Before we talk about how to have more positive thoughts, let’s talk about a simple truth: you are not immune to negative thoughts. They are going to come into your life at times of difficulty or sickness, and to fight them by pretending they are not there is like trying to fight a tiger with a chopstick. You won’t win. And as you turn your back to them, they will attack you over and over again.
That’s why it’s important to deal with negative thoughts. Recognize why they have come. Allow yourself to understand their need to be present in your life. Then, consciously shift your mindset from negative thinking to positive thinking so that you can take action on them and make them go away. The more you practice positive thinking, the easier it will be to make this shift. Following are 15 ways to make positive thinking a part of your daily life.
1. Create Daily Positive Set Points
People who practice positive thoughts every day are the people who bring positivity into their life. Obviously there are going to be negative thoughts as well, but getting into a rhythm of positive thinking can help you set a tone for each day.
Do this by consistently doing things that make you feel good on a day to day basis. For instance, go for a walk every morning in a place that makes you feel good. You will find yourself looking forward to this act as you go to bed or wake up, and the walk will set a positive tone for the morning. In short, your morning walk will be a positive set point where you rejuvenate and bring yourself back into a high energy – even if you’ve had a bad night or sleep that had your energy feeling low.
There are many things you can do during your days that make you feel optimistic about life, so include them in your everyday practice to help consistently bring yourself back up to a positive energy. At the very least, try to do something in the morning, afternoon, and evening that raises your energy and brings you positive thoughts.
2. Take Note Of Your Progress
Research has shown that we have the ability to increase our happiness when we can consciously see how far we have come. Therefore, instead of dwelling on what we haven’t done or what we need to do, we should focus on the progress that we have made in our lives.
It’s best to do this in the morning and in the evening and by using a journal. You can reflect on the progress you have made by visualizing where you were a year ago, two years ago, or 10 years ago, and where you are now.
Personally, I have kept a journal for years, and it is interesting to see where I was on this exact date years ago as to where I am now. You will find that even the smallest bits of progress will help you feel much better about yourself and where you are.
3. Recognize Others Limitations
Other people can have a huge influence over the way you think and feel about yourself and your life. But, there is something you need to ask yourself when they are trying to bring you down.
Do they really have the experience to give me their advice or opinion?
For instance, your friend may make you feel bad about your desire to switch careers. He may tell you that this is a bad time to do it and you are putting yourself at too much risk. But you need to ask yourself if he is coming from experience or from somewhere else. If he is coming from somewhere else, then he is speaking from within the boundaries of his limitations. He doesn’t think that a career change would work for HIM and he is projecting his own fears and concerns on you.
When you see that other people’s suggestions, opinions, and advice is usually from their own personal comfort zone and fear, you will be able to see how little it applies to you and think much more positively about your own desires and way of life.
4. Avoid Perfection
Instead of focusing on being perfect or doing things perfectly, focus on getting things done. The minute you take perfection out of the equation is the minute that you can remove negative thoughts and replace them with more optimistic and exciting thoughts.
For instance, if you are starting a new job, you may want to get everything perfect so your boss finds you valuable. But, the cost of perfection is time and energy, and when things don’t work out perfectly (and the usually don’t) you will feel bad about things not working out plus the time and energy you wasted.
Therefore, do everything you can with excitement and passion to the best of your ability. Focus on doing your best and your thoughts will be more positive before, during, and after everything you do.
5. Don’t Focus On Negative People
With today’s technology, it is easy to look up the ex, old friends, estranged family members, and everyone else who has done you wrong or made you upset. But, doing so will only cause you to feel anger, hurt, regret, and other negative emotions.
If you want to have more positive thoughts, you have to leave the past in the past and focus on the moment. Stop looking up those old relationships on Facebook to drag the past into the present; instead, focus on the people who are in your life right now that are contributing to it in a positive way. Make the most of your time with them and your thoughts will be much more positive.
6. Say Yes Or No
A lot of time is spent thinking over requests or proposals that you are not sure about. That encourages fear, unease, and other negative emotions to hang around. Moreover, when you do something that you know is bad for you, negative thoughts stick around during and after that event. But, when you make a decision quickly, you can get on with your day and focus on positive thoughts.
Say yes quickly to things that sound like they will benefit your life. That may be a work task, an invitation to hang out with some friends, or a new opportunity to make some money. If it excites you even a little, and you think you will benefit from it, then go for it!
Say no quickly to things that sound like they will detract from your life. That may be an invitation to hang out with someone you don’t like or a request to do something at work that will not contribute to your success. If it doesn’t feel good, and you know it won’t benefit your life in any way, say no.
