9 teachings from ancient wisdom on nurturing positivity from neutrality

Graeme Richards by Graeme Richards | January 9, 2024, 11:17 pm

It’s a subtle art, cultivating positivity from a place of neutrality. It’s like trying to grow a lush garden in the middle of barren land.

Drawing from ancient wisdom, I’ve come to realize that the teachings of our ancestors may have some answers. They offer sage advice for nurturing positivity, even when your starting point is neutrality.

These teachings are not quick fixes or instant solutions. They’re more like subtle nudges, gently steering you towards a more positive outlook on life.

In this article, I’ll share with you 9 such teachings that have stood the test of time. They’re not complicated philosophies, but simple, practical tips that can help you bring about a positive change in your life.

So, if you’re ready to take a step towards positivity, read on and let’s explore these ancient teachings together.

1) Embrace impermanence

Life is a continuous ebb and flow, a series of ups and downs that never cease. This is a fundamental tenet of ancient wisdom.

Understanding and accepting the concept of impermanence can be a powerful tool for nurturing positivity from a place of neutrality. It’s a reminder that nothing in life is permanent, not even our worries or struggles.

This idea is rooted in ancient philosophies like Buddhism and Stoicism. They teach us that everything changes, everything passes. Our emotions, our circumstances, our very lives are transient.

Realizing this can help us let go of negative thoughts and emotions. Instead of clinging to them, we understand that they are temporary and will eventually pass.

So when you find yourself stuck in neutrality or negativity, remember the principle of impermanence. It can help you to see beyond the present moment and foster a positive outlook for the future.

But remember, like all ancient teachings, this one requires mindfulness and practice to fully embrace.

2) Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude is another teaching that has been passed down through the ages, and I can personally attest to its power.

There was a time in my life when everything seemed grey. I was stuck in a job I didn’t enjoy, and it felt like my life was at a standstill. But then I stumbled upon the ancient practice of gratitude.

Every night before bed, I started to write down three things I was grateful for. At first, it felt forced and insincere. But with time, it became a ritual that I looked forward to.

I discovered that even on the worst days, there were always things to be grateful for – a warm cup of coffee, a kind word from a stranger, the comfort of my bed after a long day. This simple practice shifted my perspective and helped me cultivate positivity from neutrality.

Gratitude is potent because it forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life, no matter how small they may seem. It’s not about ignoring the negatives but about recognizing and appreciating the positives.

So, if you’re feeling neutral or negative, consider integrating a gratitude practice into your daily routine. It can be as simple as noting down three good things each day. Trust me; it can work wonders.

3) Cultivate mindfulness

Mindfulness, the practice of staying present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment, is a cornerstone of many ancient wisdom traditions.

While it’s gained popularity in recent years thanks to a host of mental and physical health benefits, mindfulness has its roots in ancient Buddhist teachings. Interestingly, the original word for mindfulness in Pali, a language of Indian origin, is “Sati,” which literally translates to “memory” or “recollection.”

This might seem counterintuitive since mindfulness is all about being in the present. But the idea is that by fully engaging with the present moment, we create richer memories and experiences.

Cultivating mindfulness can help you shift from neutrality to positivity. It enables you to appreciate the here and now, rather than dwelling on past regrets or future anxieties.

Whether it’s savoring your morning coffee, listening attentively to a loved one, or simply feeling the breeze on your skin – mindfulness can add a touch of positivity to even the most mundane moments.

4) Harness the power of positive affirmations

Positive affirmations have been used in ancient wisdom traditions for centuries. They’re short, powerful statements that when said with conviction, can alter your mindset and help you overcome negative thoughts.

The idea is that by repeating these affirmations, you can convince your subconscious mind to believe them. And once your subconscious mind believes something, it works tirelessly to make it a reality.

For instance, instead of saying “I can’t do this,” you can use a positive affirmation like “I have the strength and ability to overcome this challenge.” This shifts your focus from what you can’t do to what you can do.

But remember, the key to effective affirmations lies in truly believing what you’re saying. So choose affirmations that resonate with you and say them with conviction.

Over time, these positive affirmations can help replace negativity or neutrality with positivity, and empower you to face life’s challenges with a more optimistic outlook.

5) Practice self-compassion

In our quest for positivity, we often forget to be kind to ourselves. Ancient wisdom reminds us of the importance of self-compassion.

Self-compassion involves treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding that we would offer a good friend. It’s about acknowledging our flaws and failures, not as signs of inadequacy, but as part of the human experience.

