We all have people in our lives that are constantly exuding a positive spirit, even on the gloomiest of days. Some of these people are naturally optimistic, while others have learned how to become more positive throughout their lives. The way we think greatly affects our mood; and in order to give off a more cheerful spirit, it’s essential to become aware of how we are thinking. Here are some of my favorite ways on how to do just that.
Learning to be positive may seem like a simple task, but many people find themselves greatly struggling with it. It can be easy to fall into a negative mindset, whether from a lack of positive upbringing, current life events and conflicts, or who we surround ourselves with. Despite all of this, we are able to control our own dark thoughts into something brighter. Positive mental health is not an innate quality, but rather, a learned exercise.
Being a good listener. Accepting responsibility for your own actions. Being OK with hearing another person’s opinion. Knowing how and when to apologize. Being a good problem solver. Not everyone grew up being taught these mental skills that will enable them to become more positive throughout life. Without the proper training, we are susceptible to operating on autopilot. I know there are several activities you can partake in to allow yourself to feel better and happier, but I’d like to focus on the way we think, and how it directly affects our mood. Let’s teach our brains how to think more positive, in order to feel and relay more positivity.
Be in tune with your thoughts
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be mindful of your thoughts, both in the present moment as well as before and after, and to do so without judgement. It’s no wonder we were taught to “think before you speak.” This plays a huge role in the way we present ourselves to others.
Acknowledge where your thoughts are headed
Once you are in tune of your thoughts, think about the direction that these thoughts are headed. Are they taking you to a good, happy place? Or are you steering towards a downward spiral? Once you have figured this out, you will be able to make choices as to what exactly you want to change, and how. After all, the choices we make ultimately determine our future. Just in keep mind that everyone has a different version of a “right” and “wrong” choice. If you happen to end up with a negative choice, focus on what you can learn from it, and how you can attain good decisions that are suitable for you and your life, leading you towards happiness.
Know that you have the power to change your thoughts
Many people fall into the struggle of feeling like victims; that is, they truly believe things are happening directly to them. Once you realize that you have the ability and power to change (most) negative occurrences in life, you will be headed towards positivity and happiness. I’m definitely not saying we should hide our feelings, along with any challenging situations we may face. In fact, it’s very important to be self-aware and in tune with them. Just keep in mind that although these feelings and obstacles are real, they don’t have to be an indicator of reality, ultimately dominating all of our thoughts. Try your best to shift your thoughts from victimized thinking to empowered thinking.
Choose to creative positive thoughts
Speaking of empowered thinking, it’s very helpful to adopt beliefs that nurture your overall well-being, rather than spiral yourself into self-limiting thoughts. It’s easy to blame the outside, rather than taking responsibility for your own thoughts and actions, and end up with a heavy weight on your shoulders. I also believe society has made it very easy for us to think negatively: “Wow that outfit is so ugly;” “Look at how much makeup she’s wearing, gross;” “My art sucks, I have no talent.” Why are we doing this? It’s time to stop putting ourselves and others down.
Take this scenario, that I can say is familiar to me: feeling frustrated that others in the same field as you are achieving their goals faster than you are, resulting in a dominating sense of insecurity. Instead of this overpowering negativity that you’ve allowed yourself to be consumed by, try to understand that everyone works at a different pace, in a different manner, and with different goals. If you aren’t happy with the direction you are headed, choose to create a new, positive path that works for you and your life.
Think positive and how you can avoid these situations from happening in the future, rather than blaming and putting yourself down.
Believe in the possibility of success
Those who are consistent with their optimism also believe that setbacks and obstacles are only temporary. They look for the silver lining in difficult situations, and realize that we have challenges rather than failures. Instead of giving up entirely when you’re faced with something tough, use it as motivation to push yourself harder into achieving happiness again. There’s just no time to think negative and not believe in yourself!
The way we think directly affects our mood as well as the successes or failures in our lives. If you find yourself constantly stuck in a bubble of not believing in yourself, think about how you are, well, thinking and shift that thinking with these brain exercises I’ve listed above. This won’t happen overnight, but with patience and confidence, you’ll be on your way to building new habits and internal pathways of positivity in no time. Not only will you feel good about yourself, but your new and improved self will positively affect those around you as well.
I’d really like to dig deeper into this kind of post (focusing on positivity and brain exercises) at some point – let me know if there are any specific points you would be interested in learning more about.
I’m sharing more of my (shorter) writing excerpts on my new Instagram page @danah.writes – give it a follow if you’d like!