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Eight ways to boost positive thinking

September 6th, 2023

Is it a grumpy day or a good day? Sometimes, it’s hard not to focus on the negative and see all the glasses as half empty, rather than half full.

However, not only does a pessimistic mood make you potentially unpleasant to hang out with, but it can affect your physical and mental well-being in many ways, from sapping your energy to slowing your recovery from illness.

How can you turn things around? The tried-and-true advice of eating well, exercising regularly and sleeping heartily is essential. Also, here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

1. What makes me negative?

Are mornings the worst time of day for you? Do you hate being bored? Do you get angry when people come late to an event? Try to identify which situations bring out the worst in you. Then take small steps, one at a time, to approach these times more positively.

2. Do I criticize myself?

If the voice in your head constantly reprimands you, learn tactics to compliment and encourage yourself instead. For example, if you tell yourself, “I really messed that up,” rephrase it as, “I’ll give it another try,” or, “At least I tried my hardest and I’m skilled at many other things.”

3. Is there a silver lining?

If something disappointing happens, can you find a positive spin to it? For example, if an outing you were anxiously awaiting gets cancelled because of rain, focus on the free time you’ll have to complete more of your knitting or to play cards with friends.

4. Where can I find a good laugh?

Laugh as much as you can! Humour is great at improving mood, so seek it out often. Find the fun in everyday situations, and even try laughing when you’re feeling down—it can lighten the atmosphere and lower your stress.

5. Who is a joy to spend time with?

Spending time with positive people helps make you positive too, as their good outlook can be contagious. Similarly, grouches can bring you down. As much as possible, surround yourself with those who are upbeat.

6. What makes me thankful?

At least once a day, think about the people and moments that you’re grateful for. It could be a big outing to see farm animals, a tasty steak hot off the barbeque, or simply the fact that the sun shone that day. Consider recording these thoughts in a journal.

7. In what way can I help?

Volunteering is a powerful way to get good vibes, increasing your sense of purpose while improving a situation for others. You’ll feel fulfilled and the world will seem brighter.

8. How is my environment?

Surround yourself with items that have special meaning to you. Smell flowers when you get a chance and read inspirational books. Start off the day on the right foot, such as by listening to cheery music or telling yourself that it’s going to be a great day. And then hopefully it will!

These tips were compiled from advice from Clarke University, the Mayo Clinic, Healthline and Reader’s Digest.

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