert myself into an optimistic, positive person. Because I’m the only one who can turn my situation around.

It took me a long time to develop the positive mindset. I had to accept that life is hard and it is up to me how I handle the ups and downs. I can’t expect life to be a magical fairytale with cotton candy clouds and glitter pooping unicorns all the time (like I used to), but I can still enjoy the ride. I have to keep my eyes on the things that make me happy, and handle the stressful parts as collaterals.

By consciously focusing on positive thinking, I haven’t let myself slip for a long time. It makes me proud and empowered.

 

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Conscious consumerism was much easier when I didn’t have the money

After arriving to Denmark, I couldn’t find a proper job. I did what any other decent student would do: cleaned, babysitted, distributed flyers to be able to pay my rent. I lived from paycheck to paycheck so it’s needless to say I never had money for the hottest FENTY shoes or new Iphone something. Honestly, I stopped craving them. By having no money I learned how to be grateful for what I already have and focus on the small things that make me happy, instead of longing for expensive excess stuff.

When I moved to Copenhagen in September my life had changed. I was lucky enough to find a proper job, I have a steady monthly income so I don’t have to worry about rent and food any more. Indeed, I have some extra money I have no idea how to handle.

For some people it’s not even a question: obviously spend it all, buy whatever comes in your way. Well, that is not something I can do. I’m not going to spend money just because I can, I want to spend money because I have a reason to do so.

In the past two years I’ve become a conscious consumer out of necessity, a budget minimalist and I loved it. I experienced all the benefits of consuming less and living more. Even though I have some money to spare now, I don’t want to go back to the old mindless spending phase. Yet I feel some kind of pressure looking at all those numbers on my account. I even tried to buy my way out of a heartbreak. Dreadful.

This shows I profoundly need to learn how to keep my mind focused and not let it influenced by artificially engineered desires. I have my process of how to stay a conscious consumer in the hard times.

After I lay my eyes on a thing

  • My conscious\minimalist side asks: Do I really need this?
  • My environmental conscious side asks: How sustainable is this?
  • My economical side asks: Can I afford it?

Then I spend days answering this questions, making lists of pros and cons, visualizing my life with and without the object, asking my friends and family for support. After all the sweat I usually decide not to buy the thing.

This is a very time and energy consuming process, but I believe it is only the adjusting period. When you suddenly have money to spend and you want to pamper yourself but at the same time want to stay true to your minimalist values. In a few months, when I got used to this new situation, resisting such urges won’t be difficult at all.

Have you experienced something like this? I’m interested in your stories so please share.