Positive Thinking Step 1
The first step to making any life change is realizing that a change is needed. So many people have grown up with negative thinking or become accustomed to it that they think it is the norm. We encounter people that think just because it is raining or they got up late or they got a bad grade that today is now a bad day and they wait for the other shoe to drop. When we view life’s little problems as huge disasters we set ourselves up for unhappiness. What happens when a real disaster strikes? Learn to accept that you are responsible for your own happiness and that you can change the way you perceive life. Commit to that change.
Positive Thinking Step 2
Because we are bombarded by negative images and bad news on a daily basis, thinking negative thoughts is second nature to many people. You may think these thoughts or practice negative thinking so often that you are hardly aware of it. In order to get a grasp on your thoughts you need to know what you are thinking so get yourself a small pad of paper and as you go about your day write down every negative thought that you have – do this for a week. Yes, this might seem weird but try it and we guarantee that you will be shocked at how many negative thoughts you are thinking. You may notice that your negative thoughts increase when you are stressed or tired.
You may also notice that certain situations (receiving criticism or not knowing the answer to a question) trigger negative thinking. Negative thoughts such as, “I am stupid” can just pop into your mind and then you repeat it over and over again.
Get a handle on what your negative thoughts are so you can address them one by one.
Positive Thinking Step 3
We all have what is referred to as a “belief window.” This is where our lifetime of training gets engrained into us, bad and good. We develop beliefs based on our experiences. Our actions highlight our beliefs every day and affect how we see the world. We have difficulty seeing things in a different light because we don’t realize that there is a different light.
In order to prove your negative thoughts wrong you need to take your list and begin to challenge each and every belief that you have. You may want to work with a close friend or counselor. When you are in a good mood and when you have a positive attitude put your negative thoughts to the following questions:
- Is this message really true?
- Would a person say this to another person? If not, why am I saying it to myself?
- What do I get out of thinking this thought? If it makes me feel badly about myself why not stop thinking it?
You may discover that there is no foundation for your negative thinking or that you only do it to get attention. Chances are the negative thought is not true and you need to change it by looking at a situation in a new light.
Positive Thinking Step 4
Now that the hard work is out of the way it is time to put what you’ve learned into practice. The next step is to develop your positive thinking by creating statements you can say to yourself in place of the negative ones. You can’t think two thoughts at the same time so whenever you are thinking positively about yourself you won’t be thinking negatively.
As you develop these new statements you want to use positive words like appealing, beautiful, admirable, bright, brilliant, charming, dynamic, gorgeous, graceful, happy, friendly, grand, great, heartwarming, impressive, logical, loving, nice, outstanding, passionate, positive, proud, strong, valuable, warm, wise, and youthful.
Take your list of negative thoughts and next to each one write a new positive one. For example:
Negative thought – “I have never accomplished anything.”
Positive thought – “I have accomplished many things.” List some of your accomplishments to solidify the statement.
Change your negative thinking to positive thinking by replacing the negative thoughts with positive thoughts every time you realize you are thinking negatively.
Positive Thinking Step 5
Be persistent in your efforts. Changing negative thinking will take time, especially if you have been struggling with it for a very long time. Don’t give up!
Repeat your positive thoughts over and over to yourself and out loud if possible. Write them on paper, sticky notes, in a journal and post them places where you will see them. Reinforce your new beliefs and you should see a more positive you in a few short weeks.