Good Day or Bad Day? It’s All How You Look at it – Six Steps to Positive Thinking

Is the raccoon looking in or is he looking out? Either way, he can climb that fence – unless he is locked in a cage. We can’t tell the perspective.

Our joy, and perhaps even our curse, as human beings often come from our ability to chose the way we will view and interpret the world.

People who are able to grow a more sunny outlook on things are happier and have less stress than those who tend to focus on problems.

It seems like a no-brainer – always think about the best parts of every situation. Still, many of us find ourselves stuck on the negatives in front of us.

If we are fortunate we discover, and master, positive thinking at a younger age. Looking around at people of all ages, it is painfully obvious (and sad) that some people will go a lifetime and never uncover the answer.

Does anyone else love lists?  Here are six things you can work on (one at a time if you like) if you want to get positive by reshaping your way of thinking.

Six Steps to Positive Thinking 

Learn to direct your thoughts. As soon as you catch yourself thinking about anything negative actively change your mind to think about anything else that is positive. If you are working on a gratitude practice this is a good time to shift your mind to what you are grateful for.

This may be easy for you or extremely tough. Sometimes our brains are just wired to focus on the negative. Our repetitive thoughts and actions reinforce connections in our brains so digging out new connections can take time and effort (especially if you have a long history of negative thinking). In the long run, it’s well worth the effort.

Surround yourself with positive people.

If you surround yourself with negative, miserable, unhappy people your life is going to be negative, miserable, and unhappy. If you surround yourself with positive people who will influence you to do better in life, living with joy, than you will do those things.

You are influenced by and become like the people you allow into your life. Choose those people carefully.

Take responsibility for your life and your actions. I know this one may sound like a bit of a bummer at first but really taking your life into your own hands is an empowering move. When you take responsibility for your life you step up and say “Nobody has the power over whether I  succeed or fail. Nobody can hold me down or stop me, only I can do that.”

Start a gratitude practice. Always pay attention to and look for things to be grateful for. Before you go to bed think about what you are grateful for. When you wake up in the morning have gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal. If you find yourself in a difficult situation – always remember to ask yourself “what can I be grateful for right now?”

Be mindful, meditate, do yoga or any other mindful exercise. If you don’t get enough exercise and eat healthy foods you are going to get sick and feel like crap. It is very difficult to be positive when you feel shitty.

Take care of your body and take the time to relax your mind. Be mindful as you exercise. If you learn to pay attention to how your body is feeling. Pay attention to each footstep below you, feel it. Breathe with intention, focusing on the inhale and exhale. Let your workout calm your body and mind simultaneously.

Get inspired by positive people. Read books, listen to speeches, and reflect upon positive quotes of others. Listen to an audio biography of someone who inspires you on your way to work. Watch a TED Talk. Read self-help books. Subscribe to a new podcast. Find a mentor. Work with a life coach. Surround and feed your brain positive affirmations and avoid garbage.

Note: it is a good idea to unfollow/hide negative posts and people during this transition as they are poison for your brain.

At first, you may find yourself making mistakes. Hold yourself accountable. Fix them. Always be determined to do better next time. It’s worth the work. YOU are worth the work. You can do it!

48 thoughts on “Good Day or Bad Day? It’s All How You Look at it – Six Steps to Positive Thinking

  1. Hi
    I liked most of the list of 6.
    Need reminding that this takes time and practice. I especially like the being grateful.
    Kind of goes with realism.

  2. Great post [!] Thank you for this. Excellent.
    The “surround yourself with positive people” part has perhaps been my stumbling block in recent years, partially due to circumstances… but I’m glad to report that coming to WordPress has begun to change that. 🙂

  3. Mahalo for that. Just was curious what your view on sugar is? More recently I’ve heard people underestimate it’s negative effects.

    1. Honestly nothing I read says it’s helpful or good for you because of the way it spikes your glucose. Fruit has fiber and it slows things down a bit. I am doing neither these days because of my diet.

    1. It takes time – and constant evaluation of the people in your life. People who are always negative or are a bad influence to your life have to be pushed out. Eventually you are left with only the best of the best – although this is definitely quality over quantity.

  4. Very nice post! Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking my post – Yoga helps low back pain. I am enjoying my visit to yours. Congrats on your positive psychology. I found positivity just a few years ago and my life is immeasurably better as a result. Keep up the good work!

  5. Oh I’m out of Facebook now for that reason. I simply cannot handle one more gloom and doom post. Thank you for sharing – these are all things I’m actively working on!

  6. Yes to all of this!
    Especially the one about surrounding yourself with positive people. I think many fail to realize just how much impact that has on our lives. It can hamper everything, even your own drive, focus, and creativity (not just the mood) if just one or two people you have to be close with during the majority of your time are the gloomy kind.
    Definitely something to be aware of!

        1. So far I have not accepted any of these – I may start to respond to them here in the comments section – since I don’t blog too often I worry the awards could easily outnumber my normal topics. (I only write about once a week normally). However I do like the questions – maybe an awards page vs a blog post. Let me think. 🙂

  7. Really love this 🙂 I think that all of these tips, whether you do all of them or just one or two, are very real ways to help people feel better and change their perspective. I’m working on doing that every day and I think your tips will really help 🙂 Also, thanks for the love on my blog 🙂

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