Sometimes even the best medicine and healthcare is not enough for a full recovery. For patients struggling with illness or dealing with a major life change, these positive thinking exercises can mean all the difference. Here are 100 that we’ve compiled to help you channel your negative or angry thoughts into a happier and more productive positive outlook.
General – Practice these simple exercises and suggestions to keep your thoughts on the positive side. To read the full article go to RN central
- Only use positive words when talking. If you’re constantly telling yourself “I can’t” you may convince yourself that’s the truth. Replace these negative words with positive ones instead. Tell yourself you will do your best or that you will try your hardest instead.
- Push out all feelings that aren’t positive. Don’t let negative thoughts and feelings overwhelm you when you’re feeling down. Even if it’s only for a few hours a day, push your negativity aside and only focus on the good things in your life.
- Use words that evoke strength and success. Try filling your thoughts with words that make you feel strong, happy and in control of your life. Make a concentrated effort to focus on these words rather than those that make you feel like you are failing or incompetent.
- Practice positive affirmation. One of the most popular positive thinking exercises is positive affirmation. This means you repeat a positive phrase to yourself on a regular basis like “I deserve to be happy” or “I am worthy of love”. Believing that these things are true, and reminding yourself of it can help give you a more positive outlook on life.
- Direct your thoughts. This technique, used by psychotherapists, can help you to control your thoughts when you start to feel down or anxious. Create a happy thought, a positive image, or give yourself positive feedback to keep bad feelings in check.
- Believe you will succeed. There is nothing like believing in yourself to create a successful reality. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and believe that you will succeed at fulfilling your goals.
- Analyze what went wrong. Thinking positively doesn’t mean denying that there is anything wrong. Instead, give yourself some time to think about the things that led up to your current situation so you can avoid future mistakes and look toward a more positive tomorrow.
- Give yourself credit. Often when we feel frustrated or upset we only concentrate on the bad things or the mistakes we’ve made instead of giving ourselves credit for what we do right. Allow yourself to feel confident about the things you have accomplished, even if you’ve messed up in other areas.
- Forgive yourself. Constantly beating yourself up about things that have gone wrong won’t change them. Tell yourself that you’re forgiven for your mistakes and allow yourself to move on.
- Learn from the past. The past is behind you and no matter how badly things went there is nothing you can do to change them. Whenever you feel negative thoughts about the past come up, replace them with positive thoughts about the future.
- Remember things could be worse. No matter how bad things get remember that they could be worse and be grateful for all the good things that are in your life, even when it seems there’s more bad than good.
- Think of it as an opportunity. Sometimes even the seemingly negative things in our lives present us with opportunities we wouldn’t have been strong enough to pursue otherwise. Maybe losing your job is just the chance you need to start your own business or go back to school.
- Come up with ideas of how to turn negative thoughts into positive ones. If you find yourself thinking you should have done this or that differently, try changing your thoughts around. Instead give yourself credit for what you did do, remember that you are not perfect or that you can do better next time.
- Work on visualization. Picturing what you want to accomplish or the person you’d like to be can be a great motivator to getting you there and helping you feel more positive about the distance you have to go yet.
- Think of ways to turn visualization into action. The next natural step of this is to think of just how you’re going to get to where you see yourself. Just picturing it isn’t going to make it happen, so create a plan to take it one step at a time until you’ve made it.
- Practice self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis brings about a highly conscious state of mind that is willing to follow instructions. This means you’ll be more open to positive suggestions that will allow you to be happier and hopefully healthier in your life.
- List the reasons you will get what you want. If you are having trouble believing that you’ll get that big promotion or that your book will get published try sitting down and coming up with a list of reasons that you will get what you want rather than focusing on the reasons you might not.
Work can be a stressful place but use these techniques and ideas to keep yourself looking on the bright side.
- Be constructive. Giving yourself cruel and unwarranted criticisms will not only put you in a bad mood it surely won’t help you improve either. Be constructive in your criticisms of yourself so you can grow and learn.
- Visualize a successful outcome. Sometimes it can be helpful to picture yourself completing a project successfully or getting the promotion you desire. This can encourage you and make you feel better about the situation.
- Sit up straight. Slouching down in your chair isn’t going to make you feel any better about anything that’s bothering you. Sit up straight in your chair and see if it improves your thinking.
