Having a positive outlook is a choice. You can choose to think thoughts that elevate your mood, throw a more constructive light on difficult situations, and generally color your day with brighter, more hopeful approaches to the things you do. By choosing to take a positive outlook on life, you can begin to shift out of a negative frame of mind and see life as filled with possibilities and solutions instead of worries and obstacles. If you want to know how to think more positively, just follow these tips.
1. Understand the benefits of being a positive thinker. Choosing to think more positively will not only help you take control of your life and make your everyday experiences more pleasant, but it will have countless benefits on your mental and physical health as well as your ability to deal with change. Being aware of these benefits can help you be even more motivated to think positively on a regular basis. Here are some of the most important benefits of positive thinking:
- An increased life span
- Lower rates of depression and distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better mental and physical well-being
- Better coping skills during times of stress
- A more natural ability to form relationships and cement bonds
2. Take responsibility for your attitude. Remember that you experience about 50,000 to 60,000 thoughts every single day of your life. And they’re your thoughts –– nobody controls how you feel and think unless you let them. This might seem like a very challenging idea if you’re used to absorbing the emotions and preferences of other people, but you’re always making a choice to think positively or negatively.
- Own up to the reality that your feelings are something you can control. This will make you feel more empowered and able to change your thinking patterns.
3. Make a plan to stop being a negative thinker. That means deciding to conquer the negativity that is going on around you — and there will always be plenty of it. Think of what you can do today that is good for you and others that is positive and constructive. Decide how you will react in ways that will make a difference to your life instead of allowing people and situations to dictate what you think and do. Here’s how to have a bullet-proof game plan for positive thinking:
- Don’t let other people ruin your plan. People will often make things seem more important or worrisome than they really are. By not allowing yourself to be swept away by crowd-enhanced anxiety and instead taking time to think it over and get an answer that works, you’ll feel less pressured to conform or to fall in line even though doing so doesn’t match who you are.
- Making a plan to be more positive will already be a move in the right direction. This will help you to stay positive because you will feel a greater sense of control over your life and your choices.
- Your plan can be simple: you can vow to identify and record your negative thoughts each day, and to take time to reflect on why you had those thoughts and how you can improve them.
- As you continue to execute your plan, you’ll see that identifying your negative thoughts becomes easier and maintaining a negative attitude will be harder.
4. Keep a diary to reflect your thoughts. By recording your daily thoughts, you can actually see a pattern develop right before you that shows a string of positive or negative thoughts. Write down thoughts and feelings as they loom large and try to spot the triggers that have resulted in either positive or negative thoughts. Taking just twenty minutes to follow your pattern of thinking at the end of every day can be a valuable way to identify what went wrong and what you can do to improve.
- Instead of writing in journal form, you can even make a list of the five most prevalent negative thoughts and positive thoughts you had that day, and take time to analyze them.
- Keeping a diary is particularly helpful during times of stress. Stress can be managed, but only when you recognize how you’re reacting to stressful events. By noting your triggers and reactions during stressful periods, you’ll have something concrete to work with to change for the better.