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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 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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