Thinking positive thoughts helps you enjoy more of your life, but it’s not always easy, especially when people around you are complainers or Bad News Bettys (as I call them). In this podcast I explore how staying positive can improve your day-to-day experience of life. I will teach you five practical ways to stay positive no matter what is happening around you.
Your thoughts create your reality. If you are focusing on the negative, meaning you are entertaining thoughts about negative things that could happen or that have happened, your experience of your life will be more negative. It’s very simple in theory but very difficult to actually practice.
You do have control over what you think, much more control than you may think. You can’t stop thoughts from coming in, but you can choose not entertain them. Imagine an unwanted guest at you house. if you entertain him, he will stay. If you stop serving wine and cheese, and stop talking to him, he will probably leave. It works the same way with negative thoughts. Entertain them by focusing on them and they will stay around. Ignore them, or replace them with more positive thoughts and they will just move right through.
You have the power to shift how you feel. It’s not like turning on and off a light. It may be more like slowing a fast moving train, but you can and will make a difference if you work on it.
Here are my 5 ways to staying positive:
1. Build your own cheering squad in your head. List out a few mantras you can say to yourself that will lift you up or motivate yo. Mine are: “I can do this,” “I doing a good job,” and “I’m ok.”
2. Remind yourself that motivating yourself with negativity does not work. Pushing yourself to succeed, be productive, work hard, or be a “good mom” with guilt, shame, and berating language actually makes you less likely to succeed. It makes you more likely to procrastinate and get depressed. If your goal is to feel happier and enjoy more of your life, then you’re on the wrong road if you are beating yourself up.
3. Figure out what you want. What is your ideal picture or outcome? Picture the outcome you want, using vibrant images. For example, if you want a really happy holiday week next week, picture what that would look like. How will you feel, how will the house look, how will the food look? How will your family connect? If you want to quit something, or do something more, like quit sugar or exercise, picture yourself doing it.
4. Move. Stand up straight, move your shoulders, roll them around, take a deep breath. Your body has a profound influence on your experience. If you feel negative, put on happy music and dance around. Change your body to change your thoughts and emotions.
5. Don’t get pulled into a complaining trap. When you are around negative people, Bad News Bettys I call them, don’t fall into the trap of bonding by complaining. You can stay empathetic without complaining along with them.
Bonus Happiness Exercise:
If you get triggered by family members or friends, try this. Next time they say something mean, picture yourself wrapping your hand around their head and giving them a big nougie and saying “ohhh you’re so cute with your….narcissism and meanness and way you always criticize me!” Or insert whatever they do to bother you. This will shift the way you see them and add lightness to the situation, which may help you not take them so seriously.