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How to Build Positive Thinking to Improve a Bad Day

How to Build Positive Thinking to Improve a Bad Day

I’ve had some bad mornings in my life — mornings where I woke up late for work or school (sometimes even waking up after I was supposed to be there), hungover, still bruised and/or bleeding from the night before, broke, in a car, on the street, and next to some insane people. From that point, the day goes downhill — I lost my job, car, and house; missed the bus; went broke; missed lunch; said the wrong thing on the news; got surrounded by police and homeland security; and ended up in the hospital, where I was released with nothing but a pair of shorts and my iPhone. Despite all of these problems, I manage to wake up again the next day, ready to face and change the world with the power of positive thinking.

Happy people used to annoy me. I was never one of those happy people until the last year or so. Before I became happy, I would listen to angry music, relate to it, and start steering my life toward that direction. When 2Pac, Eminem, etc. shouted about their problems, I internalized them and made them my own. The anger they expressed became what I thought I had to be in order to follow the footsteps of my idols… but then I realized I don’t have to be angry; just because I have problems doesn’t mean I have to focus on them. Instead, I can resolve them internally and work toward a positive outcome. This is when I discovered the power of positive thinking, and I’d like to share with you its simplicity.

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    Just Do It

    The trick to positive thinking is to simply think positive. I know this sounds a bit obvious and unobtainable, but bear with me — it’s easier than it sounds. Your thoughts are under your control. You’re the only person who ever hears them unless you choose to say them or (preferably) act on them. Let’s say you’re a couple of dollars short on your electric bill; you can choose to either freak out and stress about how broke you are, lowering your mood and allowing your day to be controlled by the electric company, or you can choose to focus on how to make the best of the position you’re in.

    Take the MCs I used above as an example. Sure, 2Pac and Eminem aired their dirty laundry and angry thoughts in their music, but they didn’t climb to the top of the hip-hop game by doubting themselves. Both of these men put themselves out there, knowing they could fail, but also believing in themselves enough to rise above the competition. Eminem, for example, is known for publicly discussing his mama and baby-mama drama. Instead of dwelling on it, he made a career out of it, talked his problem out, and moved past them. You can do the same.

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      You’re Not Alone

      Life sucks sometimes, but it’s a beautiful experience you only get once. As Jay-Z put it, “Flowers need water to grow; It gotta rain. And in order to experience joy, you need pain.” Bad things happen to all of us — no matter how rich, famous, or successful we are. So why do some of us smile while others don’t? It’s not a natural disposition; some people just repeat mantras in their head whenever a bad thought enters their head.

      I get angry sometimes; other times I get sad, or even depressed. I’ve had thoughts of what things would be like if I were dead. I drove across the country to start over — twice. As recently as two years ago, I briefly considered ending my life. As recently as two days ago, I anguished over where the hell my life is going, and why it feels like I can’t do anything right. I’ve made mistakes and bad decisions that have cost me nearly everything on more than one occasion. There isn’t much I haven’t lost — but I continue getting back up, putting a smile on my face, and going back out there to try again. You can do this too, but you need to start thinking positively. Here’s how I do it.

       

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        Repeat After Me…

        When I wake up in the morning, one of the first things I do is look myself in the mirror — it’s important to be able to face yourself in the mirror — and look at the man I’ve become. I reconnect with myself and remind myself that I’m a great guy. I compliment myself out loud to ensure the first words I both hear and say each day are positive. Then I clean myself up and eat breakfast to gather enough energy to be me. This sets the tone for the rest of the day.

        Throughout the day, I need a refresher for a variety of reasons: things don’t go as planned, something bad happens, someone rubs me the wrong way. During these times, my first thought used to be exasperation, but I forced myself to stop. I close my eyes for 10 seconds and breathe, repeating, “This, too, shall pass,” in my head over and over until I calm down. It’s a quick meditation to reset my train of thought. Whenever I have downtime, I take a moment to think about all of the wonderful people, places, and things in my life. I remind myself that I’m alive, I’m okay, and I’m fully capable of overcoming any obstacles.

         

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          Maintenance

          It was difficult at first, but eventually it took less and less time to get back into the game. The negative times have gotten less and less frequent (although they still happen). I still have a lot of problems (financial, romantic, career-based), but they don’t overwhelm me anymore. When something doesn’t go my way, I simply go a different route. Things haven’t necessarily gotten easier, but I accomplish much more. Knowing I’m constantly moving toward my goal (even if I fail, I’m still learning something and making progress) makes it easier to get through the hard times.

          The more you think positive, the easier it gets to think positive. Like everything else in life, it takes practice. If you’re feeling down and out, stop for a minute and think about everything you’re grateful for. Instead of thinking about your problems, think about your triumphs. The difference between a good day and a bad day is nothing more than the perspective in which it’s viewed. Think positive, and you’ll make a positive impact on this world. Get started right now.

           

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          Last Updated on March 25, 2020

          How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

          How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

          How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

          Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

          That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

          Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

          1. Write Your Goals

          The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

          Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

          As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

          Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

          2. Beat Procrastination

          Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

          Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

          Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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          What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

          When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

          3. Celebrate Small Wins

          In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

          Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

          It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

          So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

          4. Practice Gratitude

          It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

          Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

          So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

          60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

          By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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          5. Be Optimistic

          Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

          At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

          Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

          6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

          A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

          Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

          What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

          So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

          10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

          7. Face your Fears

          You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

          If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

          Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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          Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

          How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

          Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

          8. Visualize your Success

          You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

          One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

          Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

          9. Find Inspiration

          Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

          From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

          Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

          Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

          10. Enjoy Downtime

          You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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          Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

          You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

          11. Meditate Regularly

          Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

          Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

          Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

          The Bottom Line

          Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

          However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

          So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

          More Tips About Staying Motivated

          Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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