9 Strategies to Shift from Paranoia to Pronoia
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” – Albert Einstein
The first step is to employ these tips regularly. Just like it takes time to see the results of eating healthier or exercising, it will take practice to notice the shift into pronoia. You may be surprised, however, in how quickly you’ll experience positive manifestations.
Here are the nine strategies to shift into pronoia:
1. Be Deliberate.
In everything. How you communicate. How you eat. How you walk. How you love. How you think. How you perceive. How you present yourself. Be deliberate in everything.
Have you ever arrived at your destination – work, the grocery store, picking your kids up – and not remember how you got there? Or, have you driven right past where you are going? We are too often on autopilot. By practicing mindfulness in everything we do, we can train ourselves to notice and appreciate all the positive in our lives, and to acknowledge and reframe the perceived negatives.
2. Trust the Universe.
Trust the universe is really just a more poetic was of saying release control. By trying to influence the outcome of everything in our lives, we are setting ourselves up to be disappointed. By trusting – or releasing control – we can live more presently and focus on the current moment rather than projecting into the future and spending valuable time and energy in worry.
Sit in the present, mindfully, and realize that this moment is the only thing that you can control. Be conscientious and respectable now, and you will allowing the universe to align your future present moments in a positive and uplifting light.
3. Understand the Benefits of Negative Experience.
Unfortunately, we can’t have positive experiences all of the time. A key to living a more prosperous life, therefore, is to learn how to embrace drawbacks and utilize the uncomfortable emotions that we have been dealt. Research has indicated that suppressing negative emotions, rather than confronting them, is associated with higher risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, asthma and diabetes, so it is well worth our time and attention to process negative emotions.
Try this: The next time you experience a negative emotion like anger, despair, or anxiety, take a moment to sit with it. Usually when a negative emotion surfaces, there is a truer, more authentic feeling just below the surface. Try to drill down to that underlying trigger. Oftentimes excavating the true emotion alone will offer insight that alleviates the initial negative feeling. Other times, an opportunity presents itself to you to look even deeper into the reasons for your discomfort.
4. Choose Your Perception.
Consider the proverbial phrase, “She sees the glass as half-full (or half-empty)” – a simple indicator of someone’s positive (or negative) viewpoint.
We all have the inclination to perceive selectively. And we all have the ability to choose how to perceive things – it’s up to you to see things through the lens of perception to realize your strengths and weaknesses.
5. Turn the Media Off. (Or Curate Your Consumption.)
Excessive media consumption can create a self-perpetuating spiral that often leads to anxiety and stress. A simple cure to is turn it off. But it’s hard to completely tune out. An alternative to going cold-turkey to is curate your media consumption. On social media, block people and pages who cause distress, even if it is only a behind-the-screen eyeroll. Follow pages that uplift. And give yourself a time limit.
And there’s an added bonus: Your in-person conversations with friends and loved ones won’t revolve around what you saw on social media, giving you the opportunity to have deeper connections.
6. Notice Everyday Triggers.
Notice what is working for and against you. Do more of the things that enhance your experience and fewer of the things that cause tension.
A small example: I hate waking up to a messy kitchen. Seeing dirty dishes in the sink before I’ve had my coffee sets a negative tone for my morning. Realizing this, I have made a deliberate choice that, no matter how tired I am before bed, I take the time to tidy the kitchen. This small behavioral change has made my mornings much more pleasant.
What small, mindful change can you make to bring comfort to your life?
7. Direct Your Time and Energy.
Building a paranoid conspiracy theory in your mind takes a lot of energy and time. Devote the same time and energy into pronoia and creating a vision of the universe conspiring for you. The energy is going to be used anyway – you might as well make the choice to embrace positive conspiracy theories rather than negative ones.
8. Find the New.
Emotional systems crave “newness” – imagine the feeling of traveling somewhere you’ve never been, or simply the joy of new a book. Fresh experiences enhance the richness of life. But flying to faraway destinations isn’t necessary to find newness – in fact, you don’t even need to leave the house. Simply find unique or unnoticed qualities of an ordinary experience…something to “juice the joy” of the every day. It could be anything – try honey rather than milk in your favorite tea. Notice your neighbor’s tended garden. Appreciate the artwork on the cover of that book you’re reading. Try to find different things daily that will lengthen the newness or novelty of an experience.
Visualizing the world as a benevolent place that is conspiring to uplift and enlighten you is an ideal way to start the process of shifting from paranoia to pronoia. As you picture helping hands and smiling faces in your mind, you will start to notice the wonders that life has to offer.
Go ahead, try it. What do you have to lose?
We recommended subliminal messaging to realize and confront your fear-based thoughts. View our subliminal recordings here.