When you have been in a negative frame of mind for so long, it can be incredibly hard to shift your perspective and start thinking more positively. When you have external factors that are negatively affecting your life, it can be even harder to maintain a positive outlook. Fear and sadness easily slip in and rule your life. You can start to take small steps to eliminate negative thinking in your life. Here is how to maintain a more positive outlook:
Live in the moment
When you’re in the present moment, you’re not worrying about what will happen in the future, and you’re not ruminating about things that happened in the past. You are simply being present and accepting life as it reveals itself to you.
Repeat positive affirmations
Repeating positive statements to yourself can help challenge and overcome negative thinking. When the affirmations are repeated over and over again, they can slowly start to change the pattern of your thinking. Here are some positive affirmations to start with:
-“I am in charge of how I feel today and I am choosing happiness.”
-“I am enough.”
-“I am whole.”
-“Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.”
-“I feel safe in the rhythm and flow of ever-changing life.”
Believe in your power of thinking
If you believe that negative things will happen, then you will create negative situations in your life. You don’t need to be fake positive or wear a mask pretending like everything is okay when you feel anxious or depressed. You don’t need to stay in the emotion mind, which is the part of your brain that is very reactive and uses emotions to make decisions. Being in this part of your brain can cause you to act impulsively, with little regard for consequences. The rational mind is judgemental, focused on the facts,and approaches things very intellectually. You might be too hot or too cold, which can make it difficult to think positively, because we are either not in touch with our emotions, or overly involved in them. We want to get into the wise mind when we are thinking negatively. Wise mind allows us to access our emotions, which are very valuable, and also use our rational mind to problem solve and find solutions.
Notice when your negative thoughts are running on a loop. When you have that awareness, you can start to take small action steps. Set a time limit for how long you are going to spend ruminating, and release your thoughts into your journal. Once that time limit is up, move on from those thoughts. You can call a friend, identify actionable solutions, or distract yourself from those unhealthy thoughts by reading a book, watching a comforting movie, playing a game, or working on an art project.
Face your fears
You must face your fears, otherwise, they will continue to hold you back. Acknowledge when you feel fear, anxiety, and worry. Once you have awareness over and understanding of your fears, you can start to work towards overcoming them.
Shift your perspective
Stop thinking in terms of how things “should” be. This causes unnecessary suffering in our lives. It also helps to think of the bigger picture. How do your negative thoughts hold up in the real world? Widen your lense, and lift yourself up above the maze to see the bigger picture.
Click here to read about how to change your thoughts to stop procrastination.
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Alli Cravener is a social media coordinator and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University and has found her niche uniting concept and content in the realm of mental health and the expressive arts. Alli’s interests include painting, history, learning about other people, and wearing the color pink. She likens herself to a “mouse in a palm tree”, and she loves it that way.