- Surround yourself with positive images. Make your desk your own private happy getaway. Put up pictures of things that make you happy or that remind you of your goals to create a calming and positive environment.
- Relax and let things happen. Sometimes the best way to deal with problems is to relax and let them take their course. Things can often appear to be a bigger deal than they really are and reminding yourself of this can help you to relax and not feel so stressed.
- See it from another point of view. Change your pattern of thought by trying to see things from another point of view, whether it’s your coworkers, your bosses or just someone impartial. It can help you see where you went wrong and understand why others might be upset.
- Keep track of your thoughts.When you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, try jotting them down. You may find a pattern and figure out some ways to reverse how you’re seeing yourself or negative situations.
- Don’t dwell. So you made a mistake. It happens to everyone. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Make peace with yourself and move on to other projects.
- Stop being your own worst critic. There’s no one else who knows just how to make you feel terrible like you can. Lay off on the harsh criticism and think good things about yourself when you feel you’re at your worst.
- Look at yourself rationally. It’s easy to get down on yourself for messing up at work, even on the little things. But try taking a step back and looking at the situation. You may find that what you thought was a big deal really doesn’t matter that much.
- Believe in yourself. Want that promotion? Hoping to get that huge account? Believe that you can do it and it just might come true.
- Avoid negative coworkers. Nothing can ruin a positive attitude like coworkers who bring out the negatives in everything. Avoid talking to those you know will only make you feel worse.
- Truly believe you are the best at your job. If you’re constantly looking for failures in your work and put on a sour attitude you’re much more likely to actually be putting in a poor performance. If you think that you’re good at your job you’re much more likely to put in the effort and performance that will make you good.
- Look for opportunity. In every failure there’s an opportunity to improve. Spend time thinking of ways you can turn your setbacks at work into ways you can get ahead in the future.
Family and Personal Life
Whether you’re struggling with keeping a positive attitude about yourself or about issues within your family, try these positive thinking techniques.
- Associate yourself with those who think positively. Positivity is contagious, so find friends and family members who look on the bright side to surround yourself with.
- Be glad your life isn’t boring. If nothing good or bad ever happened to you, likely you’d start to get pretty bored with your life. Take everything that is coming to you as a challenge and a way to keep yourself busy and interested in your life.
- Look at the big picture. Is that parking ticket you got a bummer? Of course. Will you still feel bad about it later this week? This month? Learn to let go of the things that don’t really matter.
- Let go of the past. It does not determine your future so why focus on it? If you feel yourself ruminating on the past make a conscious effort to take your thoughts in another direction.
- Benefit from the attitudes of others. Have a friend that always knows just what to say to make you feel like things will be alright? Take comfort in those around you that have positive attitudes and can make you feel better about anything going on in your life.
- Develop a personal mantra. No matter what you choose to repeat to yourself, make your mantra words you want to live by each and every day that can remind you to be positive and take whatever life has to offer.
- Find someone to share with. Knowing you are not alone can be a healing experience. Share your negative feelings with a friend, a family member or a even a mental health professional. You’ll likely feel better after you’ve gotten things off your chest and had someone to sound off with.
- Do something nice. Want to feel better? Try doing something nice for someone you care about. You’ll get to feel good for being nice and you just might make someone else’s day.
- Indulge yourself. One way to remind yourself of the positive things that life has to offer is to indulge yourself in whatever it is you love. Whether it’s a box of chocolates, a massage or a new video game, give yourself a break to relax.
- Remind yourself of your blessings. Whether you feel blessed by your family, your friends or even that you just have food to eat each day remind yourself of these things, however small you may feel they may be.
- Say thank you. Most of us have a lot to feel grateful for that we simply take for granted. Thank those in your life that make it better and happier to get a positivity boost for yourself as well.
- Come up with positive things about those you love. Making someone else feel good about themselves can strengthen relationships and give you a positive thought to concentrate on, instead of the negative.
- Avoid laying blame. So the water bill didn’t get paid. You could get mad and start a fight with your spouse or roommate. Or, you could let it go, take it in stride and work together to remedy the situation.
- Be playful. There’s nothing to lift your mood and change your thinking like taking some time to embrace playfulness and your inner child.