It’s not just about mental control. There’s more to ‘positive thinking’ than just saying simple positive affirmations. Actually, there’s an art of positive thinking. And just like any art, once you build the basic skills and start to ‘flow’ with it, your creations (thoughts and manifestations) become more and more satisfying.

Let’s have a look at what I call the ‘Straight A’s’ of this art form. These are 5 of the core skills used by successful, positive thinkers. And when you master them, you too can flow with creative positivity in good times and yes, even in bad.

1. Awareness

Of course the first trick to consistent and effective positive thinking is to be aware of what you’re thinking about. Until you begin to bring conscious attention to the almost constant inner dialogue, you won’t have the presence of mind to begin to make needed changes in your habitual chains of thought.

2. Appreciation

The people who best embody the art of positive thinking are all master appreciators. They’ve learned the power of actively looking for things to be thankful for, opportunities to offer compliments, chances to be kind to someone (including themselves), and how to find a positive aspect in all the little things in life that the rest of us usually ignore.

3. Acceptance

This ‘A’ isn’t often talked about but is absolutely key to mastering the art of positive thinking. Some people describe it as “let go, let God,” others call it surrender. But the main energy we’re talking about here is acceptance of what is. Because let’s face it: one sure fire way to not think positiviely is to fight and resist whatever it is you’re dealing with.

4. Admiration

“Respect and warm approval” is one definition of admiration, and when it comes to positive thinking, admiration is something you offer to others and to yourself. By consciously honoring (or admiring) your own positive qualities, daily successes and personal achievements – even humble ones – you build your capacity for loving kindness. And that’s a happy thing!

5. Amusement

Find the humor in things. Sometimes I think this is the only way to get through tough times. When we laugh at our own foibles or life’s frustrations, we take away its power to make us miserable, and instead, give ourselves permission to accept and appreciate our human imperfections.

Do you have an ‘A’ (or a ‘B’ or a ‘C’ or a ‘Z’ for that matter) to add to this list? Leave a comment and let us know how you are mastering the art of positive thinking.