Positive thinking can add so much to your life – and now we know that positive thinking can add years to your life. That’s right, according to a 2019 study, positive thinking can lead to longevity. When you think positively you down-regulate stress and tend to live a healthier life and make better choices. If you’re naturally a negative thinker, there are ways you can change that thinking and get on the path to a life-enhancing way of thinking.
If you want to begin to think positively and change your life for the better, check out the following ways you can incorporate positive thinking into your lifestyle:
- Be responsible for your thoughts. No one can tcontrol what to think unless you passively allow it. Take responsibility for your own thoughts. Instead of allowing passive thought patterns to take hold in your mind, be proactive about what and how you think. This may sound simple and easy, but it’s not. It takes a lot of practice and awareness. But you can master it.
- Plan to think positively. So many of our thoughts come from the subconscious mind. When you plan to think positively, you won’t be as apt to accept every thought as reality. Instead, you give yourself the time and opportunity to think it over and come to a conclusion that reflects the reality of the situation.
- Avoid negative people. Negative people can ruin your best-laid plans to think positively. They can fuel the fire of self-doubt and anxiety. It can sometimes be classified as a crowd-mentality, so don’t fall prey to it. Think for yourself. Resist group think.
- Write down your thoughts. It’s helpful if you can see at the end of the day the flow of your thoughts. Take the time to write them down. You’ll see exactly where you went down the rabbit hole with your thoughts and be able to improve 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 might not be as awesome as you planned. If you take more time, it may cause other problems. Also, consider solutions. For example, you could ask for an extension to the deadline, or hire additional help.
- Minimize catastrophic thinking. Rather than thinking the worst about a situation, try to minimize it and lower your anxiety level by being practical about it. If you’re susceptible to those thoughts, avoid situations (such as television news) that might increase anxious thinking.
- Live in the moment. Do what you can now. When you spend too much time trying to guess or analyze the future, you’ll convince yourself of failure – especially if you’ve failed in the past. If you think you’ll fail, you probably will.
Bonus Point: How to Overcome Negative Thougths
If you have major issues with thinking positively, this bonus section is for you. Here you will learn a more in-depth strategy to overcome those haunting negative thoughts.
Recognize that everyone falls prey to negative thoughts at times. Imagine watching a movie that begins with clear skies and happiness and then suddenly dark clouds and horror appear. Unfortunately, there’s no eerie music to alert us when that turn takes place in our minds from positive to negative. Instead, we have periodically tuned into our thoughts to see how we’re doing.
When you catch yourself thinking negatively there are a few things you can do – actually practice – that can help you overcome the negativity and get yourself to that “happy ending.”
- Adjust the tone of your voice, both inner and outer. When you find that your speaking or thinking tone is harsh and negative, change it to a lighter and more positive tone.
- Meditation. Finding some time for yourself to meditate or just relax to restore your energy levels can do wonders for your outlook. When you combine some gental stretches or deep breathing, you can make bigger leaps.
- Smile. The best way to diffuse a negative situation is to smile – really smile, with your eyes and your entire face and demeanor. It can lift a mood almost instantaneously and help to relieve stress too (and it takes fewer facial muscles to smile than to frown).
- Help someone else. Becoming a benefactor to someone can fill your heart and mind with happiness. And, how can you think and project negative thoughts when you’re so happy giving to others?
- Keep a gratitude journal. Those who have had to overcome great obstacles in their lives say they kept and still do keep a gratitude journal and wrote a few things in it every day that they were grateful for. It helped to get them through tough times.
- Choose positive people to be around. You may have to work with negative people, and you may have some in your own family, but your friends that you choose can be positive ones who help you put things into perspective when you’re thinking negatively.
- Do whatever works for you to lift your spirits. Try exercise or dancing to upbeat music. Gets those endorphins flowing and keep negative thoughts at bay.
Be aware that you are in charge of the choices you make in life and you can either choose to be a negative or a positive person.
Accept the reality that you can control your thoughts. You’ll become more empowered to face stressful situations in your life and to change the way you think. It will become easier to maintain that positive attitude the more you practice thinking positively.
Be well + prosper,
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