Everybody wants to feel good about themselves but may struggle with positive thinking on a daily basis. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Over 350 million people struggle with depression, via World Health Organization. If you are looking for a way to start thinking positive thoughts everyday, this is the article for you. Below are 14 ways to become happier, and start living a better life, today!
14 Ways to Enforce Positive Thinking Today
Not everything in life has to be serious. Laughter will not only brighten your day, Care2 shows it’s also known to:
- Make you more attractive to others
- Increase bonding between groups
- Enhance mental function
- Increases immune system defenses
- Increase blood flow
- Promote cooperation with others
- Decrease stress
Looking to incorporate more laughter into your life? Try watching one of your favorite comedies, browse YouTube for funny videos or go see a comedian you love.
Give Back to Others
“At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by, I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me, I was homeless and you took me in.” – Mother Teresa
The ability to give back to others is one of the greatest gifts we are given in life. It will not just make you think positive, you will have a completely new outlook on life. Joining a group that gives back to the community will enhance your social well-being, help you create new relationships and you will brighten others day.
Want to get started today? Find a homeless person and bring them a meal, help an elderly woman load her groceries into the car, ask a co-worker if you can help them with anything. Reach out to your local church or boys and girls club, these organizations always have activities going and are in need of volunteers.
Take a Break
Between work, family, friends, and all our daily responsibilities, there is little time left for number one. If you want to promote positive thinking, you need need to learn to make time for yourself. Set aside a minimum of half an hour on a daily basis to relax and decompress. Escape from the noise of life and just take in your surroundings. Taking time to be by yourself and relax will help:
- Give yourself a perspective on what really matters
- Lower overall stress levels
- Raise self-awareness
- Focus on the present
- Reduce Negative Emotions
Get started today by booking your “me-time” in your schedule. This can be anything that helps you detach and relax such as, going for a walk, meditation, sitting in a relaxing place and taking in your surroundings. I find it easier to take this time at the beginning of the day, before things get busy.
One of the best ways to promote a lasting positive attitude is to exercise regularly. From my article Inherit 7 Habits of Insanely Successful People:
“This is not just about looking good in the mirror, it’s proven to help with stress levels, self-esteem and brain health, just to name a few, see (7 Mind-Blowing Benefits of Exercise).”
Exercising 4-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes will literally change your life. The feeling you have after working out will keep you motivated to continue your workout regiment. Aerobic activity boosts your self-esteem and productivity throughout the day.
Ready to take action? Find a time that works for you. Make sure you raise your heart rate and sweat as much as possible. Find an activity you enjoy: Biking, running, hiking, swimming, lifting weights. The lower the intensity of the activity, the longer you need to exercise.
Spend Time Outside
Most of us spend our days in our offices and our homes. You can increase positive thinking by just getting outside and soaking up a little Vitamin D. If you work long hours indoors or live in a very cool climate, this is not as easy as it is for those who live in Southern California. An article by Health shows that science has proven spending time outside has these benefits:
- Strengthen Your Immunity System
- Improve your outlook on life
- Increase mental focus
- Lower Depression
Try walking to lunch or find a spot with outdoor seating, take your family to the park, take up an outdoor hobby, more on this later. If you find it impossible to get outside, it’s okay. Set your desktop to a favorite travel destination, or hang scenic photos in the places you spend the most time. The Korean Journal of Radiology showed in a study, that people who looked at scenic pictures and natural landscape photos, had a similar brain reaction to that of spending time outside.
Disconnect from Technology
Our lives are run by technology, whenever we have a second to breathe we are checking emails, updating a social status with our face down in our phones. A study by Mindscape found that those who have a work email attached to their cell phone, had higher stress levels because of the ease of accessibility to be contacted by customers or their boss. In a past business, I actually associated my cell phone with stressful situations, every time it rang or vibrated, I had a negative feeling come over me. When I sold that business I had to get a different type of phone, because of the mental association I had created with my iPhone.
Disconnecting means no phone, no TV, no radio, no tablet or computer. Try reading a book, play a board game or spend time with your family or friends.
One of the quickest and simplest ways to increase your positive thinking daily is to smile. Smiling is not just your natural reaction to something you find funny or interacting with someone you like. Some of the benefits of smiling include: lowered stress and anxiety, you appear more attractive when smiling, strengthen your immune system, helps you relax, look trustworthy and it releases endorphins. This should be motivation enough to get you to crack a simple grin every once in a while. In my article, What is Holding You Back – The Power of Thought, I propose this experiment:
“Try this: put a huge smile on your face, it will probably be a fake smile but still make it big. Now with this huge smile on your face, try to think of something that would generally make you sad (just keep holding that fake smile). It is near impossible to think of something sad when you have a huge smile on your face.”
