Years ago I studied many disciplines, including Zen and Raj Yoga. While certainly such things as “thoughts and prayers” seem useless to me because one is focusing on an unknown and probably false concept of thinking that God or some entity has some magical power to interfere and set things right. What the above mentioned disciplines encourage is to find that “God-like” quality within yourself to be spiritually positive about your life.
Part of these concepts is “visualization.” Each of us has the ability to visualize the things we need and want. For example, I have found that if I wanted some material thing, I visualized it first and then went backwards to determine how to get it. The solution may well be something as simple as saving the money necessary to acquire it. I look at every point in time as a crossroads where I could go either way. The thought process is predicated on something like if I buy that candy bar, I may be happy in that moment, but does that do anything to get my dream of something more expensive since I will have to save much more money than the price of the candy bar. This requires planning and determining what is more important.
Something more abstract like keeping a positive mindset requires acknowledgement of negativity, yet realize and then visualize that being positive is the only way to overcome that negativity. In our universe, in our world, there cannot be good without evil, want without not having and so on throughout each and every material or spiritual desire. Feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly futility of just living day to day causes the mind to focus not on solutions to any problem but simply being immersed in negativity to the point that becomes one’s sole mantra.
Each and everyone of us each second, each minute, each hour, each day and so on, faces that dichotomy of being so within ourselves that it seems hopeless. This becomes a loop that feeds upon itself. We see examples of this everyday- hate, racism and irrationality- that in turn becomes a never-ending focus on the outside world instead of finding the space within ourselves to better our lives without saying or thinking it’s someone else’s fault “I am not a better person.”