The term “Positive Thinking” may sound cliche at times: however, positive thinking is one of the most transforming practices that we could possibly ever learn. By changing our thoughts, we can actually change our life.
How Positive Thinking Can Change Your Life
- Positive Thinking can improve your happiness
- Positive Thinking can improve your health
- Positive Thinking can improve your relationships
- Positive Thinking makes it easier to tackle all of life’s challenges
What Is “Positive Thinking”?
- Positive thinking can be described as thinking in a way that is optimistic, considerate and helpful to our well being.
- Negative thinking tends to be the opposite, thinking in a way that is pessimistic, inconsiderate, and harmful to our well being.
What Does Positive & Negative Thinking Look Like?
Examples of Negative vs. Positive Thoughts:
Negative Thought: “This always happens to me, why do I always get in these type of relationships?”
Positive Thought: “I am going to pull through this and grow from it”
PERSON LOSES JOB
Negative Thought: “My life is over”
Positive Thought: “This gives me more free time and an opportunity to start something new”
How Does “Positive Thinking” Change How We Feel and Act?
Our thoughts influence our emotions, our emotions influence our behaviors
and these behaviors in turn, Shape Our Lives. How You Think Directly Impacts How You Feel.
To test this, try this experiment:
Actively think as negatively as you possibly can for 2 minutes, notice how you feel.
Then try to only think positive thoughts for 2 minutes, note the difference.
Tips For Thinking Positively
Below are some specific steps you can take in order to begin thinking more positively every day:
Become Aware of Your Thoughts
Start to notice when you find yourself thinking negatively. This is a good first step. One way to do this is by starting to writing down each negative thought you have. This will get you in the habit of noticing when you think negatively and eventually you will no longer need to write it down.
Challenge Negative Thoughts
Give those thoughts a run for their money. Some of them are outright lies; some of them just need to re-framed. Challenge them! Here are some examples:
NEGATIVE THOUGHT: “Im stupid“
CHALLENGE : “There is no evidence that I am stupid, I may make mistakes but that doesn’t mean I’m a stupid person.
NEGATIVE THOUGHT: “I hate my life”
CHALLENGE: “There are some things that I don’t like about my life, but these are things that I can change”
Figure Out Where It’s Coming From
Where are those ridiculous, nasty, unhelpful thoughts coming from? Is it something someone told you when you were younger? Is it something an ex once said to you? Is it something you started believing a long time ago? Sometimes knowing the origin of a negative thought can help us to better challenge it.
Often times, we think a negatively because our mind is cluttered. Clearing the mind can be a great way to begin thinking positively. Usually following the practice of meditation, people are able to think more clearly and thus think more positively. (How to Meditate)
Be Mindful of Who You Spend Your Time With
Often times, negative and positive thinking is contagious. Spending time with people who think negatively can cause you to also think negatively. In the same way, spending time with those who think positively can help you start thinking more positively.
Remind Yourself of the Benefits
Remind yourself why you are trying to think more positively so that you will be more motivated to do so. (i.e “If I think positive my mind will be healthier and happier” or “thinking negatively has no benefit for me“)
Daily “Rituals” are a great way to re-enforce positive thinking in your life. Make an agreement with yourself to say 5 positive things before you leave the house or when you wake up. Maybe have an audio or video that you play in the morning to receive positive messages. You could even set up times in which you takes breaks to sit quietly and think positive thoughts.
Take Care of The Basics
If we don’t have our physical needs met, it makes it much more difficult (though not impossible) to think positively. If you find yourself being “grumpy” or thinking negatively, make sure you are getting adequate food and sleep. Make these a priority, and if they are not readily available, think optimistically about how you will obtain them.
Visual reminders are a great way to boost positive thinking. Surround yourself with positive messages or quotes (i.e on your wall, on your mirror, on your phone)
Don’t Just “Think The Opposite”
In order for this to really work, you can’t think thoughts that you are never going to believe. If your negative thought is “My life sucks,” don’t just tell yourself “My Life Is Great!” (because you won’t believe it.) Tell yourself something that you can believe, i.e “My life isn’t going the way I want it to right now, but things can and will get better”
Don’t Get Discouraged
Don’t beat yourself up if you are not thinking positively! That will cause even more negative thinking. Instead, when you catch yourself thinking negatively, congratulate yourself for being aware.
Don’t Give Into The Negative Thinking
Often times, in the process of trying to be more positive we start becoming pessimistic because our brain is used to thinking a certain way (i.e “this positive thinking stuff is all BS”). That is normal. However, yielding to the negativity just because it feels normal can lead us back to where we started. So, if you really want happiness, challenge those negative thoughts!
Don’t Forget To Be Patient
Thinking positively takes a significant amount of effort and time, especially when we’ve become accustomed to thinking negatively. Appreciate and notice the progress that you make each day on thinking more positively.
Don’t Be Afraid To Get Help
Sometimes positive thinking requires help from sources outside of ourselves. Don’t hesitate to ask for personal and/or professional help to guide you in this process. External reinforcement can make the process so much easier. Click here to find out more about our services.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Your Thoughts
No matter what situation you are in in life, how you think about that situation can make all the difference. In learning how to shape our thoughts for the better, we can learn how to make every aspect of our life better. Through your thoughts, you have the power to transform any situation you are in. By choosing to think positively, you can improve your life instantaneously.
“Change Your Thoughts, Change Your World”