Positive thinking, I must say, was the hardest thing for me. If you knew me seven years ago, you’d say, “Wow, you’ve changed!” And yes, I’ve had a tough past cobbled with health challenges, surgeries, and a whole list of other health issues that I still endure today. What’s the difference between today and seven years ago, you ask? Well, today, I’ve managed to alter my destructive ways of thinking to constructive. As a result, my mind has strengthened, and in hard times, I need that strength most. With all the healthy things I do such as counseling, acupuncture, regular massage therapy, daily exercise, adequate nutrition intake, and Yoga, that healing paved the pathway to my transformation.

Even with the lack of sun we get in the winter, I’d still wake up each morning smiling. We can’t control the bad weather. If it snowed outside, I’d marvel at the beauty of it. If it rained, I’d listen to the drops hitting and dispersing on the windows and roof. If a thunderstorm hit, I’d put headphones on because thunder makes me feel like a skittish deer. And no, I’m not ashamed of that. If it were gloomy outside, I’d stay inside, listen to music, and do something enjoyable. Or, I’d leave the house and go have some fun.

Time in my world flies quickly, and I’d always think, “These storms too shall pass.” That is true to the storms we face in life. As someone that lives with a genetic disorder, I’ve come to recognize my inner strength and how much not just me, but people in general deal with each day. Everyone battles with something to some degree.

On regular occasions, however, I’d experience extremely high highs and low lows. Throughout my life, I’ve ridden this roller coaster for as long as I could remember and knew I needed to get off of it at some point. I’ll admit that I generated the ups and downs — I caused the never ending rises and falls because of my responses to situations. For me, I thrive on an equable mind, when I can see and think clearly. When people ask me how I’ve gone through all that I have, I’m compelled to talk about the power of affirmations and how they foster a strong mind.

I want to mention, though, that I know someone who is a solution focused person, and that is a productive mindset to have. This individual’s job revolves around solving problems for others (fixing their computers), but this person applies those work skills to life situations as well. Issues will arise, that’s a fact. How we respond either catapults us into chaos, or resolves and brings us peace. That’s a choice. Instead of dwelling on the pitfalls, disappointments, and things we can’t control, focus on the things that you can do now. Affirmations themselves not only rewire our brains, but they also provide quick solutions — as quick as a click of a button.

Think about this…

When you counteract a negative thought with an affirmation, that affirmation becomes the solution, and then, your thoughts go from irrational to rational. That way of functioning keeps me from spiraling and getting consumed by my issues.

As someone that experiences a heck of a lot each day, I’ve witnessed the effects of positive thinking and how that builds mental strength. The things we think ultimately triggers our actions and what we do in this world. Mental strength gets us through the toughest situations in life and it’s a necessity. So, now that the weather is getting warmer, (when you can) go outside, smell some flowers, take long nature walks, and seize each day.

Originally published at medium.com