There have been times over the past few years that I am sure you can all relate to; times where I have descended into despair, and the cloying negativity that accompanies it. I can recall many mornings when I have awoken to a bleak mindset, wanting only to pull the covers over my head and forget the world, others, where I just felt nothing at all. These are days when my mind sees problems, not challenges and negative thoughts run riot.
Any traumatic event or major loss in our lives, can lead us into these mind-troughs. Initially, it’s the all consuming nature of emotional pain that strips away rational thought and good intentions. But sure enough, the passage of time brings moments where positivity creeps over the horizon, like the morning sun rising over a distant hill. And it’s lovely! We begin to experience the world again, as a place where there is warmth and light.
But positive thinking isn’t just something that happens to us; it is an action, a habit, a quest. Any, and every day, no matter how we are experiencing the world, we can choose to be a more positive person. Choose: decide what our heart desires, and then, make it happen.
Do you need more help with this? Download this FREE pdf Tool Kit that will help you to change your mind and patterns of negative thinking
Three ways to choose positive thinking
- The habit model – habits are simply things that we decide to practice regularly, until they become an integral part of our lives. Many habits can increase positive thinking, such as gratitude journaling, self affirmation, encouraging others, taking a daily walk, mindfulness, silver lining spotting and yoga, to name just a few. Set yourself small habit goals that are very specific – such as “I will email or text one person every day to express my gratitude towards them.” – and then try to piggyback them onto habits that you already maintain. The habit goal above might become something like “Every morning when I sit down to drink my first cup of tea, I will email or text one person to express my gratitude towards them.” Work with just one habit and log your success, until you are consistently maintaining the new habit. Then add in another. The habit model often works very well for people who are well organised and like routine.
- The quest model – a quest (SuperBetter terminology) is a small, readily achievable task that you set yourself, which, when completed will move you towards a greater goal – and which is fun! If your goal is to achieve a positive thinking mindset, you might take a few minutes each morning to choose 2 or 3 quests to complete over the course of the day, each of which will move you slightly closer to your goal. For instance, you might decide that today you will contact a friend to ask them what you can do help them have a better day, and also do 2 minutes of breathing exercises while focusing on the mantra, “I can choose…” The quest model works really well for creative, or easily side tracked people (like me!) and those who feel complete overwhelm – because you can start off with the tiniest of quests and build on that.
- The voice model – this can work in any way that gives expression to your voice, you just need to find a method that makes sense to you. Remember that the goal is to progress in positive thinking, so you are looking for means of expression, where you can give your positive voice some exercise. This could include journaling, mirror self talk (can be mighty powerful looking yourself in the eye and speaking positively to your core), logging successes or achievements of any kind, agreeing to play the glad game (Pollyana terminology) with a friend – not as a one off, but as a way of life, or speaking encouragment other people. The voice method can be helpful for those who revel in self-reflection, want to overcome negative speech or tap into the positive energy of a friend.
These are just three – of many – ways to actively choose positive thinking. You can use aspects of all three together – or something completely different that you know will work for you. The important thing is to take action – to DO something. To make a change.
I’d love to read your comments and ideas of changes that work for you, and which we all might find useful. And if you enjoyed this, and want more ideas about how you can change your mind (ways of thinking) you might like the FREE Life I Choose Tool Kit on this topic.