You see so much about positive thinking, optimism and the like and how it's the key to success in just about everything nowadays (it really is) and recently, it got me thinking.
I only recently came round to the positive thinking brigade but I've realised how much it has dramatically changed the way I go about things, particularly when I'm on the road travelling.
And I really can't believe I was resistant to optimism for so long.
As well as how much time I have wasted being negative.
A few years back, you could probably say I was that one eternal pessimist that everyone could rely on to put a downer on everything.
But then let's just say the world worked in its weird and wonderful ways, that at the time was pretty difficult to deal with, but it lead to me having an epiphany that I needed to shake things up a bit and change because I was drifting, with no direction and I wasn't a happy bunny.
In the slightest.
It coincided perfectly with my year abroad - I may have mentioned I had a year abroad once or twice? - which was quite possibly ONE OF THE BEST YEARS OF MY LIFE (#studyabroadbecause what I just said), and throughout the duration of my year abroad, my mindset changed dramatically.
I definitely intend on having many more amazing, incredible, adventurous years but my year abroad will stick out as being life-changing because it was finally the year I learnt to be positive and have an optimistic outlook on life.
And you what?
It's true what they say, positive thinking is the way to go.
From then on, I like to think, other than a few blips, I've been pretty positive and it's completely changed my travels, and my life as whole, for a variety of reasons, which I'm about to tell you.
Positive thinking has changed how I travel because...
I'm a lot more confident
Now, nothing can stop me (uh oh) and my confidence looks set to keep soaring.
Although maybe a little bit too much.
I deal with bad situations better
Of course, dealing with bad situations is no walk in the park, regardless how you see it. But whilst what happens to you is usually a case of good or bad luck, the only thing you have control over is how you deal with it.
It's not just dealing with bad situations that have got easier with being optimistic, it's also confronting the fear of the unknown.
You can choose whether to dwell on it and leave it behind. I know which option is easier (in the long run).
I'm a yes person
Yes I know, it's a huge cliché but it was that or 'I have richer travel experiences" and that just sounds a bit obnoxious and pretentious. Positive thinking has really helped me embrace being on the road and taking those opportunities that you otherwise wouldn't get at home.
There are so many times I have to pinch myself because I know how truly lucky I am to be out on road and it's such a big waste of my time if I turn down opportunities that I'm probably never going to ever have again.
I'm more body confident
I could talk until the cows come home about my old body issues and just about all of them stemmed from my worst enemy, myself. When you're on the road, you realise how many different types of beautiful there is and you see so many women and men just owning it and not giving a sh*t. That's when you realise that is way more sexy than just gorgeous looks. Sparkling personality and confidence will get you even further.
Being positive has also meant I'm kinder on myself and treat myself better. Before I used to swear I was going on a diet tomorrow or some load of tosh like that, but now I realise, it's all about LIFESTYLE CHANGES, the whole 80/20 moderation rule and no faddy diets. It also means I no longer get myself in a vicious circle of starve, binge, repeat and I make sure I make time for exercise because all those endorphins are pretty damn good.
I'm still not at the stage when I don't wince every time I see myself in photos (I AM SO UNPHOTOGENIC IT HURTS) but I no longer hesitate being in a bikini on the beach. I'm getting there.
My personal perspective is better
Travelling by yourself gives you a lot of time to think and sometimes that time thinking can lead to a huge over analysis of every past mistake, present misdemeanours and potential future catastrophes that do little good.
So much so that I practically thought I was having a quarter-life crisis, when really I just needed to take a few breathes, have a good nap and probably eat something too (hanger is a true affliction, people).
Once I started to think positively, things started to go my way and things almost slotted themselves into place. As the great Willie Nelson says, "Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results."
Whilst the whole "what is my calling in life" anxiety is still quietly in the background, worrying about something that is yet to happen is never to make me a happy bairn. So at the minute, my mentality is pursue what makes me happy, work hard and somehow, life will work in its weird and wonderful ways and things will, bit by, bit fall into place.
Dancing is a great way to stay positive
I wish I had the answers for what made me think more positively and impart my wisdom like some knowledgeable oracle but sadly, I'm not.
To be honest, I think the only pearls of wisdom I can impart is that I scrawled through Pinterest endlessly and looked for inspirational quotes (sad, but true) when I was meant to do more pressing work as well as develop a massive addiction to self-improvement articles.
But whatever your method is to think more optimistically, there's one thing for sure - it enhances your travels, your mentality and your perspective on life tenfold. Don't be stubborn like me and resist it.
Give the whole "glass half full" thing a try.
How do you stay positive? How has positive thinking changed for you?