Updated: Jul 3, 2019
Positive thoughts lead to positive emotions and positive behavior. In your RECOVERY, try to focus on positive things: What you SHOULD do, not what you SHOULDN'T; what you DO want, not what you DON'T; things that make you feel GOOD, not things (or people) who make you feel BAD; your past ACCOMPLISHMENTS, not your past SINS! Psychotherapist Ann Morin provides ten practical tips for making positive thinking your HABIT below.
10 Practical Tips To Make Positive Thinking Your Habit
By Amy Morin A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do
Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.
But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like second nature and you’ll reap some big benefits.
Here are 10 tips to make positive thinking easy:
1. Spend Time with Positive People
If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you. Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become your habits as well. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.
2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior
When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior. Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.
3. Contribute to the Community
One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give. Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.
4. Read Positive and Inspirational Material
Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.
5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts
You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.
If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.” There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.
6. Establish and Work Toward Goals
It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.
7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity
Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.
Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.
8. Offer Compliments to Others
Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.
9. Create a Daily Gratitude List
If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day. Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit.
10. Practice Self-Care
Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively. Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.