Using positive affirmations is a great way to train yourself to view things more positively and, therefore, feel more positive. But there are many other things you can be doing to improve your thoughts, emotions, and outlook on life. These things can add up and help to reduce stress, change your mindset, and impact your behavior – all of which will help you develop more positive thoughts. Following are some things that you can start doing today.
1. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude encourages the brain to stop focusing on things you are unhappy about and start looking at things that are you feel good about. If you do this enough, your brain starts to look for positive information, which helps you think and feel more positive.
It’s simple to start doing. Many teachers recommend practicing gratitude before bed. Write down a list of at least 3 things you are grateful for and expand on at least one of those things.
2. Look For The Connection Between Everything
A sense of separation between you and everyone around you will cause you to think negative thoughts. You will be judgemental, annoyed, and even angry.
But, when you see that we are all connected in some way, you start to think positive thoughts about the people and world around you and feel more compassion, kindness, and tolerance.
You can go spiritual and learn about the oneness of everything and how we are all made up of the same stuff and connected because of it.
Or, you can read this article about how everyone on Earth is connected to you by just 4 degrees.
3. Practice Cultivating One Positive Characteristic
What positive characteristic would you like to develop? Happiness, gratitude, love, trust, or satisfaction? Choose one that resonates with you and then get busy cultivating it.
First, ask yourself what it means to you to build up this characteristic. This will help you get motivated to do so. For instance, do you want to feel happier? What would happiness do to impact your life positively? What would it do for your relationships?
Next, find some triggers that spark this emotion in your life. For instance, a good meal, a hobby you have, or a certain person in your life.
Then create some strategies to help you feel more happiness. For instance, plan to do more of your hobby or spend more time with the person who makes you happy.
4. Get Rid Of Bad Habits
Your habits are what you do daily, and they dictate how you think and feel. If you are in the habit of eating the same breakfast every day, and it is a breakfast that causes drowsiness, then that is a habit that is impacting your ability to think good thoughts. You can’t be focused on positive things when you are tired. Negative things have a much easier time slipping in.
Choose one habit that is draining you or causing you to think negatively and find a way to get rid of it. You may want to replace it with something else. You may want to educate yourself around the negative effects of your habit to cultivate willpower and motivation to stop it.
Whatever you do, know that better thoughts are on the other side of eliminating this habit, so take action to get rid of it.
5. Read Positive Stories
You can’t help but see those negative stories on TV or social media, or hear about them from people in your life, but you can do your best to counteract the number of negative impressions you are receiving each day by looking for positive stories.
Every time you see something negative, look for two positive things. For instance, use the hashtag #goodnews and fill your mind and body up with better thoughts and feelings.
6. Work On Personal Growth Consistently
Take some free Mindvalley masterclasses.
Take some Mindvalley courses!
Read some books on becoming smarter, better, happier, etc.
This is what I have done for over 10 years, and I guarantee you will find yourself thinking more positive thoughts as your awareness expands, your habits change, and your mindset shifts.
Every day is a good day to work on your personal growth. Daily lessons and insights get stacked on top of each other and add up to more awareness, more positive thoughts, and a happier life.
7. Be Honest
Be honest with yourself and with other people. Don’t make stuff up. Don’t lie. Don’t bend the truth.
When you get honest, you think more positive thoughts for many reasons.
- You don’t worry about lying and getting caught.
- You don’t live with the guilt of not being honest with others.
- You don’t suffer the consequences because you are not being honest with yourself.
- You start to make choices that are more in line with what you want and how you are.
Honesty is a huge tool to cultivate positive thoughts. Who are you lying to? How is it affecting you? How can you be more honest?
Giving your time, energy, or money are all ways to help you feel good about yourself and the world around you.
For instance, when you give to your local food bank, you feel a connection between you and the people who are in need of the food bank. You feel good about your ability to help. You feel grateful that you can help. You feel good knowing that your action caused something positive in the world.
That is why I always give to someone asking for money on the street. Yes, they may be lying about their needs. Yes, they may use it for something other than what they are saying they will use it for. But I know that the action of giving impacts them in some positive way, and that’s all that I need to know to pass over a few dollars.
9. Practice Mindfulness
There is no moment like this moment. It’s the best moment to live in because it’s free from worry, doubt, fear, uncertainty, etc. I guarantee you will have more positive thoughts if you can practice mindfulness.
Following is a great article with 10 mindful exercises to practice.
10. Be The Change You Want To See
This is not a cliché – this is a direct route to cultivating more positive thoughts.
Don’t complain about people not being kind enough to the environment. Take action and be someone who is kind to the planet. Be an example. Create awareness. Help others see that being kind to the environment is something that will contribute to their happiness and health, as well as the happiness and health of future generations.
You will feel much better about things when you are constantly taking action rather than sitting back, watching, and complaining.