The way we think has tremendous power over nearly every area of our lives. Thoughts, like words, are powerful. The ability to think in a more optimistic way will do wonders for nearly every aspect of your life. But, how can we go about doing this?
Luckily, there are ways to train your mind to be more optimistic. I used to think pretty negatively about a lot of things and I believe that was one of my biggest roadblocks to living the life I really wanted to live. When I finally realized my pessimistic thinking was an issue, I decided to do something about it. I started finding ways to think more optimistically.
Full disclosure: Nobody can make you change but you. If you truly want to be healthier, happier and live a more productive life, optimistic thinking is an awesome first step. If you want to train yourself to be more optimistic, check out these tips that have worked wonders for me:
Focus on the Positives over the Negatives
Optimism begins with the ability to put positives at a higher priority than negatives. This can be done in a few different ways. Here are some really good ones to give a try:
- When faced with a negative thought, combat it by thinking about 2-3 positive thoughts.
- Surround yourself with positive things (scents, visuals, music, etc.)
- Combat negative thoughts with questions like: “What did I learn from this?”, “What could I have done to make this situation better?”, “Is there a positive viewpoint from this negativity?”
- Challenge the way you’re allowing yourself to think. Replace all negative thoughts with positive ones, (even neutral ones.)
The use of mantras and affirmations is one of the best ways to train your brain to be more optimistic. At first, I thought it sounded a little hokey but then I remembered the incredible power of words.
While it may seem silly, (at first), to repeat things aloud to yourself, it will make a difference in your life. It keeps the positive vibes present throughout the day and forces you to believe the words you’re saying.
Some Affirmation Ideas:
- “I have the power to control my thoughts.”
- “I choose to believe in myself.”
- “I will continue to learn and grow.”
- “No matter what, I will not give up.”
- “I will honor every commitment made to myself.”
Let Go of the Past
A huge source of negative thinking comes from past experience. Maybe you had a bad experience in a particular area of your life and when faced with a similar occurrence, your brain automatically correlates it to the past negative experience.
The past cannot be changed. Let it go and do not allow the past to dictate your present.
Focusing on goals is a great way to remain positive. Instead of focusing on anything else, (especially things that aren’t productive), focus on goals. Keep track of your goals. Make action plans to achieve goals.
Being more goal-oriented is going to help you accomplish a lot more and in turn, become more optimistic.
Some Goal Ideas:
- Fitness Goals (Reach a certain weight, accomplish specific workouts, increase stamina, gain more muscle mass)
- Career Goals (Work towards a promotion, earn more money using x amount of steps, build stronger working relationships, learn a skill that’s helpful in your career, build on a skill you already have)
- Relationship Goals (Make more time for family & friends, build a deeper connection with your partner)
- Learning Goals (Anything you’ve wanted to learn – make a goal to learn it)
- Creative Goals (Writing Challenges, Artistic goals, musical goals etc.)
There are always new goals you can and should tackle.
Always seek solutions over excuses
Excuses aren’t going to get you anywhere and honestly, we can all come up with an excuse for just about anything. But why do that? Seek solutions to problems and ditch the excuses. You’ll be happier for it and of course, more optimistic!
Eliminate Negative People from your Life
Being around negative people can influence you to be more negative and generally just bring bad vibes into your space. Why deal with that when you don’t have to? Toxic people are bad news – cut them out of your life. You’ll be happier for it.
Commit to Self Improvement & Personal Development
I always talk about how self-improvement and personal development are lifelong journies for all of us. We can always improve ourselves and develop more skills. To be more optimistic, you should fully commit to this process. Again, this goes back to setting goals and being more goal-oriented. Always strive to be better. The positive changes that come with self-improvement will encourage a more optimistic attitude.
Some areas of Personal Development/Personal Growth to Focus on:
- Health & Mental Health
- Emotional Intelligence
Make Self-Care a larger Priority
If we don’t take care of ourselves properly, we feel like shit. Take time for self-care. It’s worth it. Ensure that you’re taking the time to take care of yourself. When we feel our best, we tend to view things in a more positive manner. Always take care of yourself!
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
The ‘comparison game’ as I call it, is a game you’ll never win. Somebody is always going to have it better than you and someone is always going to have it worse. Do not waste your energy focusing on what other people are doing. Instead, focus on yourself and your own journey.
Journal Your Way to Optimistic Thinking
A great way to trick your brain into thinking in a more optimistic manner is to journal about it. Again, words contain tremendous power. Use some prompts to force your brain into optimistic thinking. Stuck on what to put into a journal? No worries, use some of the prompts below to become more optimistic!
Optimism Journal Prompts:
- 5+ Things I’m Thankful for
- Things I love about Myself
- What I love about my home
- Small Things that make me happy
- Advice for 16-year-old me
- Things that made me smile today…
- I feel most powerful when…
- A funny memory I won’t forget
- 3 Steps I can take to be even happier are…
Choose to look at the bright side – you’ll notice the changes quickly. Optimistic thinking is life-changing 🙂
Nobody but you can change the way you think but remember this: nothing good can come from dwelling on the negatives. If you continue to focus on the negative aspects of everything, growth will be more difficult and the energy you attract, (the vibes), won’t change for the better.
Commit to being a more optimistic person. Use the tips I’ve shared. Do more of what makes you happy and strive to be better.