You know the problem with positive thinking?
It’s usually forced.
But I’ve learned a secret.
There are ways to make positive thinking automatic and natural so it just happens.
As you guys know, I’m a mental health athlete. I train my mind the way an athlete trains their body. Every day I do mental workouts. I do them because I believe mental health is the most important thing in the world.
When we’re mentally healthy we enjoy every moment of the day.
Mental health is usually talked about negativity. When we hear “mental health” the terms “anxiety, depression, and stress” aren’t far away. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Physical health is about being fit as much as it’s about not being overweight. And mental health is about happiness and positivity as much as it’s about not having anxiety and depression.
So when I say mental health I mean exercising the brain to be fit, positivity, happy and healthy.
This week I’ve been practicing five positivity techniques.
I cannot believe how much of a difference these techniques have made. They’ve toned my mind like a bodybuilder tones their abs. And if I could fit my mind into a bikini and parade it around the beach right now, I would.
My five positivity techniques are all about noticing good things happening right now.
All these 5 positivity techniques train the mind to focus on what’s good.
Have you ever tried mindfulness? This is similar.
Take a look at these mindful habits. They’re excellent positivity techniques for beginners.
The next five positivity techniques are easy, fun, and powerful. And they are good for kids too.
Here they are: the 5 ways to make positive thinking automatic
1: 100 good things
This idea is very simply. Wherever you are, find 100 things you like about it.
For me, for instance, I generally start off by listing all the trees and plants, and then I’ll list various objects I like… that might get me up to 30 or 40. Things get harder when you run out of positivity things to list.
To get to 100 we will need to really search around for positivity things. This is where it gets good. Because we’re searching for positives, we are training the mind to see the positive. This habit then continues after we finish the exercise. The mind gets in the habit of seeing the good things around us.
2: Something nice in everything
This positivity exercise is a continuation of the above.
Once we’ve listed 100 good things about the place we’re in, we then look for the good in whatever we see.
For instance, if we happen to look at someone we don’t get along with we have to see one good thing in them and focus on it.
This is a powerful positivity technique. It trains the mind to see the good even in things we don’t particularly like. This method is the best way to make positive thinking universal, so you’re always thinking positive no matter what you’re doing.
If you have automatic negative thoughts, this is a great way to change them and to start building automatic positive thoughts instead.
3: A compliment for everyone
Ah, one of my favorite positivity exercises. This one trains the mind to see the good in everyone.
The idea is simple: for every person you see, think of one good thing about them.
Don’t like your mother-in-law? Tough whoopee. You have to come up with one nice thing to say about her.
And then you have to actually give the person the compliment.
This one isn’t for the faint of heart. Complimenting someone we don’t get along with is not easy. But it is worth it.
If you struggle with this one, try practicing Loving Kindness Meditation.
4: Changing that thought
This is a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) technique.
Read more about CBT in this guide.
In this positivity technique we look for alternatives to negative thoughts.
The average person thinks 70,000 thoughts every day. And 80% of those thoughts contain negativity. Changing those negative thoughts yields amazing results.
In this positivity technique we find 10 alternatives to our negative thoughts.
Now, a quick bit of maths tells us that 70,000 thoughts a day multiplied by ten is 700,000. So that’s not going to work. That’s why we focus on specific thoughts when we do this technique.
We’re looking for automatic and recurring thoughts. These are negative thoughts we often experience and that we want to change. You’ll already have a good idea what these thoughts are.
When we experience one of these recurring negative thoughts, we find 10 alternatives to it. This limbers up the mind and shakes off that negative thought.
Read our guide to negative thinking for more on this.
5: Describe what you like to other people
Have you ever notice how we all enjoy talking to mindful and positive people?
When people talk about what is actually happening around them right now and in a good way, we generally enjoy talking to them.
This positivity technique is just like that. It’s very similar to mindful writing, but with speaking (read our guide to mindful writing).
In this technique we chat to someone else and we only speak about what is happening around us (mindful observations) and in a positive way. For instance, “I love how that leaf is gently blowing in the wind”.
This positivity technique achieves many things. It makes us more mindful. It’s get us to focus on the positive. It makes us more aware of what’s happening in the now. And it also makes us better conversationalists.
Try this technique with a friend. It’s a real mood booster.
Those are the five positivity techniques I’ve been using this week. And I’m feeling pretty bloomin’ chipper.
With these exercises, positive thinking becomes automatic. You will start to produce automatic positive thoughts instead of automatic negative thoughts.
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