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6 ways to promote positive thinking

Learn how to think more positively


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in health


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Positive thinking is not only a beneficial way to increase your self-esteem, but it has also been shown to be helpful for both your mental and physical health. While it's not possible to feel positive all the time, working on positive thinking can help us to feel better and step back from negative thoughts more easily.

Listed below are some ways to help you start thinking more positively.  

6 ways to promote positive thinking

Doing some of the things on this list can help you to take a step towards thinking more positively and feeling better.

Identify the negative thoughts that you typically have

It is easy to not realise or to shrug off negative thoughts that take place in your mind, which is why it is important to spend time catching yourself when you have a negative thought.

There are four types of negative thoughts. These are:

  • all or nothing thinking (“everything must be done perfectly, or I will be considered a failure”) 
  • negative-self labeling- stating negative things about oneself ( “I’m not good at school,” “I am a failure.”)
  • catastrophising - where you assume it will be the worst case scenario for events that are happening in your life
  • filtering- only focusing on the negative things that are occurring in life.

These negative thoughts can prevent you from seeing the good in what is happening around you, and can also lead to more negative thinking down the road.

In order to promote positive thinking, start identifying these negative thoughts and finding ways to combat them. If you are having trouble with negative thinking, consider seeing someone who can help you work through these thoughts and develop a more positive outlook on life. You could look into online counselling or face to face counselling.

Start your day on the right side of the bed

Be sure to start your day with positive thoughts instead of negative ones.  

Start your day off by thinking about things that you are most looking forward to. If you are having trouble thinking of something, keep it simple. It could be the cup of tea you'll have after lunch, or what you're going to make for dinner.

Stay healthy

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercising and eating right can help relieve stress and therefore lessen your chances of negative thinking occurring.

Make sure that you are getting enough sleep (the average is around seven to eight hours of sleep per night), exercising at least three times a week, and eating healthy.

In general, doing these things can help bring on a more positive mood and therefore increase positive thinking.

Give yourself daily affirmations

Daily affirmations are positive and encouraging statements that you say to yourself. For example, “I will have a great day, today,” or “I have unlimited potential.”

A great way to hear or get daily affirmations is through apps. Some popular ones include: Unique Daily Affirmations, ThinkUp, and #lovepioneer by Jennifer Kass.

Surround yourself with positive people

Surrounding yourself with positive friends can lead to positive thinking and an overall more positive mood.

Positive friends can also give you the encouragement and support that you need when experiencing rough or negative times in life.  

Assess situations differently

Start taking situations that you were originally looking at negatively and putting a positive spin on them.  

At first this may be a difficult task to do, but with practice it’ll become easy.  

This also means to take a deeper look at the situations which are causing negative thoughts.  These negative thoughts could be trying to tell you something (i.e. if you always have negative thoughts about your job, maybe this job doesn’t fit your interests and you should start searching for new jobs that are geared more towards your interests).

Staying positive all the time isn't easy, and many of us go through ups and downs. Positive thinking is one way to help us get back on our feet if negative thoughts are getting us down. 

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Published June 12th2017
Tags mental health positive mental health positivity
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.

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