Thinking positively can have a dramatic impact on your life. Instead of letting negative thoughts like fears, doubts, and anger get in your way, you can embrace calm, confidence, courage, and happiness. These top ten ways will help you change your outlook starting today.
#1 Set Small Achievable Goals
One of the reasons that people tend to think negatively about themselves is that they focus on failures. You can create a pattern of success and shift this mindset. Identify a goal and break it down into a series of small achievable steps. For example, if your goal is to be more positive, the first step might be to find 1 positive thing about every difficult situation.
#2 Be Aware of Negative Thoughts
Start paying attention to the thoughts that you have and when you have them. You may begin to notice some patterns. For example, maybe you criticize your body in the morning when you’re getting dressed. Once you’re aware of the negative thoughts and triggers, you can replace them with positive thoughts. In this case, find and state one thing that you like about yourself.
#3 Create Affirmations
Affirmations are positive statements. They’re present tense and they are written or spoken in the first person. For example, “I am accomplishing my goals one step at a time.” Affirmations are repeated to help make them part of your self-talk. They shift your thoughts from negative to positive. You might repeat your mantra in the morning, when you’re having negative thoughts, or even several times throughout the day. Find a system that works for you.
#4 Visualize Your Success
When you’re facing a task or situation where you find yourself feeling doubts, fears, and negative thoughts, try to visualize yourself being successful. Close your eyes and visualize how you’ll feel when you achieve the task and have a positive outcome. Open your eyes and hold onto those feelings. Let them flood through you and prevent any negative thoughts from taking over.
#5 Focus on Your Happiness
It’s important to make time for happiness in your day. Even if you don’t love your job or you’re having a difficult time, spend some time each day doing something that makes you happy. Read a book. Take a walk in nature. Call a friend on the telephone. Knit, paint, dance, or go take a boxing class. There are so many opportunities to add a few minutes of fun to your day.
#6 Surround Yourself with Positive People
The people in your life can make a significant difference in your own thoughts and emotions. If you’re surrounded by people who tend to be negative, those emotions can rub off on you. Keep in mind that negative thoughts can be complaints, fears, anger, doubt, worry, frustration, overwhelm and other emotions that don’t support a confident and happy feeling.
Look at the people you interact with. Engage more with those who are positive and supportive and disconnect as much as possible with the negative people.
#7 Practice Gratitude
Gratitude shifts your focus from what you don’t have to what you do have. It helps you feel abundance rather than lack. It’s powerful. Find something in every situation to be grateful for. Embrace gratitude daily. Write down 5 things that you’re grateful for each day.
Write about the positive aspects of your day. Write down 5 things that you’re grateful for, each day. Journal about 5 nice things you did for someone. Write about 3 things that someone did for you.
#8 Take Care of Yourself
Self-care is important. It can be difficult to be positive when you’re exhausted, you don’t feel well, and you put everyone else first. Put yourself first. Eat well. Exercise and move your body. Get enough sleep and embrace stress reduction techniques like meditation and deep breathing. Pay attention to your health, emotions, and mental wellness.
#9 Give Back
Giving back to others helps you look at the world differently. Not only does it make you feel grateful for what you have in your life, giving back has been shown to make people feel more connected. Studies have been done on the happiness of those who give back and they consistently rank higher than those who do not. If you want to feel better about yourself and the world around you, get involved in making it a better place.
Volunteer at a homeless shelter, hospital, or humane society. Clean up the environment, build homes for habitat for humanity, or knit hats for premature babies. There are thousands of ways to give back to others.
#10 Recognize Accomplishments and Successes
Make a list of your accomplishments, successes, and your positive attributes. Are you kind? Do you have great legs? Are you good at math or are you an excellent communicator? Create a brag sheet and write down everything that is wonderful about you. Add to this list when new skills, attributes, and successes arise.
Then, when you’re feeling down or having a difficult day, you can pull out this list of amazing and focus on the positive. That way, it’s always nearby in case you need it.
Finally, you can fake it until you make it. If you just can’t feel positive right now, pretend. Fake it. Fake a positive attitude. Smile at yourself in the mirror, smile at others, and start the process inside your mind and body. You can then embrace any of these top ten ways to think more positively. Take a chance; it’ll change your life.