There are many reasons to think positively in today’s world. The health benefits are an obvious reason, but did you know that those who practice optimism tend to be more confident and successful?
If you’re someone who lets stress overtake your outlook on life, perhaps its time to replace those negative thoughts with more positive ones. I am certainly guilty of falling into negative thinking like many others, but I find when I remind myself to think positively, things tend to feel easier in life.
Of course, replacing negative thoughts takes effort and practice, but it can be done! Just like you can’t change your physical body with a single trip to the gym, the same holds true for changing your mindset. Change takes time!
Tips to Think More Positively
1) Practice Mindfulness. Being aware of your thoughts is the first step. As you become more aware of what you’re saying to yourself, you’ll be quicker to catch yourself as your thoughts turn negative.
You can practice mindfulness by walking quietly and focusing on your breath (don’t worry, thoughts always find their way in), meditating, or mindfully doing an activity you enjoy!
2) Practice Gratitude Every Day. Gratitude is the act of giving thanks and praise for all things in your life. It’s affirming all that is positive and “right”. An easy exercise to do is writing down 3 things you’re grateful for every morning or before bed every night.
3) What You Focus on Carries Power. Take notice of what you focus on. If you watch or read things that promote negativity, replace that activity with something uplifting and inspirational. For me, I never watch the news for that very reason! Instead, I choose to read things that are inspiring and I watch things that are lighthearted.
4) Surround Yourself with Positive People. Move away from people that bring you down, criticize, or tend to focus on the negative aspects of life. Trust me, surrounding yourself with positive people really does have a way of rubbing off on you!
5) Fill Your Time with Positivity. How we choose to spend our time is very important. I encourage you to select activities that elicit a positive response from your mind, body, and soul. Choose hobbies that ignite positivity in you and then try to do them often! This may feel uncomfortable or even lonely at first if you’re moving away from people or things you used to fill your time with, but trust me, it’s worth it!
6) Find the Positives. Whatever you’re doing or whomever you’re with, try to find something positive about your situation. It could be the scenery, the aromas, the person’s features. Whatever it is, notice it and focus on it.
Change Takes Time and Practice
Tip: If you’re really having a hard time making the switch from negative thoughts to positive ones, you can always try the rubber band method. Wear a rubber band around your wrist and every time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, snap the rubber band against your skin and replace the thought with something positive.
I can’t emphasize this enough, be patient with this process. Our thinking patterns get reinforced with every thought, so it’s quite possible your brain has been thinking in a negative way for a long time (longer than you might realize).
So, you must understand that change will not be immediate, but it will happen if you stick with it!
Don’t Expect Perfection
Also, no one is perfect, so please don’t expect perfection from yourself. You won’t ALWAYS think positively. But, if you can shift gears and get your brain leaning towards more positivity, I promise great things will follow. Positive thinking has been linked to improved health, lower blood pressure, lower stress levels, and successful habits!
Cheers to that!
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