When I was younger, in my teens, early 20s, and even through to my 30’s – I was trapped. Not physically, but mentally: by the destructive thought pattern called pessimism.
This negative thinking poisoned what might have been a pretty good and opportunity-filled childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood.
This pessimism created ceilings and walls where there really were none.
Throughout the period when I was ridden by pessimism, my life and I mostly stood still. Looking back, it was a terrible waste.
If you are in pessimistic place, you don’t have to stay there for the rest of your life. I didn’t, for I learned to replace my negative thinking with optimism.
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Are you an optimist or pessimist?
Are you more of an optimist or a pessimist? What do these words mean to you?
If you’re uncertain, perhaps the question should be more specific: what do you think about your life? How do you see your future? Is it more pain and misery or rainbows and butterflies?
The modern world makes it truly difficult to be naturally positive. From our busy, fast-paced lives, to all the negativity, scarcity, violence, and fear that we’re constantly bombarded with on TV and online, it would be cynical to say it’s easy to be happy nowadays.
The COVID-19 crisis brought even more troubles to our plates, with all the uncertainty about the future and the economic crisis we’re facing.
In such circumstances, slipping into a negative state of mind can happen without even noticing. You just wake up one day thinking: when did it all go downhill?
A negative attitude is a sure way towards achieving total life dissatisfaction and pushing people away from yourself.
If you’ve had a few bad experiences when you’ve tried to change or influence the world around you, then it’s likely that only resulted in further disappointment.
However, there’s always one thing you can do, and it is no small matter but something achievable if you really want to do it—change yourself. How?
By achieving a positive mindset.
It may sound like a cliché, but the benefits of a positive mindset are real and demonstrated by multiple scientific studies.
A positive mindset is a game-changer, as it will further elevate and improve your attitude and behaviour, and make you a happier person in the process.
This article is all about showing you what, how, and why of achieving a positive mindset and attitude in life.
I will explore 10 positivity habits that have helped me to go from someone who was pessimistic most of the time, to someone who is now optimistic almost all the time.
I recommend to not try to add all the habits at one go, but to try a few for a while before adding more. This way you will have time to adapt to them.
So, let’s get started.
10 Habits of People with a Positive Mindset
Start the day with a positive affirmation
How you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Have you ever woken up late, panicked, and then felt like nothing good happened the rest of the day?
This is likely because you started out the day with a negative emotion and a pessimistic view that carried into every other event you experienced.
Instead of letting this dominate you, start your day with positive affirmations. Talk to yourself in the mirror, even if you feel silly, with statements like, “Today will be a good day” or “I’m going to be awesome today.” You’ll be amazed how much your day improves.
One of the quickest ways to shift your focus away from negativity, judgment, and disappointment is to list the things in your life for which you are grateful.
Be grateful to be gainfully employed, to sleep in a bed each night, for the sun that comes up each morning, for the waiter who greets you with a smile, for the people that love and care for you, and for a body that lets you experience life each day.
Practicing gratefulness can cause almost an immediate shift in your perspective. Keeping a daily gratitude journal, even digitally, can help remind you to keep life’s blessings at the forefront of your mind.
Another strategy is to have a gratitude partner—someone who can support you in your journey to positive thinking. Each day, text, email or tell each other three things for which you are grateful. Think of this person as your accountability partner for your path to healthy thinking.
Focus on the present
I’m talking about the present—not today, not this hour, only this exact moment. You might be getting chewed out by your boss, but what in this exact moment is happening that’s so bad?
Forget the comment he made five minutes ago. Forget what he might say five minutes from now. Focus on this one, individual moment.
In most situations, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you imagine it to be. Most sources of negativity stem from a memory of a recent event or the exaggerated imagination of a potential future event.
Stay in the present moment, and watch your life transform.
Read a book
Books are an invaluable resource at your disposal. They teach, encourage, ridicule, and even lift your spirits.
One of the things you need to do if you want to create and foster a positive mindset is crack open a book and read it.
