When everything seems to be going against us, it seems impossible to think positively. At times we feel like our lives are going nowhere and then negative thoughts start to drag us down.
They affect our health and our performance. They can also have a negative effect on our relationships. We may not necessarily be in a state of depression, but we find that we are spending more time on our own, as we don’t want to talk to anyone and are not in the mood to be around happy people.
To get out of this negative state of mind, there are a number of small steps we can take to change our mindset from negative to positive.
Here are some steps to start thinking positively.
1. Be grateful for something. An “attitude of gratitude” will chase away our negative thoughts. Each day look for at least one thing you appreciate and write it down. You can start with your own body. If all five senses work, you’ve identified five things already. There is always something to be grateful for.
2. Find beauty in the things around you. Something beautiful always lifts the spirit. Some examples could include the the street hawker with the big smile from whom you buy your bofflot from each morning, the hibiscus flowers flowing over someone’s garden wall.
3. Sing a cheerful song. You don’t need to know all the words, just sing. Singing has been proven to improve our well-being, and it does cost anything. My personal feel good song is Born to Win by Jimmy Cliff.
4. Do a random act of kindness. Doing something good for others takes our minds off ourselves and our negative feelings. In can be something simple like smiling at someone who looks down, or buying some water for someone less fortunate than you.
5. Deep breathe. Take several deep breaths and let them out slowly. Count to five as you inhale and seven as you exhale. Do this several times a day: Deep, slow breathing not only enriches the oxygen in your body but also encourages the production of the “feel good” hormones in your mind.
6. Skip the bad news on your computer or in the newspapers. If possible, avoid negative people, but give them your biggest smile when you do bump into them.
7. Watch funny videos on-line. It is difficult to be negative thoughts when you are laughing.
8. Compliment someone with sincerity. Make it easy to start with and say something nice to someone you like. Friends and family always do thing for us; things we take for granted. Start thanking them and complimenting them on their generosity.
9. Do volunteer work. Find non-governmental organisations that can use your help and schedule a few hours each week. Doing something for someone else takes your mind off your own problems and helps you to appreciate your own blessings.
10. Create a positive affirmation for yourself. A statement like, “I will have a good day today.” Create affirming statements that work for you. Write these down and put them where you can see them easily.
As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of money or much energy to change your thinking from negative to positive. It does take the will to start. Do that today for yourself and those that love you.
I look forward to hearing what you do to keep your negative thoughts away.