Positive thinking is cultivating a mental attitude that focuses on states like happiness, joy, and success. It may seem like some people are naturally born to be more positive than others, positive thinking can be cultivated and practiced. Like anything else, deliberate practice will help you develop the skills needed to use positive thinking to its full potential. The following is a list of effective techniques to help you develop your positive thinking skills.
1. Get active: Exercising has been proven to release chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. The rush that most people get from exercising makes it much easier to allow positive thoughts into your mind. You don’t have to go for an hour long run or lift heavy weights. Something as simple as a short 10 minute walk has been proven to be enough to give people health, both physical and mental, benefits.
2. Stop watching the news: The news that you watch on TV is filled with negativity. War, conflict, poverty, and crime fill the airwaves. Constantly watching and listening to negativity will have a negative affect on your own mood and outlook. Try to eliminate these unnecessary sources of negativity from your life. The TV news is a great place to start. You might also want to consider the magazines and newspapers you read and what you listen to on the radio as well.
3. Explore: A great way to distract yourself from negative thoughts while cultivating positivity is exploring the world around you. Most people do not even come close to utilizing the full extent of their five senses. Cook a new recipe. Go to a grocery store you don’t normally go to. Go to a new park. Investigate a part of town you’ve never been to. The opportunities are literally endless if you have a little imagination and sense of adventure.
4. Get inspired: If you have access to the Internet, and even if you don’t, there are tons of resources available that will help inspire you. Spend some time reading about people you admire online or in a book. Read about people who have accomplished the things that you want to do. Want to lose weight? There are thousands of blogs on the Internet with success stories. You can also check out websites like TED.com for inspirational speeches and talks. Utilize your resources, whether that’s the Internet, library, book stores, or the people around you to inspire you to new heights.
5. Fake it until you make it: Even if you don’t feel particularly positive, act like it anyway. Scientists have discovered that smiling, even when the person doesn’t feel happy, results in increased levels of happiness. Acting positive will eventually lead to feeling positive. You’ve just got to keep “faking it” until you make it.
6. Start immediately: Starting to live more positively is under your control. It requires life changes, some major and others much more minor. But many people feel like they need to start their experiment into more positive living at a specific time, like the beginning of a new month. You can’t afford to wait for a date of significance to begin taking control of your own life. Start right now! Not next week, next month, or after you finish that last negative thought.
Positive thinking is the culmination of your genetic disposition and the skills you’ve learned and practiced. You have no control over your genes, so don’t even worry about that part. Instead, focus on what you can control. You can control how you react to situations and what you can do to become more positive.