7. Practice Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations can help you consistently have more positive thoughts about every aspect of life. Positive affirmations are statements made in a present tense form that help you feel good about yourself.
– I am an awesome person
– I practice compassion in my relationships
– I focus on my personal growth daily
Saying these things to yourself, especially when a negative subconscious thought arises, will help you to think more positively in your day to day life.
For instance, when you hear the thought, “Today is going to suck!” you can counter it with a positive affirmation, such as, “I make the most out of time every day!” This thought will help you realize that you can make the most out of your day no matter what is going to happen.
Every subconscious thought that tries to put a damper on your day can be fought off this way. Soon it will natural to counteract negative thoughts with your positive affirmations.
8. Keep Things In Perspective
When you make a mountain out of a molehill your thoughts will go off on a negative tangent, but when you keep things in perspective, you will have a much easier time maintaining positive thoughts.
How do you know if it is a molehill or a mountain? Ask yourself the following questions.
If I choose a positive reaction, will this still impact my whole day negatively?
Will this matter in a week from now?
Will this matter in a year from now?
Will this make my entire life worse?
Is there something I can do to tackle this quickly and effectively?
By asking yourself these questions, you are giving your mind a new perspective towards the situation, and you will find that almost everything will feel small when you reflect on how much it really impacts your entire life and how easy it is to tackle.
9. Don’t Let Things Get Too Negative
You know what stresses you out and makes you upset.
– It may be a messy house.
– It may be procrastination.
– It may be arriving late to an appointment.
The best way to remove negative thoughts around these things and replace them with positive thoughts is to put plans of action in place to prevent them.
– Create a daily routine to keep your house clean.
– Organize your daily tasks in a way that allows you to do them easily.
– Always give yourself an extra 20 minutes to get somewhere.
By taking positive action on the things that knowingly stress you out and make you think negatively, you can reduce a lot of negative thoughts and replace them with more positive thoughts.
10. Remember, This Too Shall Pass
It’s hard to think positively when you are focused on something negative. This is why you have to shift your focus from that negative thing and keep moving forward with your life.
Looking back on your life, you can probably remember bad moments that you thought were going to make your life miserable. Job losses, school bullies, and failed attempts at things you wanted to succeed at can all make the world feel really bad at the time, but their impact on our life passes. We move on and our emotions heal with time.
Remembering that every negative situation passes can help you ease the pain and negative emotions that come with it. In fact, recognizing this truth can help you decide to move on quicker than normal. The recognition that it will get better is often enough to promote positive thoughts to help speed up that process.
11. Be Grateful For What You Have
Being grateful for what is in your life, including the people, material things and the experiences, is the key to positive thoughts. You stop focusing on what you don’t have and you start appreciating everything that occurs in your day. That’s a ticket to feeling good, and you have the power to be grateful at every moment if you choose to see the elements that there are to be grateful for.
Practice noticing one thing to be grateful for in every situation. It may be something small, such as the sound of laughter, or it may be something big, such as regaining your health. If you look for something to be grateful for, you will find it – trust me.
12. Accept Change As A Part Of Life
Change can be a struggle and bring on negative thoughts when you deny its presence in life. Therefore, you must accept change as a part of life.
Do that by recognizing that change will always happen and it always benefits in your life in some way. It can help you see mistakes you have made and move forward on a stronger path. It can make you a stronger person. And, it can help you get on a path towards something that you want. When you view change as a positive thing, you will welcome it when it comes.
13. Recognize Your Value
You were born for a reason, and many people think that it was to impact the world with your unique talents and insights. You are not just here to ‘make it through’ life. You are here to overcome, succeed, and make a difference!
You may make a difference in a few people’s lives or you may have a major impact over the entire world. It all matters. You contribution matters to the overall energy of the planet. Recognize that and you will recognize your value, which means you will instantly have more positive thoughts throughout your day.
14. Believe In Yourself
Understand that you are capable of great things, just like everyone else. You are not different from someone who has achieved greatness. You are made up of the same stuff and have the ability to take action on what you want, just like they did. All you have to do is take that action! Believe in yourself and your thoughts will take on a new, positive tone that helps you move forward towards the life that you want.
15. Recognize That You Get What You Ask For
Every day your thoughts and behaviors demonstrate what you want out of life, and you will get what you want. For instance, if you feel that you don’t deserve much in life, so you sit around and do nothing to get what you want, then you are asking to have a life without much satisfaction – and you will get it. But, if you feel that you deserve a lot of great things and you take action on getting them, then you will bring great things into your life.
You have a choice. When you see that choosing positive thoughts are the way to bring what you want into your life, you will have a much easier time choosing them.