If you take some time to consider your thoughts and the way you speak to yourself – are they mostly positive or negative? Do you tell yourself you will never get that promotion, or do you cheer yourself on? While you may not think that your thoughts have any effect on your life, your thoughts have the power to dictate your mood and even your mental health.
Thinking positively has been shown to lower levels of stress and anxiety, while studies show that negative thoughts can predict anxiety disorders. Other studies show that positive thinking can help you be more successful in love, lower pain and even help you look younger.
How to develop positive thinking
As simple as it may sound at first, changing the way you think is easier said than done. The following tips should help you start to think in a more positive light and reap the benefits of positivity:
1. Pay attention to your thoughts
The first step when it comes to altering your thoughts is monitoring. For one week, try to write down as many thoughts as possible, including the time and situation that lead to the thought. Over time you should start to see a pattern forming. Being aware of your current thinking patterns is the best way to recognise the source of negativity.
It is all very well to start thinking positively, but if you don’t believe what you are thinking, you won’t see any results. When you start to change the way you think, make sure you are believing what you are thinking, even if this takes more time to achieve.
3. Give yourself a reminder
Wear a certain ring or put up a positive poster somewhere to remind you throughout the day to be positive. Alternatively set yourself an electronic reminder throughout the day to keep you on track.
4. Combat negativity with positivity
At first you may struggle to quash negative thoughts, so whenever they do rear their ugly heads, combat them with a positive statement. For example if you find yourself thinking ‘I’ll never lose weight’, stop yourself and provide a counter argument: ‘Why can’t I? With proper diet and exercise anyone can lose weight, and I will too.’