Let’s face it, we all have our off days. Days where we feel like nothing is going right. You might not realize it, but when we let in one negative thought, it opens the door to so many more. That’s why it’s important to remember that one positive spark of thinking can change the entire outcome of your mood and day. Studies show that optimistic and positive thoughts are vital in reducing stress. It’s time to change your mindset to a positive one. 


Where should you start? 

Changing your outlook doesn’t necessarily mean you ignore all the negative things going on around you. It means that you choose to approach negativity in a positive manner. You take the “glass is half full” approach to life. If you find it challenging to change your mindset, start by identifying negative thinking. Typical forms of negative thinking include: 

  • Filtering: Focus on all of the negatives and filter out any positives.  
  • Personalizing: Blaming yourself right away when something bad or negative happens.
  • Catastrophizing: Always anticipating the worst. 
  • Polarizing: Only seeing things as good or bad, no in-between, or room for leniency.  

Choosing to identify any of the above negative thinking habits when they occur is the first step to changing your mindset. 


How do I utilize positive thinking? 

Just because you might have a negative thinking mindset now, doesn’t mean it will always be that way. You have the power to change it. 

  • Learn from your habits, and make new ones: Take time to identify negative thoughts that have no benefit to your current situation. Once a negative thought forms, it can open a door and ruin your day, week, month. We waste time focusing on self-doubt. When you feel self-doubt coming, interject a positive thought to change the outcome. 
  • Practice makes perfect: Mayo Clinic suggests that you “Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else.” If hurtful words cause harm to others, your negative thoughts can cause harm to you. Allow room for forgiveness and encouragement in your mind. If a negative thought enters your mind, practice eliminating it, and remind yourself of things you are thankful for. 
  • Build a positive network: The people in your life play a significant role in dictating your mindset. It is essential to surround yourself with others who are positive and supportive. If you have positivity around you, you’ll have a positive mindset as well. The same goes for negative people. 
  • Find Role Models: Do you have a few people you look up to? What makes them a good role model? When you start to get down on yourself, look to your role models as examples. If you know your role model personally, take the time to call them and ask for advice. 

One negative thought can change your mindset for the worst. Taking the time to recognize when unwanted thoughts are creeping in and replacing them with positive ones will improve your overall mood and stress level. 

Consider this, think of a time when you had a wonderful experience that made you smile. Where are you? With whom? What are you seeing, saying, hearing, and how does that make you feel? Recalling positive experiences can provide you with an internal reset. Once you understand how to steer your thinking, you will have the power to control negative thoughts and guide yourself into a positive position. Remember, it only takes one positive spark to start a chain reaction.