It is common for people to get stuck in negative thoughts. Some people are naturally more pessimistic, but it certainly has to do with the way our brains work. Especially at this time with the global corona crisis, it is difficult for many people to find positivity. And once in a negative spiral of pessimism, there is unfortunately the danger of developing depression.
Fortunately, it is possible to teach yourself a number of habits that strongly promote positive thinking. In this article, we will go over small changes in everyday life that will create a positive outlook. This requires some training, and it is wise not to implement all the changes at once, but step by step. As a result, the changes will be well integrated into your lifestyle and become a lasting positive habit.
1. Ask yourself the right question
This sounds very simple, but it is perhaps the most important habit for a positive lifestyle. We constantly ask ourselves questions when we are in a negative, insecure, or anxious mood.
A pessimist will ask himself questions such as:
“Why does this have to happen to me?”
An optimist will ask himself the following questions:
“What can I learn from this?”
“What step can I take today to look for a solution?”
You will have to force yourself (especially in the beginning) to find something good about the situation. Every situation has a positive side, however small it may seem. Take that as a starting point for your thoughts.
2. Create a positive environment
Connect with people who you know influence you positively. Avoid too much contact with people with a negative influence. It is currently not possible to visit people a lot, replace this with a long telephone conversation. Think carefully about who is the right person for you. Everyone has a few people in their lives who have a positive influence through their appearance, the way they listen and the way they ask questions. Spend less time on negative information from social media or news stories. Spend more time reading positive books, watching motivational movies or blogs, or listening to beautiful music.
3. Be thankful for what you have
Every day, take a moment to consider the things you are grateful for. It can help to ask yourself the following questions:
- What event of today am I grateful for?
- Which three people do I have in my life that I am very happy with and why?
- For which three things about myself am I grateful?
Take a few minutes each day to answer these questions and enjoy the good feeling you get from answering them.
4. Don’t ignore your physical well-being
You do not only achieve a positive attitude in life by changing your thoughts. Your body also plays an important role in how you feel about yourself. Don’t ignore fatigue or lack of sleep and exercise.
5. Start the day positively
The way you start your day often determines the rest of the day. Therefore, have a positive start. Take enough time to enjoy breakfast in peace. Create a pleasant atmosphere by putting on music or by listing the things you are grateful for.
6. Focus on solutions
When a problem arises, focus your attention on a solution. The moment your thoughts keep repeating the problem without doing anything about it, it will no doubt add to the negativity. Look for small steps you can take to initiate the resolution of the problem. This will ensure that you can continue with the day, even if the step does not seem to amount to anything and the problem has not yet been solved. Sometimes the solution will be to accept something negative.
7. Worry less about the future
Worrying about what might happen is destructive and can take over thinking completely. You can minimize this by asking yourself how much of the concerns you had in the past have actually become reality. You will be able to see that it does not happen often.
8. Don’t be guided by an ideal image
Changing habits is slow. Worn cartridges remain lurking, so unlearning them takes trial and error. Give yourself time and don’t get distracted by where you think you should be in the process. Perfection does not exist.
9. Think of a helping hand that will help you not to give up when life gets tough
Use something to fall back on. This can be a thought that revives your positivity by giving hope. “The sun shines behind the clouds” is a cliché, but no less true. Think of a mantra that moves you and check it regularly.