Smiling is powerful, smiling is contagious, smile more often and you will be happier in life.
Confidence is not something you can force upon yourself, it’s a mater of believing in yourself and the things you do. Confidence will build your self-esteem, which will propel your positive thoughts in the right direction. Never play the victim. If you run into a sticky situation, stand up for what you believe to be true, take responsibility and find a resolution. Playing the victim is the easiest way to kill your confidence, not only will you appear weak to others, you will feel bad about yourself and this is detrimental in thinking positive. Self-confidence is one of the hardest things to learn on this list and do not mistake confidence for arrogance.
“Arrogance is believing you are important, confidence is believing you are capable” – Anonymous
If you want to work on your confidence, start by taking responsibility for your actions, whether good, bad or indifferent. Also keep this in mind, if you work on other things from this list, your confidence will come along for the ride.
Let it Go
“Let it go, let it go!” Never thought I would be quoting a line from Disney’s Frozen in this article.
Have you ever let something small get to you? Road rage happens everyday, don’t be the person that lays on their horn, flips people off and yells at them because someone cut in front of you. Want to know who wins in this situation? The one who can let it go. If you can learn to laugh at getting flipped off and honked at, your day will go on. If you are the person on the other end of this, your day can be ruined. You will hold this resentment inside for a given time, letting it eat away at your positive attitude.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, life will bring you plenty of real problems to deal with. Next time you are caught in traffic, your internet is slow, or your kid spills something on the carpet… let it go!
Get Enough Sleep
In a study by the US National Library of Science, they found that sleep had a higher effect on your overall mood than it did on cognitive behavior or motor function. That’s right, getting a good night’s sleep can make you happier. It also has shown other benefits such as:
- Ability to soak up knowledge easier
- Increases in overall health
- Skin will age slower
- Lowers anxiety
- Ability to build muscle easier
With all these benefits from the simple pleasure of sleeping, you should be motivated enough to go to bed at a decent hour. Listen to your body, it will let you know when it needs rest.
Hang out with Happy People
Moods are contagious. Do you remember the line of chairs outside the principal’s office? Have you ever walked into a court room where everyone is waiting their turn to hear from the judge? You are immediately overwhelmed by the tension in the room. The same principal applies to a large group of smiling faces and a room filled with laughter. If the mood gets too serious, be the one to crack a joke and bring some joy into the conversation. The more you are around positive thinkers, the more positive you will be.
Find a New Hobby
My dad once told me, “Go fly a kite!” I didn’t get the advice at the time, I was sulking because he would not let me have friends over that weekend. Looking back now, I realize his advice was good. Taking up a new hobby will build purpose and passion in your free time. A new hobby will give you something to talk about in a group of people. You will find others who are interested in your hobby and they will take a liking to you and turn to you for advice on the subject. Get creative here, this can be anything from making your own craft beer, to joining a kickball league, yes those exist.
Take in a Positive Message
There are tons of entrepreneurs who have made positive thinking their business, their way of life. Find these people and read their books, listen to their message. One of my favorite sources of inspiration is Entrepreneur on Fire. Host John Lee Dumas interviews entrepreneurs 7 days a week, there is always fresh content available to inspire you. Find whatever it is that inspires you and soak it up on a regular basis.
Goals are one of the most important parts of any journey, they set the tone for your mission. Goals provide clarity when times get tough. They reinforce why you are doing, whatever it is you are choosing to do. Setting goals and visiting them often will keep you motivated. Here is an excerpt from Goals – One Step to Rise Above The Competition:
“Imagine if you put 10 of the greatest Olympic runners in the middle of a wide open field and just told them to run. They might run, they might not, but with no idea why or where they are running, they would eventually all stop.
So let’s take those same ten Olympic runners, let’s put them on a track, give them each a specific lane they must stay in, let them start at the sound of a gun, with a finish line signified by a large black and white checkered ribbon, heck we will even hand out medals to the top three finishers. Now guess what will happen, they are going to run like crazy and give every last ounce of energy they have, until they reach the finish line.
So which runner you would you rather be?”
For me, nothing can bring instant joy like riding a roller-coaster can. I laugh the entire time, get a huge rush of adrenaline and come off the ride with a giant smile on my face. Just the thought of riding a roller-coaster right now is making me smile. Find whatever it is that gives you this same feeling and do it more often. For some this may be seeing a much anticipated movie, for others it will be trying a new restaurant. Whatever it is that you have fun doing, go do it! We all work so hard every week for our days off and our vacations, don’t wait for these times to incorporate a little fun into your life.
Take Action, Now!
The entire list above is pointless if you don’t take action on these things.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
If you want to start thinking positive, now is the time. So smile, laugh, give back, have fun, set goals, go fly a kite, and go do all these things today!
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