10 Techniques for Positive Thinking
These techniques for positive thinking are different for everyone, but they are important tools to have in your toolbox to help you shift your mindset. Thinking positively isn’t something that comes naturally to everyone. For most people, it requires a focused effort on practicing specific things that encourage a positive, optimistic outlook.
In this article, we are going to share with you some powerful techniques for positive thinking that you can call upon when you need them most.
1. Avoid negative thought patterns (an important place to start with techniques for positive thinking)
Negative thoughts can seep into our thoughts at any time. It’s difficult to completely avoid any negativity, but it’s important to recognize the situations that bring it up the most and avoid them whenever possible.
Whenever you can’t completely avoid negative thoughts, make sure you have a plan to get out of that mindset as quickly as you can. Turning to supportive friends or family members, journaling, or getting into a new environment are great ways to shift out of negativity and back towards positivity.
2. Cultivate a meditation practice
Meditation is a great way to teach yourself to be more mindful and positive in everyday life. Incorporating it into your daily routine can help you center yourself and set you up to be more generally optimistic.
Many people find that meditation is intimidating at first, but it doesn’t have to be. The biggest thing to remember is that something is better than nothing when it comes to meditation. Even if you feel like your mind wanders or you get bored, it’s so worthwhile for the cumulative effect.
Take 5 minutes at the beginning or end of your day to quiet your mind and focus on positive thoughts. You can slowly increase the amount of time you meditate as you start to get more comfortable and eventually it will become an enjoyable part of your daily routine.
3. Treat your body well
Taking care of your body and treating it with love will help you think more positively from the inside out.
Treating yourself well involves feeding yourself good quality food, getting enough exercise, prioritizing sunshine and fresh air, and loving yourself as a whole. For many of us, this is a lifelong exercise but it is a worthwhile pursuit.
Treating your body well is not the same as dieting in the traditional sense, sometimes it actually means eating more and working out less. Loving your body means supporting it and giving it the nutrients and movement that it needs to thrive. Caring for your body in this way translates to an overall positive life.
4. Celebrate successes
It’s easy to focus a lot of attention on failures or areas where you fell short, but don’t forget to celebrate big wins too. When you get a raise or have a great day with your family, relish in that feeling. Celebrating success makes you more appreciative of the things you’ve achieved and can help you reach for more.
When you flip your perspective to look for big and small successes to celebrate, you train your brain to focus more on positivity. No success is too small to celebrate. Stop to appreciate it and take in the feeling that it gives you so that you can cultivate positivity in big and small ways.
5. Resist the temptation to judge others
Judgment is one of the most negative thought patterns in the world. We are all guilty of it, whether we would like to admit it or not. Judging others isn’t inherently wrong, but it doesn’t serve any of us and can wreak havoc on positive thinking.
Oftentimes when you find yourself judging others, what you are really doing is noticing things in them that you don’t like in yourself. Although that is a difficult pill to swallow, it’s an important lesson on the road to positivity.
When you stop focusing on things in others that bother you or go against what you stand for, you have more space in your brain to focus on thinking positively and improving yourself. Judging others doesn’t get you anywhere and can lead to more pent-up frustrations, whereas a focus on making your own life better can lead to more joy.
6. Start a gratitude practice
Gratitude journals have become a trendy thing in recent years, and for good reason. As corny as it may seem, taking the time to have gratitude for even the simplest things around you can help you learn to see things in a more optimistic and positive light.
You don’t need a fancy journal to start a gratitude practice (although it doesn’t hurt if that’s your jam!). Start by writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful for on a piece of paper or in a note on your phone every night before bed.
Once you’ve done it for a few days in a row and you’ve listed the “obvious” things, this practice starts to get fun. Through this practice, you will start to see the many blessings in your life that give you a reason to think more positively.
7. Laugh as much as you can (the Most Fun Technique for Positive Thinking)
There’s a reason for the saying “laugher is the best medicine”. It’s virtually impossible to think negative thoughts or be in a bad mood while you are laughing. Laughing regularly is a great way to infuse positivity and light into your world.
If you feel like you’ve had a heavy few weeks or you’ve been too judgemental or negative, make it a point to laugh more. Watch a funny movie or television show, listen to a silly podcast, or even just grab lunch with your funniest friend.
The dopamine hit from smiling and laughing will work wonders to help you become a more optimistic and happy person.
The same goes for laughing through hard times as well. If you feel like you’ve had a tough day, try to laugh it off. Focus on how silly it is that absolutely everything went wrong. This will help put your day into perspective and help you realize that days like that pass and can be remedied with a more positive approach.
8. Befriend positive people (an important technique for positive thinking)
The people that you choose to surround yourself with have a big impact on the way you feel and the way you look at the world. It’s often said that we are the sum of the 5 people that we spend the most time with. This gives you a reason to really be mindful of the people you choose to spend your time with.
Positive people lift you up and make you feel good. They make you feel motivated, happy and fulfilled after spending time with them. Whereas negative people can leave you feeling depleted and sad.
Many times when you start to notice yourself slipping into negative thought patterns, you can trace that back to the people you’re hanging out with.
It’s impossible to completely avoid negative people, especially if they are family members or coworkers that you have to spend time with. What you can do is try to make more positive friends to counteract any negativity in your life. Focus on spending more time with those positive people than the negative people who drag your moods down.
9. Curate the content you consume
It’s no secret that we live in a world that is completely ruled by social media. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are some of the most-used apps in the world. As wonderful as it is to have access to fun content and unlimited information, it’s important to be mindful of the content you are consuming.
The mindless social media scroll that you do on the couch at night before bed might seem harmless, but it has a lot of power over you. Repeated exposure to either positive or negative content has the ability to change your outlook on the world, your self-image, and more.
Make sure that the information you are taking in is positive, or at least mostly positive. If you find yourself following accounts that you don’t vibe with or that make you feel bad about yourself, there is nothing wrong with muting or unfollowing them. You have the power to make your social media feed work for you, not against you.
10. Be present
In the fast-paced society that we live in, it’s easy to be on auto-pilot throughout the day. If you’ve ever felt like you drove all the way home without remembering the car ride or you and your significant other scrolled your phones through dinner and you don’t even remember eating, you know what this feels like.
Slow down and focus on being intentional with your time. Put your phone down, turn the television off, and really be in the moment with whoever you are with. Even if you’re alone, there is a lot of power in being present with yourself and your thoughts rather than trying to escape them.
By being more present in your everyday life, you will make more memories with your friends and family, enjoy small moments more, and find a lot more joy in your everyday life.
Conclusion on Techniques for Positive Thinking
It’s easy to get overwhelmed. If positive thinking is new to you, take it one step at a time. Choose one of the above techniques for positive thinking and start there! After feeling you’ve gotten the hang of it, move onto the next.