Positive thinking can lead to better outcomes in your career, your health and your relationships. When you think positively, you tend to create more opportunities for yourself. If you do tend to think more negatively, that doesn’t mean you can’t change. No one is able to be positive all the time, so when you slip into negative thinking, you shouldn’t berate yourself. However, a conscious effort toward more positivity can serve you well in all areas of your life.
Stop Putting Yourself Down
Positivity starts with you and with easing up on the self-criticism. When you’re tempted to use words like “lazy” and “stupid” to describe yourself, stop and ask yourself if you would address a friend that way. Of course, you wouldn’t, so why use those kinds of words on yourself? Most people have qualities in themselves they dislike, but you can look at them as opportunities for improvement rather than as excuses for beating yourself up.
Look for the Good Things
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When times are particularly tough, this can be a hard one. Illness, money worries and relationship problems can all be overwhelming in a very fundamental way. The point of looking for something good each day is not to suggest those things are easily overcome but to remind yourself that there is always something positive out there, however small. It might just be your first of coffee in the morning, watching a bird glide overhead or a small kindness from a stranger, but if you condition yourself to look each day, you will usually be able to find something positive.
Tune Your Funny Bone
Laughing makes you feel more positive in general but learning to see the funny side of things can also help you through a rough day when nothing seems to go right. Sometimes the best thing you can do is try to see the humor in misfortune.
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Stay in the Moment
Much of what stresses us out in life and has us thinking negative thoughts is fretting about the past and worrying about the future. Sometimes, the best way to shut down that negative thinking is to simply be in the moment you are in right now and not a second later in the future or back in the past. Often, this can slow down your thinking enough to realize that nothing bad is happening right at this very moment and that it is possible to find a little peace within yourself.
Instead of punishing yourself whenever you think you’ve done the wrong thing, reward yourself for making the right choice. This creates a cycle in which you are adding more positivity to your life with both your action and the reward. You might ace a job interview or save money by getting the right life insurance policy. Whatever it is, you can stem the tide of negative thoughts with positive thoughts about what you did right and reinforce that with a tangible reward. Keep in mind the reward doesn’t have to be about food or spending in case you have negative habits around those activities you’re trying to check. A reward can be a half hour with a favorite TV show or phoning a friend for a chat.
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