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How To Change Negative Thinking Into Positive Thinking

How To Change Negative Thinking Into Positive Thinking

Negative thinking can start a downward spiral — we’ve all been through it at one point or another. At some point, you’ve got to haul yourself up and embrace positivity. Positive thinking can be the cure-all you need to start down a happier path in life. Here are some suggestions to help you out with that.

1. Remind yourself to think positively every day

With hard work, determination, and strength, nothing is impossible. Negative thinking is common, but too often it is harmful to the body, mind, and soul. Each time you have a negative thought, redirect it to a positive channel. Find the positive in the negative. It is going to be difficult, but it becomes easier with practice. In the long run, you will be relaxed more often and enjoy life a whole lot more.

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2. Start reading positive quotes

Reading positive affirmations helps give you the motivation you need for the day. It’s time to turn the television off and get reading. It will lift the spirits and help you feel more alive and radiant. If you don’t have an appropriate book on hand, go online and do some Google searches. Or, drop by the library and spend some time among the bookshelves there. You are bound to come up with a ton of quotes to help you feel better. Just get up and be proactive. You will be grateful for it soon enough.

3. Begin meditating and picturing nature in your mind

Picturing nature in your mind helps you feel more relaxed and positive. When you have an internal sense of peace and bliss, you are more mindful of your surroundings. Practicing meditation has been shown to reduce stress, improve calm, and increase happiness and mindfulness. Like anything, it takes continual practice to reap the full benefits. Imagine a calming destination and transport yourself there. You’ll be surprised with how rewarding this can be.

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4. Take time to do the things you like

When you start looking forward to something, your mind stays proactive. You feel fully functional. So, plan a day with things that give you real happiness and aid you in your quest to think positively. Life is too short to only do what you are forced to do. Go skiing, travel the world, run with the bulls — do anything that makes you step outside of your comfort zone.

5. Believe that you can change your thoughts

Sometimes, the belief is all that matters. As they say, you can do anything you put your mind to. If you think you can’t change your thinking, then it’s likely that you won’t. However, with a positive mindset, just about anything is possible. Just believe that good things will happen, and things tend to fall into place.

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6. Remember that nothing is permanent

Nothing is permanent — that’s one fact that nobody can undermine. If you take the time to truly digest it, it’s a lot easier to start thinking positively. Nothing is set in stone and you can work on changing the things that you are unhappy with. Whether it be your relationships, your health, your professional life — there are things you can do right now to be happier in the future.

7. Embrace the negative and positive

Sometimes, you’ve got to remind yourself that where there is darkness there is also light. The truth is that no matter how hard we try, we are going to have some sort of negativity in our lives at times. Life is a mixed bag. Everyone has there own struggles, and most of us come out unscathed on the other side. Just remember to look for the good in every situation — maybe you’ll be surprised.

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Ramanpreet Kaur

Currently a student but don't know what direction to go in: Let us see if writing gets me anywhere :)

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Last Updated on July 23, 2019

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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  • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
  • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
  • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
  • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
  • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
  • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

2. Find What Inspires You

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Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

3. Give Yourself a Break

When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

4. Shake up Your Routines

Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

5. Start with a Small Step

Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

More to Help You Stay Motivated

Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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