There are countless books out there, available either in soft or hard copies. There are advantages and disadvantages to reading either a soft or hard copy, but at the end of the day, you get to read a book.
When looking for a book to read, look for ones that will lift your positivity, and leave you feeling better.
There are inspirational books that are solely tailored to give you a positive mindset. If you are unsure about such books, you can ask for help from the bookstore you decide to get your books from.
You can also ask for guidance from your circle of friends regarding any books that would give you a positive mindset.
If you read a book and find it helpful, don’t feel shy to recommend it to your friends, or someone you think might need it.
There is a never-ending list of self-development books out there to learn from.
Write down your goals
Writing down your goals is a great habit to have when you want to live a more positive life. It means you have a clear vision of what you want and how you want to get there.
Writing down your goals will program your brain to help you find the positive steps you can take to achieve them.
It will alert your brain to notice things and events that are related to your goal. You will automatically be more aware of certain events, opportunities and people who can be helpful.
You’ll also be clearer about what you want, and this will sneak into your conversation and your general attitude, where others can pick up on it.
Reframe your challenges
There are no dead ends, only re-directions. Although we might try, there are very few things in life that we have complete control over.
We should not let uncontrollable occurrences from the outside turn our inner to mush. What we can control is the effort that we put in and when we give our full effort, there is no reason for regret.
Have fun with challenges, embrace them as adventures instead of attempting to resist an experience for growth. “Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.” – Robert Kiyosaki
Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk
Negative self-talk can creep up easily and is often hard to notice. You might think I’m so bad at this or I shouldn’t have tried that.
But these thoughts turn into internalised feelings and might cement your conceptions of yourself. When you catch yourself doing this, stop and replace those negative messages with positive ones.
For example, “I’m so bad at this becomes Once I get more practice, I’ll be way better at this. I shouldn’t have tried becomes That didn’t work out as planned – maybe next time”.
Focus on role models in order to strengthen your weaknesses
As creatures of comfort, we often refuse to abandon our comfort zone, lacking the motivation, especially after having experienced the outcomes of our weaknesses.
When we do not feel the urge to strive for better, the figure of role models could help us to score big in the game of positive thinking.
Through those that we admire (not envy), we can be driven for better in the path for self-improvement.
Positive people find their role models among those people they love. Focus on those traces from each role model that you would also like to get in order to become your best you.
Have a solid morning routine
What do you do when you wake up? Groan about how tired you are? Check your phone for work emails or scroll through an endless feed of Instagram posts? Do those choices make you happy? Or are they more reactionary at this point?
A naturally positive person doesn’t wake up and engage in activities that are stressful or sucks the joy out of them.
They have a morning routine that energises them; one that puts them in the right mindset for positivity.
That could be making a hot pot of coffee and enjoying the fresh air outside on their patio. Maybe that looks like going for a morning walk. Perhaps they even journal their thoughts and write down what they’re grateful for.
The key takeaway here is this: you can’t become a positive person if the very first moments of your day take away from your happiness.
Make someone else smile
Who do you think about most of the time? If we answered honestly, most of us would say themselves.
It’s good to hold ourselves accountable, take responsibility for our life roles, hygiene, food, etc. but set a goal for each day to make someone else smile.
Think about someone else’s happiness and it will help us to realize our immense impact that our attitude and expression has on the people around us.
10 Habits of People with a Positive Mindset – Final thought
Sometimes the task of changing out mindset can be difficult. We think that we have to control every single thought, however, that is not the case.
All you need to do is start making small changes in our daily life and eventually those changes will snowball into something bigger and better in the coming days, months and even years.
All you have to do is start. Start making the effort. Start trying to change.
If you make one small change and do it successfully, you are more likely to make more successful, bigger changes in the future.
So, the only thing that you need to do is start.
I hope you all got as much out of this article as I did when I wrote it.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!
If you have any questions please reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
I really hope you found inspiration in this article.
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about topics such as lifestyle, self-care, self-development, finance, saving money and making money. Come and join the community!