Do you feel as if you are being hit with negative images, thoughts, gossip, and media each day? If its a struggle for you to stay positive in our ever-increasing negative world, check out these 20 positive thinking techniques you can begin implementing today!
Positive Thinking Technique: Step 1 Turn Off the Negative
“Comparison is the thief of joy” – Teddy Roosevelt
Facebook Can Steal Some Serious Joy
It is very hard to not get caught up in the comparison game when you are simply passing time scrolling through your feed. But how to break the habit?
- Challenge yourself to take a break from Facebook for one month. See how you feel afterward. Do you feel better? If you feel the need to explain why you don’t know about your cousin’s new job then announce on your feed you’ll be off Facebook for a while. Then delete the app from your phone.
- If you can’t completely take a break from it, make it more difficult to access Facebook from your phone. You can do this by logging out of the app each time you are done. This will be a reminder to you each time you click on the app because now you must log in. Or delete the app from your phone so you have to access it via the browser which is more of a pain. You will be less likely to do so.
- If nothing else, make sure you have disabled all notifications from Facebook from your phone.
Consider The Media
I quit watching the news, including reading the paper and online versions of it when my kids were born. I didn’t realize until then how negative every news story was. As soon as they were born I began imagining my children in every story. I couldn’t take it anymore.
It’s only gotten worse especially since the last election. It’s no wonder CNN has been nicknamed “Constant Negative News.”
4. Bring your news intake to zero. Trust me – everyone around you will keep you well informed! Try it for a month and see if you notice any difference. Expect more peace in your life.
5. Quit listening to the radio. I rarely do but recently I had it on a local channel for some reason and the first “news story” was about an animal cruelty case that the DJ insisted on going into detail about. My son was in the car. I was shocked. I don’t understand how that is news or entertaining. It was only upsetting.
What do You Bring to Your Work?
For 65 percent of Americans, work is the number one stressor in their lives. I know first-hand how difficult it can be to try to bring positivity into the workplace. Often times when you do so, and it fails, it can make have the opposite effect and you can fall further into depression or stress.
6. Establish boundaries. Unless you are a doctor, is it really necessary to check your email and be available 24×7? I worked in the IT world for 20 years and we operated like we were saving lives if a system went down.
Often the stress we are under, we put on ourselves. We want to appear to be the best employee, and always available. But, at what cost? Sure, spend your evenings locked onto your phone, being the first to answer each email but recognize the costs.
For every reward, actual or perceived, there is always a cost.
7. Take breaks at work. Take your lunch break. If you can’t leave for lunch, then going outside for a walk or even to your car to read, listen to music, or just getting some sunshine can be uplifting. One way I’ve found how to be more positive is to take breaks from those things that stress us the most. If your job gives you breaks, then take them.
8. If your job allows it, listen to audiobooks while you work. This allows your brain to not focus on the negative the whole eight hours. This is an excellent way to work on how to be more positive. You will occasionally get off track and must rewind the book, but I listened to many audiobooks while working. It helped me to keep my mind focused on something other than the situation at hand. See some suggestions for excellent escape books below.
9. Try challenging yourself to not complain for a certain time period. If you have certain co-workers that are your “complaining or gossiping buddies”, bring them into the challenge with you. If that’s uncomfortable, have a list of topics written down or in your head that you will bring up first, so the conversation does not go towards the negative.
In the process of learning how to be more positive, you are removing something negative from your life. However, you need to replace it with something positive or else you risk slipping back into that behavior.
Positive Thinking Technique: Step 2 Turn On the Positive
My day begins and ends with gratitude and joy – Louise Hay
10. Bookend your day with gratitude. Begin and end each day with either a prayer of what you are thankful for or write down 3 things you are grateful for. My children and I each say one thing we were thankful for during the day before bed.
11. Learning how to be more positive can begin with prayer. I recently completed Beth Moore’s Whispers of Hope: 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer each morning when I woke up. It took me a couple days to get into it but once I did I really enjoyed the consistency and was disappointed when it was over.
Surround Yourself with Positivity
I don’t believe in ridding yourself of all the people in your life that are not positive (abuse aside). The truth of the matter is that everyone, including you, is not positive all the time. We all need our friends and family to stick with us and endure the bad times.
But that doesn’t mean the outside influences in our life have to stay.
12. Be a kid with your kids! When you get home from work, throw the weight of the world aside for a bit and just do what kids do – play a game, throw a ball, play video games together. Our kids can be our best teacher on how to be more positive in our negative world. They can so easily shrug off a hard day.
13. Exercise. Tell your kids you are going bike riding or taking the dog for a walk if you need accountability. It doesn’t take much. Often, we just need a little sunshine. Even 10 minutes of yoga a day can be fantastic.
14. What do you love to do that you haven’t made time for in a long time? If nothing comes to mind immediately then spend some time thinking about what you enjoyed doing as a child that you could do now. How could you make time, even 30 minutes a week, for this activity?
Constant Intake of Positivity
15. Listen to music that lifts your heart. If you are in the car you can listen to KLOVE which is a listener supported Christian radio station. No news, no commercials. Only positivity. Or my new favorite is 80s Love Song Radio on Pandora.
16. Reading books can be an excellent way to escape from the drama in your own life without bringing you down.
Here are some excellent books I’ve read this year.
17. Commercials. This is another form of media to be careful with. The previews for upcoming movies, TV shows or even the news can be surprisingly violent and depressing. I choose to not watch any commercials. For years I recorded all the shows I watched, never watching anything live. Recently I canceled all my cable and only watch my favorite shows via Netflix and Hulu.
Be Intentional About Positivity
We don’t become the positive people we want to be by chance. Since we are surrounded by negativity, we must be intentional about becoming positive people.
18. Goals. Do you have specific goals for your personal life? It can be a simple one-page document that reminds you of your goal to keep the negative out and positivity in for all areas of your life. Ask yourself how to be more positive in each of the areas using a worksheet like the one found below in my resource library.
19. Wear physical reminders of affirmation. My favorites are these affirmation bands by Oola. There are seven, so you can wear a different one each day of the week to focus on.
20. Positivity, like kindness, is catching. Make it a goal to say something positive to three people each day. See if it doesn’t lift your spirits as well as theirs.
It can be difficult to figure out how to be more positive in today’s world. But if we adjust our glasses and our own attitudes, we may be able to see the positive. Most importantly, we can pass this on to our children. It doesn’t come easily, but nothing worth doing ever does.
This post is part of a 7-month Single Moms series “Secrets of a Successful Life” by Single Mom Bloggers. Each month, multiple amazing single mom bloggers will be writing on different topics. I pray you find encouragement, acceptance, and belonging amongst these brave women!