When we’re stuck in a state of neutrality or negativity, it’s easy to berate ourselves. But this only serves to pull us down further.

Instead, try to practice self-compassion. Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes, everyone has bad days. Don’t beat yourself up for being human.

By treating ourselves with kindness and understanding, we can foster a more positive attitude towards ourselves. This, in turn, can help us cultivate positivity even from neutrality. Remember, positivity begins from within.

6) Find joy in the simple things

Sometimes, we get so caught up in the pursuit of grand goals and ambitions that we forget to appreciate the simple joys of life.

Ancient wisdom teaches us to find joy in simplicity. Whether it’s the beauty of a sunset, the laughter of a child, or the aroma of freshly baked bread – there’s happiness to be found in the most mundane aspects of life.

I once met an elderly lady who lived by this principle. Despite facing numerous hardships, she radiated positivity. Her secret? She found joy in simplicity. A good book, a cup of tea, a conversation with a friend – these were the things that filled her with happiness.

Her positivity was infectious. It served as a poignant reminder that happiness is not always about chasing big dreams or achieving great success. Sometimes, it’s about appreciating the little things.

So if you’re striving to nurture positivity from a place of neutrality, try to find joy in the simple things. You might be surprised by the happiness that lies hidden in everyday moments.

7) Embrace the power of forgiveness

There’s an old saying that holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. I’ve found this to be painfully true.

A few years back, I had a fall out with a dear friend. The disagreement turned into resentment, and before long, I found myself trapped in a cycle of negativity.

It wasn’t until I learned to forgive, truly forgive, that I was able to break free from this cycle. It was a difficult process, filled with soul-searching and confronting uncomfortable emotions. But once I let go of the anger and resentment, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and positivity.

Forgiveness, as ancient wisdom teaches us, is a powerful tool for nurturing positivity. It allows us to let go of negative emotions that weigh us down and make room for positive emotions.

Remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting or condoning hurtful actions. It’s about freeing yourself from the burden of resentment and opening up to positivity.

8) Engage in acts of kindness

Another timeless teaching from ancient wisdom is the power of kindness. Engaging in acts of kindness, no matter how small, can have a profound impact on our levels of positivity.

Scientific research has shown that performing acts of kindness releases a hormone known as oxytocin, which promotes feelings of warmth, empathy, and trust. It also reduces stress and contributes to our overall sense of well-being.

It could be as simple as lending a listening ear to a friend, helping a stranger carry their groceries, or even just offering a warm smile to someone passing by.

These acts of kindness don’t just benefit the person receiving them but also boost your own positivity. It’s a beautiful cycle – the more positivity you put out into the world, the more you get back.

So the next time you’re feeling neutral or negative, try engaging in an act of kindness. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it can shift your perspective towards positivity.

9) Cultivate a growth mindset

The most transformative teaching from ancient wisdom is perhaps the cultivation of a growth mindset.

A growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset, believes in the power of change and development. It views challenges as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles. It embraces failures as valuable lessons, not dead ends.

Cultivating a growth mindset can profoundly shift our approach towards life. It encourages us to step out of our comfort zones, to learn, to grow, and most importantly, to evolve.

This mindset can help nurture positivity from neutrality. It empowers us to see the silver lining in every situation, to find the strength within our struggles.

At the end of the day, nurturing positivity is all about perspective. And a growth mindset provides us with just the right lens to view life in a more positive light.

Final reflections: The path to positivity

When it comes to nurturing positivity from neutrality, there’s often more than meets the eye.

Our emotions and perspectives are deeply intertwined with ancient wisdom passed down through generations. These teachings offer us insights into our own minds and hearts, guiding us towards positivity.

The concept of impermanence, for instance, is a reminder that every moment is fleeting – an encouragement to let go of negativity and embrace change. The practice of gratitude instills in us an appreciation for life’s simple joys, while mindfulness keeps us anchored in the present.

Moreover, principles like forgiveness and self-compassion foster a healthier relationship with ourselves, allowing us to cultivate positivity from within. Engaging in acts of kindness, embracing the power of positive affirmations, and adopting a growth mindset further enhance our journey towards positivity.

These teachings are not magic potions or quick fixes. They require patience, practice, and sometimes even courage. But the beauty lies in the journey as much as the destination.

As ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” So here’s to taking that first step towards nurturing positivity from neutrality – and to many more steps on this enlightening journey.