Have you ever had one of those bad days where it feels like the world is conspiring against you? You’re not alone. Our thoughts and emotions can spiral into seemingly endless negativity, and we wonder if we have any control over anything.
Luckily, from a scientific standpoint the outlook is positive…if you’re willing to do one thing, and that’s change your mindset.
Research has shown that happiness is more a choice than something random. Our perception of situations, which is shaped primary by our thoughts, tends to inform how situations play out, and thus how we categorize them in our minds.
It’s not easy to understand why and how positive thinking is so powerful, but now you may be wondering how to get started in the first place?
It is not you, it is your brain.
Below is how you can train yourself to think positively:
- In positivity we trust: a major step is believing that you can shift into a space of positivity. If you’re used to placing the onus of blame outside yourself, check that behavior. Acknowledge that you can and will try to become more mindful of your thoughts, and in doing so, shift to.
- Engage your inner self: A good way to figure out what’s going on in your head is to meditate. Try sitting silently for 10 minutes, and simply notice what comes up. Are you criticizing? Worrying? Notice your thoughts so you can become aware of them in the first place.
- Train your brain: Once you’re more aware, it’s time to make a conscious effort to seek out the positive and train your brain to search for positivity. Try to think about the good things that have happened in your day, and practice gratitude for those. Rather than shooting a text to a friend to complain about something, try sharing something positive. The old adage: if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all!” holds true here.
- Share Positivity with Others: Here we’ll return to that text you almost sent your friend complaining about your significant other. Notice if you’re about to complain, and think about how that affects others. Your actions have a ripple effect on others. Rather than spreading negativity, ask yourself how you can have a positive effect. This can be as simple as sharing a compliment, or making someone a playlist. This behavior will create a positive feedback loop you’ll see reflected back to you more often, creating an abundance of positivity in your life. Also, know that it’s ok to take steps back from negative people in your life.
- Affirmations: Time to finally practice them: we’ve written before about the power of affirmations. If you’re looking for a way to change you inner dialogue on a deep level, repeating positive phrases is a way to kickstart the process.
- Journaling. Experts Recommend: An excellent way to work through negative, difficult emotions is to journal. Studies have shown that those who journal experience greater emotional resiliency than those who don’t. Think of it as a way of cleaning and clearing out your negative emotions. You’ll also likely gain a greater perspective on your issues, and will be more likely to arrive at solutions. You can also track your progress in positivity in your journal!
Retraining your mind can seem difficult at first, and it is! But you’re equipped with all the tools to get started. Remember to have patience with yourself, and not to hold yourself to impossible standards (we all complain sometimes...) If you practice positivity over time, you’re guaranteed to see major changes.