How Thinking Positively Changed My Life for the Better

Written by: Denice Arthurton

The words ‘think positive’ represent a concept which is hardly new but more recently scientific research has started to powerfully back up what many of us have known all along. Positive thinking isn’t simply a more pleasant way of going about things but actually – according to the experts – something which impacts positively on our health and significantly broadens our sense of what is possible.

In a sentence – practicing negative thinking narrows our mental vision and effectively makes us blind to opportunities; positive thinking allows us to quite literally see many more possibilities.

I am a person who has both feet firmly planted in the positive thinking believers’ camp. It is not simply a life philosophy for me but something which has significantly impacted on my life in the most incredible ways over and again.

My life is what many would describe as living the dream. I am a permanent world nomad without a home. Money doesn’t feature largely on my list of priorities but some funds are needed to continue wandering the planet so when I run out of money I set up my ‘office’. This is typically a hut at some tropically idyllic beach or a jungle surrounded cabana where the monkeys play and do a few weeks of freelance writing work.

I have experienced traumatic and dramatic life events and known the most overwhelming grief, loss and pain in my life. However, I have striven at each of those times to employ the rules of positive thinking and what has resulted afterwards has led me to here. And ‘here’ happens to be pretty darn marvelous!

Every Job Interview I Have Ever Been In

Since the days in which I became a positive thinking advocate in my 20s I have been offered the job at every single interview I have attended. And there have been more than a few. Before I became a freelance writer my traveling lifestyle necessitated me taking on a plethora of different jobs at various times, in various countries to fund my onward journeys.

Why am I so desirable from an employer’s point of view? Am I bursting with qualifications? Do I have more to give than the next candidate? Am I highly experienced? I have to answer honestly no but into each and every one of those interviews I took a bucket-load of positive vibes and the absolute conviction that I would be offered the job at the end of the process.

Moving on from Childlessness


When I suffered my first ectopic pregnancy I was the owner and head coach of a gymnastics academy for 200 children. The emergency surgery to save my life was a shocking life event for me and my long term partner Chris and when I went through the same fate a few months later we were left unable to have children.

To say there was no grief and pain would be a lie but when the maelstrom of emotions eased we started to think of ways in which we could turn this tragedy to our advantage. We focused purely on all the bonuses that could result from being free of children and suddenly realized the world was quite truly ours to do what we wanted with. We had absolute, unconditional freedom to go where we wanted and make any life choice. And that is exactly what we did. We sold our house, gave away our possessions, tucked our surf boards under our arms and set off to explore the planet. We did that together for seven years.

Positive thinking had allowed us to not simply move on from our tragedy but opened our eyes to the possibilities to such an extent we moved way beyond the normal confines of conventional options.

Moving on from a Broken Heart


In 2011, after 17 wonderful years together Chris and I fell apart, partly due to some shattering external but unavoidable circumstances. The break was an intense shock to both of us and broke both of our hearts. The intense and soul-splintering grief of this split robbed me not only of my best friend and lover but my whole traveling way of life. For a while I became a virtual recluse, refusing to see family and friends and struggling to get through every minute of every day.

When the initial waves of shock had passed I started to remember the power of positive thinking and started trying to bring it into my life again. It was not easy but I started by telling myself I had been in dark places before where it had seemed impossible the sun could ever enter again and I had come through them. I forced myself to start thinking ahead to a life without Chris and visualizing the positive possibilities of what that could mean.

At some point I was suddenly asking myself why I had said my traveling life was finished. Things moved rapidly from there. In later 2011 I boarded a plane alone to Thailand, admittedly terrified and still somewhat emotionally fragile; there was no looking back from that point. I have continued to travel the world, as a solo female, for the last 5 years and the strange thing is – it enchants and excites me even more than traveling with the love of my life. I am happily and voluntarily single but finding love in a myriad other ways almost every day of my life.

Becoming a Successful Writer


My desire to become a writer was born partly from need and the desire to remove restrictions from my traveling lifestyle. Establishing myself in a freelance capacity meant no more having to return to England to work, no more hunting down jobs, no more taking on a host of low paid posts and unsavory working conditions. Instead I would have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world as long as I had wifi, doing something I loved.

Believe me, I had no idea what I was doing but from the very beginning I employed my positive thinking tools and believed totally – with a few wobbles – that despite having no qualifications this was something which could and would work.

I always felt tremendous joy from my tiniest achievements in those early days. Joy when I sold a piece of work. Joy when a client thanked me for my commitment to their project. Joy at being able to call myself a professional writer.

More than once a client – who had never met me – would comment that they had chosen me over tens of other freelancers with more experience because an indiscernible something came across in my proposal; something which assured them I was in fact the right person for their project. My positive thinking, it would appear, was even traveling across cyber-space.

Initially I earned around $4 dollars for several hours of work. Five years on – and actually dating from just 18 months after I started – it is totally the opposite. I earn large sums – often ridiculously large sums – for producing very little. I work perhaps 3 or 4 months in every year. The rest is spent wandering the planet, immersing myself in fascinating and colorful cultures and doing such things as trekking into the Sumatran jungle to find orang-utans and swimming with mighty whale sharks off the Mexican coast.

Why have I been so successful? I have no qualifications or expertise. I’m an OK writer but there are plenty better than me who can’t get work. So there must be something else and to me that ‘something’ is as obvious as stripes on a tiger – the power of positive thinking.

Counting My Blessings

Counting your blessings is another of those phrases which gets much used but how many of us truly take the time to do it. Well me for starters!

I regularly write huge lists – with a physical pen and paper rather than the once-removed sensation of a keypad and computer screen – of all the things I have to feel gratitude for. These could be the smallest of joy-inducing details such as ‘today I saw a hummingbird’ to giving thanks that at my no longer youthful age I have good health. I will list moments that have made me almost fall down laughing; I will catalogue all the incidents when some perfect stranger has shown me a kindness for no reason other than that of human warmth. I write down words such as ‘my freedom’ and ‘my ability to laugh’ – I celebrate myself as much as I celebrate the wonderful world around me.

As I travel the world one blessing overwhelms me almost more than any other – the pure chance and lottery of where I was born and which has allowed me to live my life this way. The gods threw thedice and decided Deneice would be born into a land of privilege and opportunity. Time and again I witness people living in places where the opposite is true and I feel so incredibly privileged as a result; determined to make the most of this quirk of fate which I have done nothing to earn.

I remind myself of joy and as a result feel joy. This in turn brings in even more – I love how this works, a win-win situation. I feel I am the owner of a bottomless pot of gold which magically refills itself no matter how much I take out.

These are just 5 of the scenarios in which positive thinking has helped me but I could write a thousand more. Each positive thinking experience breeds more positive thinking until I now have such faith in it I am completely sure I hold in my hands the most powerful of life tools. What is more, like any physical exercise, the ‘muscles’ being utilized get stronger and remember what they have to do so that less and less effort is required to get what you want……………and I get a lot of what I want!

Images from: Modman, Natalie, Harsha

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Author Info
For many years of my life my major passions were all types of sport but particularly gymnastics. After finishing my own competitive career I became a coach, eventually converting an old industrial unit into a training facility to accommodate my 200 gymnasts. It was while coaching that I developed my interest in nutrition and how certain foods and herbs both fuel and heal the body. It was also during this time that I discovered surfing and became somewhat addicted even though I began in the handicapped position of some-one with a severe phobia of water. ...  visit author page.