We have all heard it before – positive thinking can help us complete tasks effectively, achieve our goals and even lead a happy life. As true as it may be, the difficulty to apply it is actually immense.
We have all faced our ups and downs in life – maybe because of financial difficulties, personal relationships or even a simple turn of luck (if you believe in luck). The way we deal with it though is a totally different chapter.
The simple – but so hard to accomplish – ability to ‘turn’ from being negative to being positive is something we all strive for at certain points in life. It’s at those points where we need to choose to see the bright side and eliminate the negative thoughts. It’s during times when we are faced with stress, anxiety and uncertainty for the future to put on our ‘big boy pants’ (or big dress – I am not sure how it goes for women); to recognise the pain and find a way to deal with it.
I want to devote this post on presenting the different techniques you can use starting now in order to transform yourself to a positive thinker and change your life for the better. Ways that have not only been scientifically proven or repeatedly mentioned in articles or books, but also seen first-hand from personal experience.
And as I write this, I recently resigned from my day job looking at the abyss of life with no clue about what the future holds. This however is simply an example of negative talk. The future is full of opportunities and scenarios ready to unfold – not only for me but also for anyone who faced, faces or will eventually face some kind of hardship.
"Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success."
- Shiv Khera
So, let’s see 15 different ways you can learn to listen only to the ‘good angel’ above your shoulder and transform yourself to a positive thinking machine.
15 Ways To Enjoy Life By Being Positive
1. Surround yourself with people that see the best in you
Search for and hang out with people that believe in your abilities and dreams. Find the ones that can lift your spirits through laughter, wisdom and advice. It can be family members, it can be friends, or it can be a stranger at the bar who has the potential to becoming your closest friend. And what about the ’negative vampires’ – the people the draw energy and make you feel bad about yourself or the future? Easy: avoid them. They simply don’t deserve a place in your life. You are the judge of your character and full potential.Positive Thinking #1 - Surround yourself with people that see the best in you Click to Tweet
2. Follow the sunshine
Go where the sunshine is. It’s not random that people go on holidays to think clearer and gain a new perspective in life. The sunshine or any travel-related activity will relax you. It will silence that voice in your mind that shouts out problems that may not even exist. It will provide you with the energy you need to see everything from the positive side – the game of life is simple and it’s ourselves that sometimes make it seem so complex and overwhelming.
3. Smile as much as you can
Smile. Force yourself to smile if you have to – the natural action will come afterwards. Smiling during difficult times requires a lot of courage and mental toughness. Doing so means that hardships have not broken us and that there is still more to us than what people may think. Smile and the (positive) mental state will follow.
4. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
It’s difficult right? What’s the formula? No one really knows because there is no proven formula that can instantly make you a positive thinker – well, not unless you are on drugs. I’m actually talking about challenging negative thoughts with positive ones. Did you resign with no other job on the cards? So what? There are so many employers out there looking for someone with your talent. There are so many career paths you can take. Maybe even something you long wished for and never got the chance to pursue. It’s all about addressing the problems as opportunities.Positive Thinking #4 - Replace negative thoughts with positive ones Click to Tweet
5. See the good in people
I want to believe that most – if not all – people have good in them. Some tend to hide it quite well where others light up the place with their warm and positive energy. We all have different characters – and that’s what makes us unique. Judging people on specific (unpleasant) aspects though will only make things worse. It has the ability to bring out a sad perspective of the world. Try to find the good in people. A trait that you admire. An action or ability that you want to adopt yourself. How you view others will become a direct reflection of how you see yourself.
6. Set goals that motivate you
Pursue goals that when thinking about realising them make you tingle. Are they unreachable? That must not be true? How did others with similar goals achieve them? We are all humans with the same abilities. Working towards something that will make us happy is a dream come true. You have the power to chase anything you like – no matter how far-fetched it may seem at the beginning. The journey itself will empower you. Your passion will keep you positive. The joy will make you a positive thinker.
7. Talk to friends and family
Share your thoughts with loved ones. Their experiences will translate to practical experiences you can use, to see things from a new perspective. They will want the best for you. They won’t ask anything in return. Your friendship and love for them is already there. Open your heart and share your plans with others.
