You may have heard the phrase – are you a glass half empty or glass half full person. More softly, this refers to whether you are generally a negative or more positive type of person for the type of activity that you are doing. A small percentage of people are naturally positive all the time, but the majority of us have to work hard to retain positivity when we are doing some tasks.
If you’re naturally a negative thinker, there are some ways you can change that thinking and get on the path to a life-changing way of thinking. We already understand that positive thinking can add so much to your life – and now we know that positive thinking can add years to your life. When you think with positive intent, you get rid of stress, tend to live a healthier life and make better choices.
Be responsible for your thoughts.
No one can tell you what to think or controls how you react to your thinking. When you begin to take responsibility for your thoughts, you’ll face the reality of what they’re doing to or for you and be more able to change those negative thoughts.
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 take what you’re thinking as reality. Instead, you have the time and opportunity to think it over and conclude that reflects the reality of the situation.
Avoid negative people.
Negative people can ruin your best-laid plans to think positively. They can feed the fire of self-doubt and anxiety. These people have been referred to as mood hoovers or energy vampires that suck the blood of positivity from the inner you. Think for yourself and surround yourself with positive people.
Write down your thoughts.
It’s helpful to see what your thoughts have been at the end of the day. Get a journal and take the time to write down your thoughts. You’ll see what went wrong and be able to improve them.
Consider the repercussions and consider solutions.
Reinforce a positive thought by exploring the benefits of acting in a certain way; this may challenge how some aspects of what you do are done and move you into a positive frame of mind.
Minimise catastrophic thinking.
Rather than thinking the worst about a situation, try to minimise it and lower your anxiety level by being practical. Avoid situations (such as television news) that might cause you anxious thinking if you’re susceptible to those thoughts.
Live for the moment.
When you spend too much time guessing or analysing 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.
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 into that “happy ending”. We control the way we think, but our inner programme may take some change, especially if we have become stuck over time. As with any change process, we need to put energy in to get energy out; we need to work at it. Set yourself some small healthy habit changes – changing something too much, is probably not going to help in your shift.
- Adjust the tone of your voice, both inner and outer. When you find that your speaking or thinking tone is harsh and damaging, please change it to a lighter, more positive tone.
- Meditation. Finding some time for yourself to meditate or relax and restore your energy levels can do wonders for your outlook. When you combine some yoga stretches or deep breathing, you can make more significant leaps.
- Smile. The best way to diffuse a negative situation is to smile. I mean, really give it a beamer, smile not just with your mouth but with your eyes and your entire face and demeanour. 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?
- Keep a gratitude journal. Those who have had to overcome significant obstacles 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 bad 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.
Finally, I find that a great way to let go of the negativity is to fire up your energy list from your favourite streaming service. Last year, I created a Spotify list that I opened up to others to add inspirational and motivational music. I love this, and this curiosity has led me to discover many new songs from unknown artists – and I find myself bopping when I listen to it. Any negativity that I have, dissipates with every beat.
Do whatever works for you to lift your spirits and get you out of negative self-talk. Some people exercise. That gets the endorphins flowing and keeps you from becoming depressed.
Some of these methods or tactics might talk to you. They are just suggestions, and perhaps giving one or two of them a go might help you to move what I will call your positivity index.