“As a man thinks, so Is the man.”

Rules for living: Negative self-talk vs positive thinking

Positive thinking enhances your happiness. Negative self-talk steals it and reduces your quality of life.

Here are some examples of negative self-talk versus positive thinking.

Negative self-talk Positive thinking
I’ve never done it before. It’s an opportunity to learn something new.
It’s too complicated. I’ll tackle it from a different angle.
I don’t have the resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
I’m too lazy to get this done. I wasn’t able to fit it into my schedule, but I can re-examine some priorities.
There’s no way it will work. I can try to make it work.
It’s too radical a change. Let’s take a chance.
No one bothers to communicate with me. I’ll see if I can open the channels of communication.
I’m not going to get any better at this. I’ll give it another try.

How to focus on positive thinking

Rules for living: Negative self-talk vs positive thinking

You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice. Here are some ways of becoming a positive thinker:

1. Check yourself. 

Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.

2. Be open to humour. 

Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.

3. Follow a healthy lifestyle. 

Aim to exercise for about 30 minutes on most days of the week. Exercise can positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet also.

4. Surround yourself with positive people. 

Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.

5. Practice positive self-talk. 

Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. Think more about things you’re thankful for in your life.

Rules for living: Negative self-talk vs positive thinking

Remember that “worry is a misuse of imagination.”



Mayo Clinic

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