8. Change you mindset to a positive one
Easier said than done. By this, I’m not talking about waking up one day and be all happy for the rest of your life – if that indeed happened, there is some investigation to be done. I’m talking about taking simple steps to gradually change to being positive. Day by day, little by little, add more light to the experiences and situations you face. It won’t happen overnight – and there is no need to get discouraged along the way. Change requires time but the wait is worth it.Positive Thinking #8 - Change you mindset to a positive one Click to Tweet
9. Follow a healthy diet
Whether we want it or not, our brain – or mind if you prefer – is part of our body. That being said, what we eat has a direct influence on how we think. Our energy, mood and clarity of thought can be impacted from an unhealthy diet. So, make sure to eat healthy and pay attention to how your body and mind reacts. Everyone’s physiology is different – so we may also react differently (when it comes to mood) to certain foods. There is a number of super foods that can improve focus and mood levels. Isn’t that enough? Try going for brain health supplements – just do your research on the ingredients first. Independently of the diet you choose to follow, listen to what your body says. Your body hosts your brain and your brain makes your thoughts.
10. Find your safe place
We all have a safe place. That may be our home, the cinema, a restaurant or even lying at the beach. Identify what makes you relax the most. Pay attention to your feelings and mood when at different establishments or places. I am sure there is one place that you will feel safest the most. Once you find it, go back to it and let your stress and anxiety go. See the events you currently experience from a new perspective. Your safe place will relax you. It will clear your thoughts. It will make you think in new ways.
11. Listen to music that empowers you
Switch to tunes that will boost your motivation. Is it pop, rock, classic music? It doesn’t matter. Put your headphones on and let the music speak to your ears and soul. Music is the nourishment we need to transform to a positive goal achieving machine.
12. Recognise the actual problems in your life
Positive thinking is not only about seeing the good things we have in life. It’s also recognising what doesn’t currently work and changing it to our benefit. Knowing what holds us back and understanding the problems is the first step to change. The second step is taking action.
13. Remember your identity
Don’t forget who you are. Try not to get lost in the plethora of information and distractions you are exposed to on a daily basis. There will be good days and there will be bad days. This doesn’t however change our core character and identity. Believe in yourself, listen to your instinct and respect your values at all times.
14. Practice positive talk
Slowly and steadily start to talk positively. Talk about the events with an upbeat character. Talk about yourself with love and appreciation. And most importantly, practice self-talk in a confident manner. Go in front of the mirror if you have to, and say positive things about yourself. It may seem silly at the beginning but eventually your mind will listen to the truth about you and shut out all the negative thoughts. Be confident and optimistic even when all things around you crumble – there is a reason for everything after all.
15. Appreciate the people and things you have in life
Is it a recent break-up that keeps you up at night? Is it job insecurity? Or maybe it’s general uncertainty about the future. Whatever happens, you still have people and things to appreciate in life. You have a family and friends that love you for who you are. You have a roof over your head. You have food to cook for dinner. Recognise that other people may not be as lucky as us – they may face health issues, thinking whether they will eat today or not, or even don’t know where they will sleep tonight. Appreciate your life as it is. Apply gratitude and let the worries of imaginary obstacles fade away.Positive Thinking #15 - Appreciate the people and things you have in life Click to Tweet
Take Away Message
Don't let negative thinking ruin your life. What we think and do in life is a direct reflection of who we are and how we deal with events.
Hold yourself accountable for your thoughts. Follow the above tips to transform yourself and make your dreams a reality. It may be a slow process - it may even be a painful one at the beginning. Down the line though, there will be a day where you will thank you efforts to change and unleash your potential.
To recap, these are the 15 ways positive thinking will help you become a goal-achieving machine:
- Surround yourself with people that see the best in you
- Follow the sunshine
- Smile as much as you can
- Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
- See the good in people
- Set goals that motivate you
- Talk to friends and family
- Change you mindset to a positive one
- Follow a healthy diet
- Find your safe place
- Listen to music that empowers you
- Recognise the actual problems in your life
- Remember your identity
- Practice positive talk
- Appreciate the people and things you have in life