Positive thinking can add so much to your life – including the fact that now we know positive thinking can add years to your life. When you think positively, you minimize or eliminate stress and give yourself the opportunity to live a healthier life and make better choices. If you’re currently stuck in a negative thinking habit, there are ways you can turn that habit around and get on the path to a positive, life-changing way of thinking.
If you really want to begin to think positively and change your life for the better, consider the following ways that you can change your habits and incorporate positive thinking into your own lifestyle:
- Be responsible for your thoughts. No one can tell you what to think and no one controls how you react to your own thinking. When you begin to take responsibility for your thoughts – positive or negative – you’ll face the reality of what they’re doing to or for you and be more able to change those negative thoughts.
- Plan to think positively. So many of our thoughts come from our subconscious mind. When you plan to think positively, you won’t be as apt to accept negative or counterproductive thinking as inevitable. Instead, you will have the time and opportunity to think it over and come to the conclusion that reflects the reality of your situation.
- Avoid negative people. Negative people can ruin your best laid plans to think positively. They can feed the fire of self-doubt and anxiety. This can be classified as “crowd-mentality”, so don’t fall prey to it. Think for yourself.
- Write down your thoughts. It’s helpful if, at the end of the day, you can analyze what your thoughts have been. For the next 7 to 14 days, take the time to write down or record your thoughts at various points during the day. You’ll see what went negative or counterproductive with your thought process and be able to focus your energy on improving them.
- Consider the repercussions. For example, if you have a deadline for an assignment and it becomes clear that you’re not going to meet it, consider what might happen. If you finish it on time, it may not be as good as you originally wanted. If you take more time, it may cause other problems. Also consider solutions. For example, you could ask for an extension to the deadline.
- Minimize catastrophic thinking. Rather than putting time and energy into thinking of the worst thing that can happen in a specific situation, try to minimize stress and lower your anxiety level by being practical about it. If you’re susceptible to extremely negative and discouraging thoughts, avoid situations (such as television news) that might cause you anxious thinking as much as possible.
- Live for the moment. When you spend too much time trying to guess or analyze an uncertain future, you’ll convince yourself that you’ll experience failure – especially if you’ve failed in the past. If you think you’ll fail, you probably will – turn those thoughts around to a more positive direction.
Accept the reality that you can control your thoughts. You’ll become more empowered to face stressful situations that occur in your life and to change the way you think about the situations that you face. It will become easier to maintain a positive attitude the more you practice thinking positively.
If you’d like additional support in turning around your thought processes and habits from negative to positive, check out my “Staying Positive” course here.