Having a positive outlook in life is a choice. You can choose to see the brighter side of life instead of letting depressive and negative thoughts to poison your mind. Doing so can have a positive impact on many levels of a person’s well-being. Researchers suggest that optimists are better skilled at coping with stress, have lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and they tend to develop stronger immune systems.
Although optimism has been associated with many health benefits, the truth is, positive thinking does not come naturally to everyone. So, if you are more of a skeptic, what can you do to become an optimistic thinker? Well, getting on the path to positive thinking may require different approaches, but they all revolve around identifying negative thoughts and replacing them with those that are more positive. While it may take some time, with continued practice you will find that positive thinking will start to become second nature. To get started with this important character-molding endeavor, here are 4 tips to help you think more positively.
The best way to develop any virtue is to adopt behaviors that reinforce that trait, and this applies to positive thinking as well. So, if you want to become a positive thinker, it is helpful to engage in activities that cultivate those emotions. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga are effective ways to ease your mind and cultivate positive emotions. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Psychological Reports even found that the simple act of smiling seems to boost ‘positive affect’. You can also develop a powerful positive mindset by reciting daily inspiring affirmations.
Stay Away from Pessimists
The people you associate with can influence your behaviors, beliefs and overall perspective on life. It is therefore imperative that you choose your friends and associates wisely. If you hang around the wrong crowd, eventually some of their bad traits will begin to rub-off on you. So, if you want to develop optimism, you should surround yourself with positive people and spend less time around negative individuals. Pessimists will only feed your mind with doubt while optimists will inspire and encourage you.
Tame the Fear of Failure
Negative thinking often stems from the fear of failure. It takes root when thoughts of a bad outcome become deeply rooted in your expectations. To think more positively, you should not fear failing because in doing so, you are inviting failure itself. Instead, view mistakes and failure as opportunities to learn. It becomes much easier to maintain a positive outlook when we have forgiving expectations for ourselves.
Listen to Music or Read Books that Feed Your Positivity
What we feed our minds tends to manifest in our thoughts, words or actions. Therefore, if you want to be a positive thinker, you need to be careful of what you expose your mind to. You can increase optimism by listening to music or reading books that encourage positivity. Positive messages and stories can shape your thinking and lead to a more upbeat attitude toward life.
There are many other approaches to improving positive thinking. The four methods shared above serve as a good starting point on the journey to mastering optimism. In conclusion, remember that being a positive thinker does not happen overnight. It takes time to nurture this trait, therefore a consistent effort will be required.
I learned all about the Law of Attraction and the power of positive thinking many years ago, but never really understood just how powerful positive affirmations can be. In today's times, it can be pretty difficult to find something to be grateful for every single day; however, if you can make a conscious effort to try and find even one positive aspect of your life, you are well on your way to finding many more.
Journaling is a great way to release stress and compartmentalize scattered thought processes, but making a conscious effort to only journal about positive things can have a wonderful effect on your overall being. Starting a Gratitude Journal is a way to start (or end) your day on a positive note, which will not only impact you on a personal level, but will also impact how others perceive you.
If you have never journaled before, it can be pretty intimidating. I mean, we are all busy people, and the idea of sitting down to write affirmations every single day can be a little daunting. If you take it by small steps, and maybe only make it a point to journal once a week, then twice a week, you will eventually make it a habit to do it every day.
Keeping a Gratitude Journal can help lower your stress levels by focusing your attention on the positive and not the negative. When you are feeling blue, it can help to refocus your attention and thoughts to the things in your life that truly matter. By writing down positive traits about yourself in your journal, you can become more self-aware, and shift away from feelings of self-doubt.
Today, I am starting a brand new Gratitude Journal, and wanted to share it with all of my readers. I created a simple, straightforward Gratitude Journal printable that you can use to start your own journal. Simply click the link below to download it, and then print it!
Negativity can discourage us, add to our stress, put strain on our relationship, make us less productive, and reduce our overall happiness. Positivity on the other hand has many benefits across our lives in terms of our health, relationships, and careers.
But, how do you become more positive? Is it really that simple?
Here are four key steps to help you to develop a more positive mindset:
1. Keep a thought journal
If you have a negative internal dialogue constantly keeping you down, you need to take action to banish these thoughts. If you have difficulty identifying this negativity within your own mine, a simple first action can be keeping a thought journal. Write down a random sample of thoughts you say in your own mind about yourself, events, people around you and other things that happen throughout your day.
Analyze these thoughts by reading the journal every night and establishing your thought patterns.
Do certain events trigger your negative thoughts? Take note of these and the next time you are faced with a similar triggering situation, think more carefully about how you are approaching it.
2. Banish negative self-talk
After keeping track of your thoughts for a week or two, you will soon notice how consuming your negative thoughts potentially are. The next step is to banish these all together. Next time you go to write down a negative thought in your thought journal, try to rephrase it to that it becomes a neutral statement.
For example, “Bob forgot to take out the trash again so I had to do it and it ruined my evening” could become “Bob forgot to take out the trash. I did it.” This is a small but effective way to train yourself.
Don’t just do this exercise on paper in your journal; begin to rephrase your negative thoughts into neutral ones in your mind.
3. See the positive side
It can be incredibly challenging for many people to jump straight from negative thoughts into positive ones, which is why that neutral-thought stage is so crucial. By banishing negative self-talk, you are now in a great position to genuinely see the positives, in different situations.
Refer back to your thought journal and particularly examine the negative thoughts you have had. Putting aside all of the things you so obviously dislike about that thing, try to think of at least one positive.
For example, if you dislike your boss because they speak badly to you, think about the way that you are actually developing more resilience and ‘thicker skin’ by being in that situation, which is a positive result from a bad situation.
It can be hard to find benefits within challenging circumstances, but there is always a way to see something good.
As the Dalai Lama once famously said, “See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” Sometimes a lot of effort might be required, but it’s worth it!
4. Keep a gratitude journal
A gratitude journal is an incredible way to take stock of all of the wonderful things around you. Every evening write down all of the things in your day, and life more generally, that you are grateful for.
Perhaps you are grateful to your friends for their support, for the warm bed you are able to sleep in, or for the great weather you had that day. Write it all down.
If someone gives you a compliment that you appreciated on any particular day or said something very thoughtful, write it down in your gratitude journal too. Then when you find yourself being negative or critical, open up the journal and read over all of the positive things in your life that make you feel grateful.
This is a sure-fire way to re-ground you, make you gain perspective and make you realize how insignificant that particular trigger may be in the larger scheme of things. Context is important, so keep shifting your mind towards the positive.
Practicing these four simple thoughts can help you to transform the way that you perceive the world around you. Positive perception has the power to change your life, improving your attitudes and the ways that you respond to stress triggers.
Be patient and keep working at positivity, as it has so many benefits for your life, so make the most of it!