Positive Thinking Exercises That Will Improve Your Life
It’s really hard to achieve anything in life with a negative mindset, first and foremost because it’s practically impossible to even make a start at something.
I used to be a super negative person when I was younger. I was already stuck in a dead-end job by the time I was 21 and didn’t have the courage to go back to school or try another career.
“What’s the point?” – I’d ask people. “It’d just be a waste of time.”
As I got older and watched people around me – as well as people in magazines and on television – achieve success and make something of their lives, I began to look into whether or not it really is possible for an average, ordinary human being like myself to also achieve things.
So, I read some books, watched some documentaries and did a whole lot of research. I was taking action in my life and – for once – I was actually being positive.
Ironically, a common thing I learned from all the self-help books and videos I read and watched was that the number one thing all happy, successful people have in common is positivity.
Essentially, everything good in life comes from a positive mindset. If you approach every day with a smile on your face and an optimistic “Can Do” attitude, you’ve got a 100% better chance of being a success.
But how do you go about being more positive? Let’s start by taking a look at 10 positive thinking exercises that have worked for me.
Listen To Your Favourite Music
I look back now to my early twenties and laugh when I think about the music I was listening to. It was depressive, downbeat, and it more than likely contributed to my malaise.
These days, whenever I want to be inspired, I always listen to my favourite, most upbeat music. And it always works.
Sticking some feel good music on will put anybody into a positive mood. It’s even better when you listen to music that you associate with a particularly happy, sunny time in your life.
Each morning, before you to to work or school, stick some of your favourite tunes on to set the tone for the rest of your day.
Make Peace With Your Past
Do you ever sit around dwelling on moments from your past that make blush scarlet with embarrassment? Perhaps you dwell on times when you got really angry with someone and it still makes you embarrassed to this day? Or maybe you can’t shake that terrible job interview from your mind.
It’s now time to make peace with your past. Accept that it all happened, but also accept that it can have no bearing on your present.
Be Thankful For What You Have
A lot of us focus so much on the things we don’t have, or what we’re missing out on. But it’s time to be thankful for what you do have.
I remember a time when I was a teenager and would frequent Internet chat rooms talking to guys. I’d get really upset when a guy I liked started talking to another girl while ignoring me!
It’s important that we don’t dwell on the things we feel we are missing out on. Like the great philosopher Descartes said, we should forget all about impossible dreams and focus instead on what is truly possible.
Do Positive Things
When people talk about doing positive activities, they tend to mention yoga and meditation. Ask anyone to suggest a positive activity, and it’s likely they will suggest one of the two – or both.
Although yoga and meditation are certainly powerful activities that you should consider, they’re definitely not for everyone. For example, you might not be comfortable with the impenetrable silence, or you might not wish to empty all thoughts from your mind.
If so, think about alternative activities that would make you happy. Perhaps you could go for a walk, a swim, take up a sport, go dancing, go travelling, read some books, and so on!
Remember That Everything Passes
Sure, we all have negative experiences. Sometimes we get physically sick and other times we get lovesick.
But it’s important to remember that everything passes eventually. Experiences are temporal but time is eternal, space infinite. Nothing that happens lasts forever, and you can bet that whatever it is you’re dwelling on now will be a distant memory in years’ time.
Be Easy On Yourself
The best way to learn anything is not by reading about it in a book; instead, it’s by going out there, experiencing it – and failing at it.
Yup, failure is a wise teacher from which we can more about ourselves, our abilities, as well as what we need to do in order to get something right.
It’s time to stop being so hard on yourself the moment you make a mistake. Rather, accept that everyone makes mistakes, and that positive people learn from them and improve.
Cultivate Your Environment
It’s super hard to be positive if we don’t live in a positive environment. If you’re spending too much time around negative people, it’s important that you get out as soon as possible and enter an environment that encourages happiness and optimism.
Improve Your Diet
The mind and body are connected, which means that however you are influencing your genetic expressions with your diet is going to have a strong impact on your emotions. If your diet is saturated in junk and fats, it’s going to create negative thinking.
If, however, you fix your diet up and introduce more fresh fruit and vegetables to it, you can promote some truly positive thinking.
Not only does your diet affect you in this way, but just the fact that you know you’re eating good stuff can be enough to put you in a much more positive frame of mind.
Don’t Try To Control Something You Can’t
There are some things we can’t control, such as another person’s decisions. Instead of trying to influence externalities that you can’t touch, focus entirely on what you CAN change.
There is no easier positive thinking exercise than smiling. Everyone can do it, so why don’t you?
When I started smiling more often in my mid-twenties, the change in my general disposition was emphatic. I felt warmer towards people and more appreciative of life itself. I actually started to enjoy my job more, and I looked forward to getting out of bed.
Smiling to yourself is incredibly powerful, but smiling to strangers is even more uplifting. Try it!
What are your favourite positive thinking exercises?