A famous quote states that people are only as happy as they decide to be. What if you could improve positive thinking and minimize pessimism in your life? There’s an excellent reason people describe pessimism as heaviness and feeling “down.”
It’s an oppressive state of mind that conceals your blessings and extinguishes hope. However, optimism is compared to the mountains, the sky, and higher thinking. You can overcome an attitude of defeat and self-loathing.
Practice Makes Progress
If you have a skill or a talent, it takes challenging work and practice to be your best. Did you know that you can practice optimism and rewire your brain to think more positively? It’s an acquired skill that you won’t regret.
Unfortunately, most people find it easier to be pessimistic rather than optimistic. Jill Suttie discusses this negative bias in her article published by Greater Good Magazine. Suttie mentions a book by Baumeister and Tierney which outlines the steps you can take to overcome prejudice and create optimism.
For example, say you and a coworker are vying for the same promotion. You may assume you won’t get it just because good things never come your way. Not only are you giving into toxic thought patterns, but you’re attracting more disappointment.
Make it a point each day to practice optimistic affirmations. Look in a mirror and sincerely tell yourself that you’re beautiful, loved, worthy, and more than enough. Learn to be compassionate and patient with yourself.
Habits to Improve Positive Thinking
The law of attraction says that you attract whatever you speak into the Universe. Some people also call it the law of sowing and reaping. If you plant corn in your garden, you’ll reap corn and not potatoes.
Improving positive thinking is as simple as changing your conversations with the Universe, God, or your higher self. As you speak optimistic affirmations, the Universe agrees and responds with the same. On the other hand, the Universe must also agree with your pessimistic assertions, and if you put negativity into the air, then you’ll reap nothing but sorrow.
Break the shackles of negative bias and try only to make uplifting affirmations. The Universe has your best interests at heart, but it can’t overrule your free will. Learn to speak life and blessings, and the same will return to you.
It’s encouraging to know that you don’t need a magic wand or a fairy godmother to change your viewpoint. Here are six habits that will help you improve positive thinking and allow you to receive the joy you deserve.
1. Get Up on the Right Side of the Bed
Have you ever awoke groggy and cranky, and your partner asked if you got up on the wrong side of the bed? It’s a funny idiom that means you’ve arisen in the morning with a bad attitude. You probably know from experience that such a morning mood creates the mindset for a terrible day.
One of the best ways to improve positive thinking is to start your day with uplifting thoughts. Stretch, step out of bed and visualize affirmative energy flooding your room like new rays from the sun. Yesterday is behind you, and you’re already thankful for the blessings waiting for today.
Some people boost their optimistic energy with morning exercise and meditation. Focus on the blessings in your life and determine to make a difference today. When you make this a morning routine, you’ll get used to thinking more optimistically.
2. Choose Joy
Most people use “happiness” and “joy” interchangeably, but they aren’t the same. Happiness is an emotion that’s as fickle as the weather. Unhappy people often erroneously think that one day they will finally be happy forever.
Although being happy and cheerful can make you feel more optimistic, you can’t depend on it. Joy is a decision and not an emotion. It’s not dependent on having everything you want or the thrill of the moment.
When you choose joy, you’re determined to have optimism regardless of your circumstances. You can improve your positive thinking, and it can help you cultivate joy. It’s a choice of confidence and acceptance.
When you’re overwhelmed with work, joy sees the paycheck that supports your family. The night may be dark and lonely, but joy anticipates the dawn. You can’t always change dire circumstances, but you do control your attitude.
3. Don’t Forget to Smile
In his article published by Forbes Magazine, Dr. Bryan Robinson discusses the link between smiling and positivity. Your smile reflects how you feel, and you can trick your brain if you feel blue. A beautiful grin can trigger neurotransmitters, and your brain switches to a more optimistic state.
You rarely see chronic pessimists smile. Even when they do, it’s often a sarcastic smirk that’s far from encouraging. Their sour demeanor can reflect their internal negativity.
If one of your goals is to improve positive thinking, then consider smiling more. You might not feel like it at the moment, but it can boost your mood. Let others see your pearly whites and watch how smiling is contagious.
While you’re smiling, why not add a dose of laughter? Kind humor goes a long way in healing a downcast attitude. If you can laugh and not take yourself so seriously all the time, you’re bound to increase your optimism.
4. Release Anger and Bitterness
Contrary to conventional wisdom, anger isn’t all bad. It’s only human to feel angry when you’ve been slighted or insulted. It’s how you cope with the emotion that makes the difference.
The ire you experience when you see the injustices of the world is understandable. Often it takes some righteous indignation to make changes for you and others. You can redirect your anger toward something beneficial.
However, chronic anger can deplete your body, mind, and spirit of energy. When anger is stored in your heart, it becomes wrath and bitterness that can destroy you. Holding a grudge will only hurt you overall, not the offender.
Releasing anger and ancient grudges are essential milestones to improve positive thinking. You learn to use anger as a constructive tool rather than a destructive one. Plus, you try to forgive others and get past the offense.
Remember that you’re not excusing offenders when they hurt you. Forgiveness frees your spirit and puts the ball in their court. If you’ve hurt someone, be quick to apologize, make amends, and determine you won’t repeat it.
5. Learn New Things
It’s easy to fall into a pessimistic pit when you’re bored. You do the same old things day in and day out. Instead of living your best life, you merely exist on autopilot. Did you know that your brain craves a challenge? It’s what helps people learn and grow.
You’re hardwired to seek opportunities and creative problem-solving. Are you bored with your simple existence and want to renew joy and excitement in your life? Make it a point to learn or do something new every day. Try to “reinvent” yourself with new hobbies and doing things you’ve always wanted to do.
Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and haven’t got the time to broaden your knowledge and skills? Optimistic people may not have the time, but they make it. Learning new things boosts your creativity and helps you to improve positive thinking.
Have you ever wanted to learn a foreign language and do some traveling? Maybe you’ve longed to play a musical instrument or do art and thought you would be good enough. Taking the challenge and following your dreams gives you more confidence to reach higher.
6. Watch the Company You Keep
Human emotions and moods are contagious. Just try to sit around a table of laughing people and not end up laughing yourself. This emotional mirroring is especially true if you are empathetic.
Yes, misery loves company, and pessimists use this point to their advantage. Not only do they have gloom and doom, but they want to share. Chronic pessimists can create a toxic atmosphere that brings down an entire crowd.
If you want to improve positive thinking, then surround yourself with like-minded folks. They are the ones who encourage, inspire, and bring out the best in everybody. When your circle includes optimists, you’re more likely to maintain an optimistic outlook.
Of course, there are some party poopers you must endure. You can’t easily avoid your grumpy employer or disown a nay-saying in-law. However, you can control their influence over you.
Be agreeable with your gloomy boss and try to keep your communications upbeat. Smile and be polite to that irritating in-law and exit the conversation with your first chance. Remember the law of attraction and keep company with those who attract affirmative energy.
Final Thoughts on How to Improve Positive Thinking
Nobody is perfect, and being an optimist is a work in progress. The good news is that optimistic thinking can be cultivated like any other valuable skill. It’s up to you to create your best life and relish it. When you train your brain to think positively, the negative thoughts will fall by the way.