5 Practical Ways to Boost Positive Thinking
Learning how to harness the power of positivity can have an amazing impact on your life. It will help you to stay optimistic, to see the opportunity within a problem, and to recognise the silver linings in any situation.
The mental and physical benefits of positive thinking have been proven in numerous scientific studies. They show that it can improve your mood and confidence, as well as lower your risk of stress-related disorders.
But while all this sounds great, we are not big fans of pseudoscience and simply saying positive affirmations in the mirror might sound good but it’s not going to make you happier. So what exactly does ‘positive thinking’ really mean?
Well, we can define positive thinking as positive self-talk, positive imagery or general optimism. However, these are still quite ambiguous concepts, so let’s take a look at five practical tips that you can use in everyday life to boost positivity:
Start your day on the right foot.
How you choose to start your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. For example, when we wake up late, stressed and in a rush to get to work, it often sets us up for a bad day. Starting out your day feeling like you don’t have enough time or you are running on ‘auto-pilot’ leaves you disengaged with the present moment. In this state, you are not present to experience the blessings and appreciation of your present moment experience, such as the smell of your coffee in the morning! Start your day with brief mindfulness meditation, even 3 minutes can make a difference! Mindfulness will anchor your awareness and help you to feel present and appreciative.
Aim for a balanced mind, acknowledge the good things in life – however small
No matter who we are, we all face obstacles that can easily ruin our day if we let them. We are pre-programmed to pay close attention to threats and negative information. So in order to balance this out, we need to pay specific attention to our blessings, silver linings, small wins. When we encounter a challenge, try to focus on the benefits that the problem might bring – no matter how unimportant they may seem. As an example, next time you’re stuck in traffic on your way home from work, think about the positives, such as how you now have a little extra time to listen to your favourite podcast.
Turn failures into lessons
The truth is, none of us are perfect. That means we’re going to make mistakes from time to time and experience failure. So, instead of focusing on your shortcomings, think about what you have learned and how you’ll do it differently next time, thereby turning that failure into a lesson.
And remember, strength comes from mastering things you once thought were impossible – so while you may fall down, get back up, dust yourself off and move forward. Once you stop shaming your failures, the easier it will be to use them to your advantage.
Transform negative self-talk
Be careful what you say because you are listening. Unfortunately, negative self-talk can easily creep up on us and be hard to notice. For example, you might say to yourself ‘I should have tried that’ or ‘I’m so bad at this’, but these thoughts then become internalised feelings and can change how you view yourself. Instead, try to replace those negative and damaging messages with positive ones such as ‘once I get more practice, I’ll be better at this’ and ‘that didn’t work out as I’d planned but I will learn from this and maybe it will next time’.
Stick close to positive people
Those who are overly critical, jealous and disrespectful can leave us with feelings of low self-esteem and negativity. On the other hand, by surrounding ourselves with positive people, we’ll hear more positive stories, outlooks and affirmations. Their positive thoughts and words will rub off on us and begin to influence our line of thinking. The saying goes “you are the average of the 5 people closest to you”. Also, do all you can to improve other people’s positivity and be the kind of person that you’d want to spend time with.
Train your mind to think positive
Almost anybody can apply these five principles in their daily lives to boost their positive attitude and eliminate negativity. However, if you’re struggling to find joy in everyday matters and would like to improve the quality of your life, Positive Mind Works can help. We use a variety of techniques, including Positive Psychology, to help increase your happiness, meaning and well-being. Learn more here or get started today with a 20-minute taster.