15 Positive Thinking Techniques for a Healthier, Happier You
There’s power in positive thinking. Research shows that it can profoundly affect your life, allowing you to reap benefits ranging from a longer lifespan to improved physical health to stronger emotional and psychological wellness. It really can help you be happier and healthier.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy. As Ella Fitzgerald once crooned, “Into each life, some rain must fall.” When you’re faced with tough times and hard situations it takes effort to shift into a positive mindset, but it’s so worth it. Whether you’re facing negativity down like the Baddie B you are, or you’re just looking to increase your positivity, these 15 techniques can help you shift your mindset.
Start Every Day with an Affirmation
Set a positive tone for your day by starting things off on a positive note. It only takes a few moments and it might increase your confidence and self-esteem too. Tell yourself that it's going to be a great day, that you're beautiful or that you can handle whatever comes your way.
Put a Positive Spin on the Past
Take a little time to think about the good things that have happened to you in the past. Sending time reflecting on positive memories can help give you a boost of positivity in the present, even if you're in the middle of a difficult time or you're facing an obstacle.
Let Go of the Past
If you can’t think of it in a favorable light, make peace with it and let go of your past. Dwelling on it won't change things that happened. Focusing on the present instead think about what's happening in the moment. Staying in the moment can provide powerful perspective.
Focus on the Good
Challenges are part of everyone's lives. When you're faced with one, you can make an active decision to find something good, even if it's the tiniest thing or something seemingly insignificant. Even tough situations can often have a silver lining.
Try the Mirror Method
To try this technique, simply stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself. Say positive things, whether it's about your appearance, your personality or any other aspect of your being. After doing this once in the morning and again in the evening, you'll start building more confidence and transforming your mindset.
Snap Out of Negativity
The rubber band method gives you a physical reminder to help break your habit of negative thinking. Try putting a rubber band on one of your wrists. Every time you catch yourself thinking something negative, give the band a snap and replace your thought with a positive affirmation.
Get into a Mindfulness Practice
When you're mindful, you're more aware of your thoughts. Even if you practice for a few minutes every day, it can let you dial in to your thoughts. In turn, that makes it easier to catch your negative thoughts.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
Research shows that writing about the things you're thankful for can not only increase your positive thinking, but also give you the sense of greater overall well-being. Even if you’re only able to write one thing down everyday, you’ll eventually have a journal filled with things that can help give you a boost on harder days.
Something as simple as taking a breath can make a huge difference. No matter what's going on around you, you can stop and take a few deep, long breaths. Try breathing in through your nose for a count of five, hold it for a few seconds and slowly breathe out through your mouth for a count of eight. This can help you stay in the present moment and give you the calm you need to retake your positivity.
Find the Humor
Laughter is good for your stress levels. Research shows that it can also lower depression and anxiety while increasing mood and self-esteem. Try to be open to finding the humor in any situation. Sometimes, even a small chuckle can lower the temperature in the room and make situations seem a little less hard to bear.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn said that “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Whether that’s true or not — other people’s mindset is contagious. When you spend time with people who also focus on positive thinking, it can rub off on you and help you see the bright side of things.
Practice Positive Self-Talk
Be kind to yourself. All too often, we’re our own worst critics. Don’t put yourself down or be overly critical. Instead, be mindful of your thoughts and feelings. When you catch them turning to the dark side, replace them with positive ones. For example, “I'm so bad at XYZ” could become, “This is good practice, I'm improving....”
Try Cognitive Reappraisal
To get started with this exercise, watch a show or a move and either find positive things in the difficulties the characters face or think about the kind of advice you'd give them to help get them through the drama and lift their spirits. After a while, start applying this same approach to your own life. Before long, you'll be able to better pinpoint the opportunities and lessons that life's difficulties have to offer.
Plan Your Best Possible Future
Reframing how you see the past isn't the only way to increase your positive thinking. When you think about your future in a positive light, it creates hopefulness and positive expectations that turn your focus to the good things yet to come. When you start thinking about that, it can give your mindset a boost in the moment.
Find One Positive Thing About Everyone and Everything
There's something to be said about seeing the beauty around you. One of the ways to increase your own positivity is by taking time to pinpoint something great about people, places and things. It's a good way to get into the habit of being mindful of what you focus on because it directs your mind to go into a positive pattern of thinking.
Develop Positive Habits
When you feel your positivity wilting, it helps to have uplifting habits to turn to, like a daily nature walk, listening to a funny podcast or calling one of your great friends during your commute. Adding one or more of these habits to your routine every day infuses your day with little sparks of positive experiences, boosting your outlook and helping to make positive thinking a habit.