By Doron Hafner
The power of positive thoughts cannot be denied, even though sometimes it can seem a little like a cliché when you hear people talking about it. Well, I’m here to tell you that cliché or not, the mental and physical benefits of thinking positively are a proven way to give you more confidence, improve your self-esteem, give you motivation, and generally put you in a better mood. Thinking of at least one positive thought every day can have significant benefits for you.
Some scientific studies even suggest that thinking positively can reduce the likelihood of health conditions, like depression, hypertension, and a variety of other stress-related disorders.
This sounds amazing, but what does it really mean to think positively?
Positive thinking isn’t about finding your inner smile. Many people rarely have what they would consider joyous inner thoughts but that doesn’t mean they can’t be content with themselves and their life.
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Positive thinking (thinking of positive thoughts every day) is more about finding the positive imagery in your life and viewing things through more optimistic eyes, especially if you’ve got yourself into a rut of seeing things negatively.
The biggest problem with positive thoughts is that they wear off quickly and things like rejection, negative experiences, setbacks, and heartbreak can soon put you into a downward spiral that gets you back into that negative funk you hate.
And, let’s be honest, being in a negative funk is a sure-fire way to strip your motivation and leave you unable to perform at the levels you know you can.
So, how do you keep yourself positive in a world that seems hell-bent on bringing you down? Well, with the right routine of positive thoughts you can ensure that you wake up every day feeling motivated and looking forward to everything life has to throw at you.
Here are some tips so you can start thinking of positive thoughts every day.
1. Be Thankful You Woke up This Morning
Not to start on a morbid note, but you woke up this morning. Some people didn’t. Don’t think of it is as a depressing morality tale, just use it to remember that you’ve won the greatest gift life has to offer – you’re alive.
It’s so easy to dwell on the negative aspects of our lives, but we always seem to miss the most obvious positive thing we have – life itself. Take a deep breath, look outside your window, and marvel at the world around you.
2. You Don’t Have to Listen to Haters
There’s no doubt that some people are really mean-spirited individuals who will love to ruin your day. Well, I’m here to tell you they can’t. Not if you don’t let them.
Ignore the haters. Dismiss their bile for what it is – vicious comments of unfulfilled people. Remind yourself that you are above them and nothing they say will bring you down.
3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
I know, I know. It’s easy to say, “Don’t compare yourself with anybody else.” But at the end of the day, we all have envious thoughts when we see somebody we perceive to be more successful than we are.
But think about it, are they really better than you and even if they are, does it even matter? By spending time being jealous you are wasting time on negative thoughts that could be spent pursuing something that makes you happy.
4. You Must Take a Chance
It’s easy to shy away from something that is high risk and high reward out of fear of being labeled a loser.
Have you ever noticed that doing so actually makes you feel worse than if you’d just taken the risk in the first place? We know that rejection feels bad and failure can weigh heavily, but regret is a far stronger emotion over time.
Don’t hesitate if you have the chance. Go for it and tell yourself that if you fail, it’s no big deal. At least you tried.
Perhaps the perfect example of this approach is David Goggins. We all have a lot to learn from the inspirational David Goggins story and his priceless sayings.
Goggins, considered by many to be ‘the toughest man alive’, is a retired Navy SEAL and the only person ever to complete SEAL training, the U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. He’s also one of the world’s top endurance athletes and held the Guinness World Record for pull-ups, completing 4,030 in 17 hours.
He sounds like a ‘naturally gifted badass person’ right? But in his book, he reveals that he was actually ‘The weakest man in the world’, in his own words.
Overcoming obesity, poverty, racism, learning disabilities, abusive violent father, he came through the other side, inspiring people to embrace suffering and struggle, to find their greatness and inner peace. He took the slim chances he had and changed his life completely.
5. Accept That Things End
Even the best things in life end eventually, so don’t worry about them. Don’t fret about how the good times are about to stop, just enjoy them while they last. And when they do finally end, be happy in the knowledge that something else just as good will come along.
6. Don’t Judge Others
This ties in with point number 2 above – you won’t like it if others judge you so don’t judge them. We know it can be difficult to refrain from labeling other people, but doing so is a sure-fire way to start descending into a negative thought spiral.
We all live in a world where passing judgment is tolerated, but not only is accepting people a great way to make others feel better, it’s also a fantastic way to foster positive thoughts within ourselves.
7. Don’t do Things for Others That Make You Unhappy
We all want to make other people happy, right? But what if the things that other people want us to do makes us unhappy?
If you’re doing something just for the satisfaction of others, don’t. Stop it right now. Your happiness and your time should never be sacrificed for the satisfaction of someone else. You won’t be able to think of positive thoughts every day if you are unhappy in the first place.
8. Don’t Like Your Job? Then Quit.
Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but nothing is more certain to drain your happiness levels quicker than a job that you hate. If you spend your evenings and days off dreading returning to the office, then start to do something about it.
We’re not talking about jeopardizing your livelihood by quitting (although the dramatic heading for this point certainly suggests so). What we mean is start to make plans and formulize an exit strategy. Nothing promotes positive thoughts more than a plan that removes something negative from your life.
Start simple by saving up funds to make the change and circulating your CV. The first step may seem difficult, but the sense of relief it gives will improve your thought patterns immeasurably.
It might be scary to start over at someplace new and going through a screening process that might be tedious, but once you understand that selling yourself can be easier than you think, you are halfway through.
9. Take Control of Your Mornings
How you begin the day will set the tone for how the rest of it will go. Getting up in a panicked state is a very efficient way to kick start a negative emotional spiral. Get up bright and early, and give yourself time to prepare for the day.
Though some of the mind-boggling thoughts you are having when waking up can be positive for you and even mean more than you imagine, it’s better to set up a fixed positive mental routine.
Think about the positive aspects of your life and tell yourself things like, “Today is going to be a good day” or “I’ll be amazing today.” Yeah, I know this sounds cheesy, but positive words instill positive thoughts.
10. Focus on the Good Things in Your Life No Matter How Small
You’re going to hit obstacles during the day. Things don’t generally run perfectly all the time. The trick is that when you encounter a challenge, don’t dwell on it and choose to focus on the positives you can find no matter how small they may seem.
If you get stuck in a traffic jam, don’t fret about how it is slowing you down. Take positivity in the fact that you have extra time to listen to the radio station you have been enjoying. If you head to your local store and it’s out of the ingredients you need for your dinner party, buy something else and create a different food masterpiece.
Focussing on good things is a great way to gain positive momentum in your life. The huge power of momentum is that even a series of very small things can accumulate to massive results – with the aid of momentum.
11. Look at the Funny Side
Even dark situations can have a humorous side if you look at them the right way. When in a dark or trying situation, remind yourself that what is happening to you will probably make a great story in the future and may even be passed on as a joke. Look for the funny side and laugh.
We all know that positive thoughts can be incredibly motivational but in modern life, it can be difficult to stay uplifted when the world around you seems determined to bring you down. By following some of the tips in our guide above, you could harness the power of positive thinking and find yourself starting every day motivated. So, start thinking of positive thoughts every day!
*Doron Hafner is an entrepreneur and a business adviser helping entrepreneurs, startups, executives, and business owners to reach their business goals, both online and offline.
*This article first appeared on the lifehack.org website