Developing a positive state of mind that helps you navigate through life’s many challenges won’t happen overnight. However, it’s completely possible. The first thing to know is that positivity starts from within. Positive thoughts impact how you feel. Positive feelings impact how you behave and positive behaviour and decision-making lead to positive outcomes. And then positive outcomes create more positive thoughts.
To begin with, we’re going to offer you some advice on how to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. This is the first step to transforming your mindset and leading a more optimistic life. As said before, being more positive isn’t about being happy all the time. It’s about looking at a situation and seeing how you can transform it into something positive. Try observing negative thoughts and transforming them into positive ones.
So, instead of:
Things are so hard right now, I can’t cope.
Think: Things won’t always be like this, this is only for now and the future will be better.
2. Instead of:
I always make mistakes, I am useless.
Think: It’s okay to make mistakes, I am only human, and mistakes help me to learn.
3. Instead of:
There’s no point in trying, this is impossible to achieve.
Think: This is challenging. But, with hard work and determination, I can achieve this.
4. Instead of:
Why is it always me? I have such bad luck.
Think: Today is just a bad day. Tomorrow will be much better.
5. Instead of:
I deserve bad things to happen to me.
Think: I deserve happiness, health, love, and other good things in my life.
Next time you catch yourself thinking along these lines, stop, acknowledge your thoughts, take a deep breath, and try to rework the statements to make them more positive. This will take time. But with dedication and practice, you can relearn your thought patterns.
Tips to achieve a positive state of mind:
1. Practice gratitude daily
We often forget how lucky we are. We take for granted having food to eat, a roof over our heads and being healthy. But when you stop and really think about it, we’re so lucky to have these in our lives. To reprogram your mind for positive thinking, try to practice gratitude as often as possible. Every morning, think of three things that you are grateful for and write them down in a gratitude journal. On difficult days you can look back at these lists to remind yourself of how much good you have in your life. Or, in the evenings, before you go to bed, think of three things you have been grateful for that day. As you close your eyes to sleep, hold these thoughts in your mind.
2. Embrace positive self-talk
We tend to be our own worst critics. Over time, being so harsh on yourself can impact your self-esteem. Instead, talk to yourself as you would to a close friend. We’re only human and making mistakes is a part of life. You don’t need to be so critical of yourself or things that may not have gone to plan. This is similar to transforming negative thoughts into positive ones. Instead of “I can’t do this because I’ll do it wrong”, think “I can do this if I push myself”.
3. Understand your negativity
Understanding your negative thought process will help you reprogram your mind for positive thinking. Write your negative thoughts down. You might eventually start to see a pattern. Do you have certain triggers? Are your negative thoughts centered around one particular theme or person? Understanding more about your negative thoughts will give you insight into how to control them and avoid possible triggers.
4. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle does wonders for your mental and physical health, which will help you be more optimistic. For example, when you exercise, your body releases neurochemicals that trigger relaxation and a better mood. Likewise, eating a healthy and balanced diet will make you look and feel great. The combination of exercising regularly and eating well will leave you feeling happy, empowered, and unstoppable.
5. Surround yourself with positive people
Both positivity and negativity are contagious. If you surround yourself with negative people, it’ll be more difficult to feel optimistic. However, if you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll absorb this positive energy. Of course, you can’t completely avoid negative people, especially if they’re your work colleagues or family members. So instead, be the one to spread positivity. You never know, your positive energy could help them to think more optimistically as well.
Mindfulness is the skill of focusing your attention on the present moment. With time and practice, this can help you observe your thoughts and feelings and develop your self-awareness. By meditating regularly and focusing on the present, you aren’t dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. You can make unbiased decisions from a more rational perspective.
The benefits of an optimistic mindset are truly endless. From helping you cope effectively with stress to developing your self-confidence and increasing your quality of life; developing a positive mentality can help you become your best self. With time and practice, you can become a positive thinker and start perceiving your reality differently.