Positive thinking is like a muscle that needs to be trained. But that is definitely easier said than done! So here are a few tips on how to alter your mindset, leading to a happier and healthier life.
The first tip is to accept what you can’t change. Stop focusing on the negative, and choose
to either turn the situation into an opportunity, or shift your focus to something else.
The former option involves analysing the situation to see what you could potentially gain from it. When you start to think more about positive opportunities, it helps you to avoid getting into a negative downward spiral.
When something is too raw or painful to do this, shifting your focus to something else can have a similar effect, even just temporarily – such as talking to a friend or watching a funny movie to take your mind off of the negative until you’re able to process your feelings and find that silver lining.
The second piece of advice is to take time to really appreciate and savour the good moments we experience. It can be so easy not to notice these things, but when we put in effort to notice and dwell on pleasant moments, even small ones, it can really help to strengthen that positive thinking muscle.
Talking to yourself, or writing about these memories in detail builds your inner thesaurus of positive words, boosting your mood and outlook. Additionally, writing them down and keeping them means you have a treasure trove of happy memories stored for a gloomy day!
Thirdly, write down inspirational quotes or things you’re thankful for, and stick them somewhere you can see them. These little reminders will also help you to keep that positivity at the center or your life.
One of the simplest ways to make yourself feel better is to do something for someone else. When we stop focusing on our own problems and take some time to show kindness to someone else, it can have a positive effect on our wellbeing and can lift our spirits, as well as helping us to avoid becoming absorbed in our own problems.
You could help them in a practical way, you could do a simple nice deed to let them know you thought of them, or you could put in effort to spend some time with someone.
Thinking about what you’re grateful for can instantly make you feel more positive, and making it a habit has many benefits. When something happens in our life, our interpretation of what happened is what affects how we feel – so being grateful and identifying our blessings can change which emotions we are left with after an event.
Research has suggested that the simple act of writing down 3 things you are grateful for each day reduces the symptoms of depression and increases happiness.
Even in a situation that seems completely negative, we can usually find something to be grateful for – even if it’s just that we learnt a lesson.