While sometimes it can feel a little cliché, the power of positive thinking can give you more confidence, improve your mood and even reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as hypertension, depression and other stress-related disorders. With this in mind, here are some practical tips to assist you in achieving a Positive Mindset.
Start your day positively.
Have you ever woken up late, panicked, and then felt like nothing good happened the rest of the day? This is likely because you started out the day with a negative emotion and a pessimistic view that carried into every other event you experienced. Instead of letting this dominate you, start your day with a positive, mindful experience such as 10 minutes of peace with a coffee and a magazine, or a short meditation – you’ll be amazed at how well your day flows from this point forward.
Focus on the good things, however small.
Let’s face it, there is no such thing as a perfect day and at some point, you will encounter an obstacle or two. When these occur, focus on the benefits, no matter how slight or unimportant they seem. For example, if you get stuck in traffic, think about how you now have time to listen to the rest of your favorite podcast. If the store is out of the food you want to prepare, think about the thrill of trying something new.
Find humor in bad situations.
Allow yourself to experience humor in even the darkest or most trying situations. Remind yourself that this situation will probably make for a good story later and try to crack a joke about it. Say you’re laid off; imagine the most absurd way you could spend your last day, or the most ridiculous job you could pursue next—like kangaroo handler or bubblegum sculptor.
Turn failures into lessons.
You aren’t perfect. You’re going to make mistakes and experience failure in multiple contexts, at multiple jobs and with multiple people. Instead of focusing on how you failed, think about what you’re going to do next time—turn your failure into a lesson. Conceptualize this in concrete rules. For example, you could come up with three new rules for managing projects as a result.
Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk.
Negative self-talk can creep up easily and is often hard to notice. You might think I’m so bad at this or I shouldn’t have tried that. When you catch yourself doing this, stop and replace those negative messages with positive ones. For example, ‘I’m so bad at this’ becomes ‘Once I get more practice, I’ll be way better at this’. ‘I shouldn’t have tried’ becomes ‘That didn’t work out as planned—maybe next time’.
Focus on the present.
I’m talking about the present—not today, not this hour, only this exact moment. You might be getting a talking to by your boss, but what in this exact moment is happening that’s so bad? Forget the comment he made five minutes ago. Forget what he might say five minutes from now. Focus on this one, individual moment. In most situations, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you imagine it to be. Most sources of negativity stem from a memory of a recent event or the exaggerated imagination of a potential future event. Stay in the present moment.
Find positive friends, mentors and co-workers.
When you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll hear positive outlooks, positive stories and positive affirmations. Their positive words will sink in and affect your own line of thinking, which then affects your words and similarly contributes to the group. Finding positive people to fill up your life can be difficult, but you need to eliminate the negativity in your life before it consumes you. Do what you can to improve the positivity of others, and let their positivity affect you the same way.
So, make today the first of many positive ones to come by putting a few of these tips into action.