You already know that staying positive promotes a happier and healthier life. There are tons of studies out there that have proven the correlation between optimism and improved mental and physical states. We know definitively that positivity boosts motivation – helping you achieve your goals and find fulfillment in life. These facts are great and all, but how do you foster a more positive mindset? It can be a difficult struggle to hold onto your optimism – especially when facing unforeseen obstacles, sudden hardships, or negative attitudes. The good thing is, that you have the ability to reprogram your mind to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Here are 7 essential tips.
#1 Mind Your Body Language
When we’re feeling down, we tend to communicate our feelings to others non-verbally. If you’re sad, you might slouch, avoid eye contact, or cross your arms. Discomfort can be seen in your face – and your body language. When your head is full of negative thoughts, you let your circumstances take hold of your body, instead of being mindful about how you present yourself. In this state, you appear weak, uneasy, mad, or upset. Others may interpret it as a command to leave you alone. But, positive thinking is as much about your body as it is about your mind – and you can project positivity with something as simple as your posture. When you stand tall, meet people’s eyes and smile, you show others that you’re ready to listen, feel positive, and possess strength. Maintaining a powerful stance will help create channels for positivity to flow freely throughout your body. You, and the people around you, will feel this newfound optimism and respond with more positivity.
#2 Affirm Empowering Beliefs
When we are held back in life, it is often the result of our own limiting beliefs. Although you probably have valid reasons to believe in these pessimistic thoughts, they don’t serve you well. Be mindful of how ‘negative past experiences’ tend to shape unhopeful visions of the future – visions that are inaccurate and toxic. If you want to reprogram your mind for positive thinking, first you need to address your flawed beliefs. Then, challenge them and replace them with more empowering ones. In practice, this would begin with an acknowledgment of your negative thoughts. It could be something along the lines of I don’t feel deserving of love or I’m not good enough. You might have a lot of these self-defeating beliefs – and for every single one, you must replace it with a positive (and more accurate) belief – such as I am worthy of love and a healthy relationship or I’m doing the best I can. You control what you believe, and when you harness that power, you can change your world.
#3 Choose Your Words Carefully
Just like your body language, the words you speak and think have a huge impact on your mindset. Establishing a vocabulary that utilizes positive words is an essential habit for a healthy mind. Studies have shown that positive self-talk can help you regulate your emotions and improve your overall psychological state. And, it doesn’t end there… The words you use with other people affect how they respond to you – creating a feedback loop. Whether that loop is positive or negative is up to you. Before you begin to craft your personal dictionary, you need to know what’s already in it. How do you label things or describe them in conversation? When you talk about your emotions, is the language full of intensity, understanding, or complexity? When you’re feeling uneasy about a presentation, you might say that you’re “terrified” – but perhaps your just “a little nervous.” If you’re having issues with your partner, you could say that you’re “extremely furious” – but in reality, you may just be a bit “annoyed.” When you tag your emotions with intensity, your brain recognizes that and responds accordingly. If you are mindful and aware, you can tone down your vocabulary and use language with less emotional power. This way, you will be able to stay more positive.
#4 Seek Out Positivity
Have you ever met the kind of person who revels in the worst details? They focus and hold onto bad moments – like getting cut off in traffic, having a mediocre meal, or spilling a drink. If this sounds like you, it means that you’ve trained your brain to focus on negativity. You might even be an expert by now, and undoing years of training can be a challenge. Fortunately, you can train your brain to seek out positivity. Instead of concentrating on moments that elicit your negative emotions, you can begin to shift your focus to positive moments. Make it a point to consider positive information and redirect your attention when you’re feeling negative. Turn optimism into a routine by seeking out positivity in your life.
#5 Watch Your Environment
Reprogramming your mind is a difficult task, but you can make it easier by limiting the negative influences in your environment. Your subconscious mind absorbs much more information than you think. It takes in as much data as possible from your surroundings – and uses it to form your beliefs, thoughts, and values. If you’re bombarded with negativity – whether it’s from the news, social media, or toxic people in your life – your subconscious mind is profoundly affected. You might not even realize it’s happening. Yes, that’s how powerful your environment is! So make an effort to fill your life with positive and supportive people. Surround yourself with books, music, clothing, and art that bring you joy, lift up your spirits, and empower you. As time passes, you’ll see that these changes to your environment influence your positivity – subconsciously encouraging you to be more optimistic.
#6 Have An Emotional Outlet
People are emotional creatures. Some are better at revealing their emotions, while others are better at hiding them. If you often suppress your negative emotions, they build up inside you and contribute to your negative mindset. Holding onto pessimistic thoughts or painful memories will only end up hurting you in the future. It could lead to increased stress levels, anxiety, or depression. Emotions can be intense – you will feel the good and the bad – but, you can choose what you want to hold on to and what you want to let go of. It’s important to embrace – and express – your emotions. Allow yourself to feel your emotions, and find an outlet to release the negative ones. Whether it’s a sport, a form of art, or something else entirely – find an activity you can put all that energy into.
#7 Look After Your Body
Research has proven that your emotional state is highly influenced by your lifestyle – including your diet, sleep schedule and exercise habits. To make positive thinking easier biologically, you can adjust these factors as you need to. Take an honest inventory of how well you take care of your body. Keep working on your good habits, get rid of your bad ones, and establish better ones. When it comes to emotional health, diet plays an especially huge factor. If you eat primarily processed foods, you’re likely missing out on some essential nutrients. Think about how you can change what you eat to support a healthy mind as vitamin deficiencies are linked to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. And if you don’t get enough sleep, you could become more irritable, angry, and pessimistic. Thus, it’s important to establish a sleep schedule that gives you enough time to recharge. Taking care of your body is a simple way to bring more positivity into your life. You’ll see improvements physically, mentally, and emotionally when you establish a healthy lifestyle.
Positive thinking isn’t easy, and you won’t reprogram your mind overnight. It takes time. Nevertheless, with the help of these tips, you can learn to cultivate a more positive outlook on life. How are you doing on your journey toward positive thinking? Share with us in the comments below!