You should never underestimate the power of positive thinking. We know we know, it’s cliche and a little outdated, but there is some truth to how a positive mindset can reshape your day and mental health overall for the better.
The way we view ourselves and the world around us paints an important picture, one that you’ll have to see every day. Studies have shown that positive thinking can have a significant effect on both the mind and the body. Not only can a change in the way you think shift your perspective, but it can also improve your overall mood, boost confidence, and even have physiological effects such as reducing the likelihood of hypertension or depressive symptoms.
Ok, so what does positive thinking look like? Well, that’s what we’re here to help with. Whether it’s through setting goals, self-talk, or positive imagery — there are a ton of ways you can implement positive thinking into your everyday routine.
1. Dealing With Negative Self-Talk
If you’ve landed on this article, it’s safe to say that negative self-talk isn’t a foreign concept. One of the biggest adversaries for a positive mindset is most oftentimes ourselves — and we plague our days with sentiments like:
- “I’m terrible at this”
- “I shouldn’t have even tried that”
- “I could never make it that far”
- “I’ll never accomplish this”
While these thoughts may seem like fleeting bits of cynicism, they can have lasting effects on our state of being. Over time, they may become cemented as internalized feelings or even beliefs, which may prevent you from living a productive and happy life.
Now, fixing negative self-talk is a simple concept, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It starts with identifying these moments in your mind when they pop up. If you notice that you’re belittling or discouraging yourself, take a moment to reflect on it. Once you’ve called attention to it, change the perspective, and attempt to redirect the negative self-talk into encouragement. Instead of saying, “I’ll never accomplish this” — try, “with enough practice, I’ll get there.”
It seems silly and minimal, but it can go a long way if practiced at every turn. Just like with any other feat in life, it takes practice. Dealing with negative self-talk is a step in the right direction, and will help you develop an overall positive mindset.
2. Mental Breakfast is the Most Important Meal
You’ve heard the saying; you know what it means. However, here we’re not talking about what you eat, but rather what you reaffirm within yourself every morning.
The start of each new day brings a breadth of opportunity. Your mornings set the tone — and positive affirmations can be a great addition to your morning routine. We mentioned the impact of negative self-talk above, and it can be especially demoralizing and derailing early on in the day. That’s why giving yourself positive self-talk and assurance in the morning is especially helpful — even if it seems strange. When we say self-talk, we mean it. Anything from, “I’m going to have a good day” to “I’m amazing today” can help set the tone and give you the positive light you need to have a brighter, better day.
3. Rethinking Failure
Listen, failing at something isn’t any fun. Whether it’s a task at work, living up to an expectation, or simply making mistakes — we all crash and burn sometimes.
Well, it’s time to reframe the way we see failure because how we approach our shortcomings can have a real effect on our future. Failure is best understood when we think about it like a road diverged — and no, we’re not talking about Langston Hughes. Instead, we must look at failure as a pathway that leads to two separate destinations.
- Failure can lead to apprehension to try again
- Failure can teach us about what not to do
While the first outcome is quite limiting, the second is liberating. Reshaping failure to educate ourselves is the pathway forward while becoming scared to ever try again will stop us dead in our tracks. Far too often, we fixate on our shortcomings and misgivings — but these are moments that can be learned from and are an important part of life. Turn your failures into valuable lessons that you can learn and grow from.
4. Be Mindful of the Present
The present is a magical time. It’s a moment that is unappreciated — yet can help those struggling with a positive mindset find clarity. When we’re talking about the present, we don’t mean today — we mean the exact moment you’re in. One of the reasons why those who meditate are able to have some semblance of “peace of mind” is their understanding of the present.
Many external issues that hinder our ability to connect with a positive mindset make use of our inability to live in the present. What your boss said that made you upset, the guy that cut you off on the way home from work, the big deadline at the end of the week — these are issues that fall outside of the present.
Learning how to focus on an individual moment and suspend yourself in what is going on at that exact time can be extremely freeing. We’re constantly fighting off thoughts about the past or worries about the future, but in a brief moment — you’re able to find the perspective you need.
Related: Knowing The Basics of Self-Care
5. Use Support Channels
Developing a positive mindset doesn’t need to be a solo venture. Friends, family members, classmates, coworkers, mentors, and more can all help mold your mindset for the better — so long as they’re supportive. These aren’t the only outlets — as therapy and counseling can be a huge help in creating a more positive mindset.
If you’re considering therapy or counseling, we recommend checking out our Guide to Your First Therapy Appointment so that you know what to expect. Counselors and therapists are fantastic advocates for creating a more positive mindset — and will help with various coping strategies and actionable steps to work towards your goals.
Give Yourself a Pat on the Back
Well, look at you — you’ve made it all the way through our 5 ways to develop a positive mindset that lasts. Now, we think it’s deserving of some positive self-talk, so give yourself a few cheers for taking the time to read through this article.
A positive mindset isn’t something that sticks around forever, and it will obviously be tried and tested each and every day. The good news is that the more you practice the art of a positive outlook on life, the better prepared you’ll be for those low times.