It is a common mistake to believe that what and how we see people, events and circumstances create our response and feelings. In actuality, it is the reverse. Our thoughts are the source of our feelings and create our experience. Because thoughts are voluntary, we can change what we experience by realizing that what we think is not necessarily reality. Thoughts are often random and arbitrary. There has been a lot of literature over the years on the effects of positive thinking. Without a doubt, positive thinking is important in the pursuit of happiness. Much of the positive thinking literature promotes a mind control approach, teaching you to control your thoughts to only be positive. That kind of control is impossible. Trying to achieve it will create a constant battle in your mind between your negative and positive thoughts. Happy people have both negative and positive thoughts. The difference is that rather than trying to control their thoughts, happy people learn to not give heed to negative thoughts because their happiness and peace have a higher priority. Happy people dismiss negative thinking as if it were a scary movie.
We see things differently when we have positive thoughts than when we have negative thoughts and so our experiences are not based on the circumstances but how we perceive them. Negative thoughts and negative thought pattern actually distorts reality, causing us to perceive the world as being more hostile than it actually is. If we allow it, negative thought patterns will cause us to draw an unjustified and incorrect conclusion of the situation we are in.
Source: ‘The Happiness Factor’ by Kirk Wilkinson