Positive thoughts can have a substantial impact on your life. Are you a person that sees the glass as half-empty or half-full? Numerous studies confirm that people with an optimistic viewpoint tend to be healthier than those who dwell on negativity.
A study by Oxford Academic found that people with more positivity are at a lower risk of dying prematurely. These folks also have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, respiratory illnesses, and stroke. The study followed 70,000 women for eight years. The ladies that maintained an optimistic outlook fared much better than those who were pessimistic.
These women have a better overall quality of life, high energy levels, live longer lives, and have better mental and physical health. Consequently, this is just one study that proves there’s power in positive thinking, but countless others demonstrate the same findings.
Ten Ways to Increase Positive Thoughts and Have a More Optimistic Outlook on Life
It’s effortless to be negative, as the world around you tend to be pessimistic. However, positive thoughts and being more optimistic can change your life for the better. Changing your thinking won’t happen overnight, but you can have a better mindset by doing a few of these things listed below.
1. Start a Gratitude Journal to Increase Positive Thoughts
Try a gratitude journal if you want to increase your positive thinking. When you write down all the blessings of the day, you can look back on them in times when negativity seems to overpower you.
Make it a point to write down a few reasons you feel thankful daily. If anything gets your thoughts geared towards positivity, a gratitude journal can do it. Journaling is known to help reduce anxiety and is a great outlet to purge negativity from your life.
2. Fill Your Inner Circle with Optimistic People
Your inner circle says a lot about you as a person, as birds of a feather tend to flock together. You won’t see a sparrow hanging around with blue jays, as they like to stick with their kind. Nature can teach you many great lessons, and knowing who to allow in your inner circle is one of them.
The people that surround you can help you with positive thoughts. When you’re down, they can help lift you using positivity. If you’re around people constantly complaining about life and all their problems, it’s effortless for that negative attitude to rub off on you. Surround yourself with people who help you with your pessimistic thinking problem, and you will see a noticeable change in many aspects of your life.
3. Identify Negativity and Replace It With an Optimistic Attitude
Everyone has things or areas in their life that tend to bring them more negativity. You need to identify these areas and make changes when you want more positive thoughts. For instance, you might have a great spouse and children, but when you go to work, the pessimism is overwhelming. In this instance, you need to focus on making changes at your job.
It would help if you considered that maybe the job isn’t right for you, or you might need to move to a different department. Perhaps it’s not your job bringing you down, but you have issues with your spouse, as you always argue. Getting to the crux of what’s causing negativity in your life can help you identify things that need to change.
4. Focus on the Good (and Not the Bad) to Increase Positive Thoughts
Your life is always going to have obstacles and situations that prove challenging. Rather than focusing on everything wrong, you need to focus on everything going well. Remember that every dark cloud has a silver lining, though it might take some time to find the positivity in each situation.
If your boss cut your hours by one day this week, rather than focusing on the loss of income, why not focus on the extra time you can spend with your family? You’re probably overworking, so thinking positively about it can change everything. You will likely wish you had another extra day off in a few weeks as you will be tired and exhausted.
5. Start Each Day Out Right to Stay Optimistic Throughout the Day
Having positive thoughts is challenging when you start your day off on the wrong foot. Do people often tell you that you got up on the wrong side of the bed? Why not try to attack your mornings with a different approach?
By starting the day with prayer or meditation, eating a healthy breakfast, and using positive affirmations, you can turn your mornings from a grouch session into a boost for a good day. You will feel much better when you’re not running late and have time to complete your morning routine.
6. Read Uplifting Books to Increase Positive Thoughts
Reading can transport you to another time and place and open your eyes to help you see and understand. Reading books where people have triumphed through significant adversity allows you to put your life into proper perspective. There are also numerous self-help volumes out there that can help you change your outlook and have more positive thoughts.
7. Resolve Unfinished Business to Boost Optimism
Do you have unfinished business? Maybe someone is upset with you and has held a grudge for years. Unfinished business is like a black cloud hanging over you, which can alter your optimism. If you want more positive thoughts and to keep your mind free from negativity, you need to resolve any unfinished business weighing you down.
8. Count Your Blessings–You’ll Discover Even More Positive Thoughts
When you spend your time counting your blessings instead of thinking of all the things you don’t have, it can have a positive impact on every facet of your life. For instance, people who have an attitude of gratitude often have lower stress levels and higher self-esteem.
Try to think of at least five things each day that you’re thankful for in your life. Even if it’s something small like your partner washing the dishes for you, it’s something for which you can be grateful. Count your blessings instead of sheep at night when you can’t sleep, as it’s a great way to drift off into dreamland.
9. Use Positive Self-Talk
Did you know that you’re your own worst critic? No one in this life will be as hard on you as you are on yourself. It’s hard to change a negative view of your life, but through positive thinking, it can be done.
How do you change to positive thoughts when you’ve focused on negativity your whole life? Well, it’s not going to be easy, but when you take baby steps towards more positivity, you can alter your thinking. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to hush your inner critic with positive self-talk.
A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that participants who shifted how they talked to and about themselves had the power to change their thoughts and feelings. For instance, when you make a mistake, you probably say, “Wow, I sure screwed that up.”
Now, changing to a more positive mindset, you should tell yourself something like, “That didn’t go how I wanted it to, but I will try a different route next time.” Instead of beating yourself up over a blunder, move your thought process to growth.
10. Laugh More to Feel More Optimistic
You’re probably wondering how laughing more can cause you to have more positive thoughts, but it’s a beautiful way to increase the positivity in your world. When you’re laughing, the levels of stress hormones in your body decrease. When the levels of cortisol in your body diminish, things like anxiety and depression are not an issue.
You’ll notice that your mood lifts, you have better self-esteem, and you can cope with even the most challenging situations in life. You can find humor anywhere and at any time. So go ahead–permit yourself to laugh even if you’re having a terrible day. When you smile and engage in laughter, you will lighten the mood of the room and can make a difficult situation more tolerable.
Final Thoughts on Increasing Your Joy in Life by Thinking Positive Thoughts
When trying to change and develop a habit of positive thinking, the key is to do it repeatedly. Practice makes perfect, and your new thought processes will soon become routine. You have the power to change your mindset by rewiring your brain to see things more favorably.