Are you a person who mourns in the rain, or do you open your umbrella and dance among the puddles? Life often hurls pain, loss, and other negative situations in your path. Your resilience and how you react can make the difference between overcoming or being defeated. In fact, when you increase positive thinking, you really make the difference between those two outcomes.
Fifteen Mental Hacks to Increase Positive Thinking
While you can’t prevent life’s storms from raging against you, your positive attitude can keep you afloat. It takes time and patience to become an optimist instead of a pessimist. These are 15 habits to increase your positive thinking.
1. Keep a Sense of Humor
One of the best characteristics to have is a keen sense of humor. The Greek philosopher, Epictetus, admired those who could laugh at themselves. He said they’d never run out of things to keep them laughing.
Sometimes, a little levity can ease tensions in a room and offer a different perspective. Laughter is also a balm to your soul and can promote a positive attitude. Try watching a classic comedy or spend time with a hilarious friend who makes you giggle.
2. Spend Time Outdoors to Increase Positive Thinking
It’s hard to be glum and gloomy when you’re outside in the glories of nature. Spending time outdoors can lower your stress levels and boost your mood. Plus, the fresh air rejuvenates your lungs, brain, and the rest of your body.
Consider taking time each day to walk through the forest, a park, or any nearby green area. Admire the stately trees, enjoy the colorful foliage, and watch the birds and other woodland creatures. This experience costs you nothing yet is more valuable than anything in the world.
3. Perform Random Acts of Kindness
Another way to cultivate positive thinking is to be kind to others in word and deed. You’re expected to do nice things for people in your circle. It’s part of a reciprocal relationship.
However, what about surprising a total stranger with an act of kindness? Perhaps you buy a stranger a cup of coffee or mow a new neighbor’s lawn for a welcome gift. These free and random acts of kindness often come back to you and give you an optimistic outlook.
4. Give Your Mind a Break
Even when you’re fast asleep, your brain is of minimal power to keep your vital organs alive. Plus, it’s recharging your brain cells and filing information into short or long-term memory. It’s full steam ahead when you’re awake, so no wonder your brain gets tired.
Giving your mind a much-needed break can boost your mood and encourage positivity. When you feel like the walls are closing in and you’re overwhelmed, take a break, and do something relaxing. Although your brain never sleeps, it can revive with a bit of diversion.
5. You Increase Positive Thinking if You Practice Gratitude Everyday
Sincere gratitude benefits you and the people surrounding you. For example, you express your thankfulness to someone who gave you a gift. You’re blessed with the talent, and the giver is blessed with your gratitude. A grateful mindset discourages envy and self-centeredness.
Awaken each morning with gratitude for another day of life. Perform each daily task mindfully and gratefully. Remember words of appreciation like “please,” “thank-you,” and “you’re welcome.”
6. Look For the Positive in Bad Situations
Amid a troublesome situation, positive thinking doesn’t come easily. An article published by the Psychological Bulletin discusses the irony of negativity bias. This common bias is when your brain pays more attention to negative situations, even though positive ones outnumber them.
It’s easy to take negativity bias to heart and wallow in a hostile atmosphere. However, positive thinking helps you find life lessons in your trials and use them as learning curves. You’re more able to acknowledge the pain, learn from it, and leave it in the past.
7. Increase Positive Thinking by Surrounding Yourself with Positive People
Whether you realize it or not, you absorb the atmosphere of a room, be it positive or negative. Have you ever noticed that you can be in a good mood and spend time with an old grump? By the time you part ways, your mood probably sank into the mire like there was.
A positive thought process thrives around those with the same mindset. According to the law of attraction, surrounding yourself with positive energy attracts more. You also tend to have a greater sense of well-being when you’re in a lively group of people.
8. Don’t Ruminate on Negative Thoughts
The law of attraction is unbiased, and if you send negative thoughts into the Universe, it will attract more negativity for you. It’s a vicious cycle often caused by ruminating on your past failures and shortcomings.
In an article published by Psychology Today, Dr. Guy Winch states that rumination can have physical and mental consequences. Per the article, it may increase negative thinking and cause depression and anxiety.
Instead, find ways to learn from your experiences and leave them in the past. If you need to forgive someone or ask forgiveness yourself, do it. It’s also helpful to let go of things you can’t change or can’t control.
9. Share Your Thoughts with a Trusted Friend
Some of life’s burdens seem lighter when you share them with a trusted friend or loved one. Frank discussions with an empathetic friend may help you get a fresh perspective. Maybe they can increase positive thinking and help you find possible solutions.
Emotional support builds camaraderie and a positive atmosphere. If they choose to self-disclose, you may often discover your situation isn’t unique. There’s an excellent reason why people need each other’s company.
10. Keep Your Self-Talk Upbeat
Everyone has a little voice in their head that’s like a constant narrator. Unfortunately, negative self-talk can make you feel hopeless and give you the impression that you’ll never win. If you internalize these conversations, you’ll affirm them to the Universe, and you won’t ever be successful.
The good news is that you have the power to change your self-talk. Change your vocabulary to positively charged ones like “can” and “will.” Make your positive affirmations aloud and learn to attract more positive gifts into your life.
11. Exercise Every Day
Make daily treks to the gym to reap benefits from exercise. Did you know that exercise increases your endorphins and other “feel good” hormones? Plus, you’re doing your body a favor by toning and strengthening your muscles and joints.
You can create an exercise regimen that’s right for you in your own home. Consider strengthening, core, and aerobic sessions to work different parts of your body. Even a daily brisk walk can improve your health and increase your positive outlook.
12. Keep a Journal
Since written language began, humans have recorded world events, local happenings, and personal history. Indeed, they give future generations a window into past glories and tragedies. Some famous examples of diarists include Samuel Pepys and Anne Frank.