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How To Practice Positive Thinking Every Day

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Shorter Version


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Have you ever gone to sleep in a bad mood after a crappy day? Did you tell yourself that the next day would be better? If so, you made a conscious choice to be positive. Yes, you can choose to deliberately practice positive thinking — or even negative thinking!

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to awaken with a smile on your face or be a ball of sunshine throughout the day. Our emotions can get the best of us. But starting your morning out with positive thinking and a hopeful spirit can attract good people and situations to you; after all, it’s what you do after you wake up that will ultimately determine how your day turns out.

According to a 2009 study, “morning people” tend to be more positive, joyful, productive, and successful than “night owls” or people who stay up late at night.  

Why you should practice positive thinking

The good news is you have the power to determine how that day or the next will turn out. You can choose to be positive. Being positive means you are deliberately choosing to see the glass as half-full instead of half-empty. It means that although the world is rife with challenges and disappointments, there is still hope.

There is always an opportunity to be and do better. There is a light at the end of the dark tunnel, you just have to focus on it and keep moving forward. Being positive also means believing that there is good in everyone, even if it isn’t readily apparent.

Although being positive isn’t always easy, it does come with a host of benefits and it is necessary to harness all that life has to offer. Positive thinking can improve your self-esteem, self-confidence, and outlook on life. It can also improve your mood, provide color to your life, and encourage you to savor every minute of every day. So, the best thing you can do to improve the quality and longevity of your life is to work at becoming the most positive person you can be.

Staying positive isn’t so simple

I’d be lying if I said that being and/or staying positive is easy or simple. It’s not. In fact, for most of us, it’s difficult because we are emotional beings. As much we like to pride ourselves on being logical, emotions almost always play a role in our decisions and behavior.

Life happens. You break up with your partner, have trouble paying your bills, aren’t chosen for your dream job, someone you love dies, you have an argument with your BFF, etc. It’s hard to think positive when it feels like your whole life is imploding. But, thankfully, this feeling or experience isn’t permanent.

Coping when you don’t feel positive

What can you do when you don’t feel all that positive? Try to look at the situation from a different perspective. More specifically, what is something good you can glean from the situation? Did you learn something about the situation, the other person, or even yourself? If so, that is a positive. Trying to find good in something that feels so bad isn’t easy. Regardless, it is necessary to have the life you’ve always envisioned.    

Honestly, sometimes all it takes to trigger “the blues” is simply living. Life can get messy. Thus, it is important and even healthy to acknowledge how you feel. If you are feeling “blue,” anxious, or negative, acknowledge this feeling but do not allow it to determine the kind of day you’ll have or the person you’ll be. 

What to do when you can’t stop feeling negative

If by chance, you are unable to stop feeling negative, you may need to speak to a professional about it. One of the best things you can do is to take care of yourself – i.e. adopt a healthy diet, add-in some regular exercise, meditate, socialize, spend time with loved ones, get enough rest, and do things that spark joy in your life.

All of these things can help you continue with positive thinking – even when life tries to drag you down.

If these strategies do not work, professionals can help you get back on track. Until then, below are small things you can do to help turn your mood and attitude around so you can see the sun beneath the clouds.

Skip to Actionable Steps




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Actionable Steps


1

Smile!

Smile at the first person you see. Your smile will brighten someone’s day and make you feel good as well. 

2

Hash it out

Document how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking in a diary or journal. This is a great way to process an experience and how you feel at the moment. 

3

Give someone a bear hug

Hug your friend or loved one. A big, warm, and fuzzy hug can do the mind and body good; it can improve your mood, attitude, perspective, and day!

4

Take a stroll

Taking a stroll with a friend or loved one can ease your stress and boost energy after a long or challenging day. It can also provide you with an opportunity to be a support system for a loved one or friend who is going through a hard time.  

5

Take a trip down memory lane

Relive past experiences by flipping through old photos. Recalling happy moments in your life will not only put a smile on your face but also help you appreciate all of the people and things that fill your life with joy.  

6

Be thankful

Write down three things you are grateful for each day, it will help you focus on the good things in your life.

7

Have in-depth conversations

After a full day of work and chores, it feels good to know that you are loved and supported by someone else. One of the best ways to de-stress and relax is to grab a glass of wine, sit down to a good meal, and get into a juicy conversation with someone you love and trust. What’s not to love about that?  

8

Crank up the music

Put on your favorite playlist of songs and within minutes you can become an amateur contestant on “America’s Got Talent.” You’ll be singing, smiling, and dancing all around your bedroom, living room, kitchen, or bathroom. Stuck in traffic? Turn up the music and do a little shimmy. You’re the only one in the car, right? So, go for it!

9

Pay it forward

Pay it forward! In other words, do something nice for someone else like pay for their coffee or hold the door open for a mother with kids, a disabled person, or an older adult. Still not enticed? Donate to a cause or charity, volunteer at a shelter, or simply compliment the first person you encounter. 

10

Add in some family time

Try to spend at least 30-minutes with your loved ones each day. Who knows, maybe your loved ones can help you solve a problem you are having, or simply offer you love and support when you need it the most. Use this time to stay in-tune with your family. 

11

Schedule time for yourself

Try to spend at least 15 minutes alone each day. It is okay to take “personal breaks” – even if it’s from your BFF, partner, kids, or parents. Flying solo can help you regroup and gain a new and, hopefully, more positive perspective on the situation, person, or on life in general.

You can use this time to engage in self-care. Go get a mani and pedi from your favorite salon, splurge on the item you’ve had your eye on for a while, have a night with your closest friends, veg out with pizza and Netflix, take a hot steamy bubble bath, etc.  

12

Read a good book

Find an uplifting book that makes you think or a fun book that is bound to make you smile. Not only will you be itching to pick up the book, but it may make you feel empowered once you finish it!

13

Make lemonade out of lemons

Try to find the good in a bad situation. For instance, you didn’t get the promotion you think you deserve. What can you do? Try to view the experience as a “teachable moment” or a way to learn even more before you take that next step. 

14

Commune with nature

Spending quality time in nature is a great recipe for positive thinking. It can help you see the world and your experiences from a more beautiful perspective. So, get out of the house, and go on a hike or spend the weekend camping.

15

Turn off your electronics

There is a lot of negativity on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, or Tik Tok. These sites can keep you so glued to them that you neglect your friends and family. It makes you forget what’s really important in life – people and real-life experiences. So, log-off social media and turn-off your electronics, and get back to the land of the living.  

Still need help? Ask the coaches!

About the Author


Dr. R. Y. Langham

Dr. R. Y. Langham

Ph.D. in Family Psychology

Ree has a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology. She spent over ten years counseling families, couples, individuals, and children on adjustment issues such as blended families, same-sex couples, dysfunctional family relationships, relationship issues, etc. Now she writes for famous health organizations and is a published author.
Full Bio | LinkedIn


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