Psychological research has shown over and over how important a positive outlook is for success in life, from reaching career goals to managing your personal relationships. Your attitude shapes and underlies your reactions to the curveballs life throws on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to allow your attitude to slide into negative and cynical thinking without even noticing that it’s happening. The news is always full of stories of tragedy and injustice. Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, but it’s all too easy to be sucked in to online drama. Because of this, it’s important to consciously cultivate your positive mindset each and every day.
Here are five things you should practice daily to keep your mindset facing a positive direction.
1. Begin Your Day with a Positive Mindset Routine
The way that you start your morning helps determine your mood and outlook for the entire day, so you can’t let your mornings just happen. You have to take control with a specific routine that allows you to frame your day. A positive morning routine can include different components, but they should include aspects touching your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
On the physical side, start the day with food and drink that you enjoy and that nourishes and energizes you. For some people, this can mean a simple cup of coffee; for others it could mean taking time the night before to prepare overnight oatmeal or cut up fruit for a smoothie. For mental stimulation, skip the news and read a few pages of an inspiring book. This could be anything from a religious text to a business or self-help book, or even some poetry. To nurture your spiritual side, spend a few moments in prayer, reflection, or meditation.
2. End Each Day with Gratitude
You will be amazed at how much it helps your positive outlook when you dedicate time each day to counting your blessings, not in a vague way but in taking the time to specify them by name and in detail. This can take the form of a gratitude journal, where you can write down several things each day that you are thankful for. You could also do it inside your head as sort of evening meditation – just be sure to describe what you are grateful for in specific words, not just a general warm and fuzzy feeling.
This habit allows you to spend your last waking moments of each day consciously thinking positive thoughts. It’s a lovely final note to put on your day, even one in which you have faced struggles and hardships, and it’s a step toward beginning the next day on a positive footing.
3. Think of Your Challenges in Positive Terms
It’s easy to keep a positive attitude when everything is going smoothly. But even when things go wrong, like losing out on a job opportunity, suffering a financial loss, or having a relationship end, you can train yourself to look at these as opportunities for a new direction or challenge, rather than on dwelling on what you have lost.
This does not mean to live in denial or suppress negative emotions. Rather, recognize and acknowledge feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness. Examine your emotions and allow yourself to fully feel them rather than trying to avoid them or power through. Then make an equally conscious decision to turn and look for the positive aspects of your situation, and work to hold that frame as you move forward.
4. Make Sure Your Inner Self-Talk Is Positive
Like everyone else, you have an inner mental voice that talks to you, judging and offering a constant stream of feedback on your actions and decisions. How does that voice speak to you? Too many people speak to themselves in the imagined or remembered voice of a critical parent or boss, even calling themselves harsh names like “Stupid” or “Idiot.”
It’s especially insidious because that voice is so constant and has been there for so long that you don’t even really “hear” it most of the time. If you are unsure whether you are too harsh, imagine overhearing a person saying those words aloud to someone else nearby. If you would feel angry at the speaker and protective of the person being spoken to, your inner voice has become a bad influence in your life.
One of the best things you can do to shape your positive outlook is to take control of that voice. When you catch your inner critic saying something mean or overly critical, immediately turn it around and consider what the most encouraging and supportive person in your life would say to you at that moment.
If you really struggle with a cruel inner critic, try actually writing positive feedback to yourself in a journal. Imagine a daily progress report written by the most enthusiastic and positive teacher and tell yourself the things you did well that day. Use phrases like, “I was really proud of you when you did X” or “It was great how you did Y.” It can feel a little silly, but it will help retrain you to build yourself up rather than tear yourself down.
5. Avoid Negative People Whenever Possible
It’s not possible to surround yourself with only positive people at all hours of the day. There are always family members or co-workers who have nothing good to say, just a stream of gripes and complaints. What you can do is take control of the situation and limit the time spent talking with them about negative things. Some people can be turned to positive topics by gently steering the conversation. In other cases, you may have to set a limit on how long you will interact with them at any particular time.
To save your energy for the negative people you must deal with, limit your exposure to random negativity. It’s easy to sit in front of the television or click on link after link online, so that before you know it you have spent an hour or more ingesting dark news, reality-show and drama, or “comedy” that relies on cruel mockery. A few moments here and there are not harmful, but a steady diet will warp your outlook. Consciously evaluate what you decide to take in as entertainment or information and decide if it’s something that you actually need in your life.
Shifting your mindset from negative to positive can have a dramatic impact on your well-being. Staying positive triggers optimism in your mind and spirit, and can also help you achieve your goals. Spend effort to cultivate positive thinking, and watch your life change for the better.
About Sam Habib:
Sam Habib has built is a leading internet marketing firm built to over-deliver for every client it accepts. They have developed a specialized team of SEO strategists, visual designers, social media mavens, conversion optimizers, and coders. By pioneering new methods, they have found success where others have failed. Alex Bato is about being transparent with customers and getting results. While they don’t guarantee rankings, they excel at delivering substantial value for their clients and promise professional services backed by results. He is also an active member of OMGmachines.com. He has also featured or quoted in many publications including, Inc.com, Huffingtonpost.com & Forbes.com