1. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude has been shown to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and foster resilience even in very difficult times. Think of people, moments, or things that bring you some kind of comfort or happiness and try to express your gratitude at least once a day. This can be thanking a co-worker for helping with a project, a loved one for washing the dishes, or your dog for the unconditional love they give you.
2. Practice positive self-talk
We tend to be the hardest on ourselves and be our own worst critic. Over time, this can cause you to form a negative opinion of yourself that can be hard to shake. To stop this, you’ll need to be mindful of the voice in your head and respond with positive messages, also known as positive self-talk.
Research shows that even a small shift in the way you talk to yourself can influence your ability to regulate your feelings, thoughts, and behavior under stress.
Here’s an example of positive self-talk: Instead of thinking “I really messed that up,” try “I’ll try it again a different way.”
3. Start every day on a positive note
Create a ritual in which you start off each day with something uplifting and positive. Here are a few ideas:
- Tell yourself that it’s going to be a great day or any other positive affirmation.
- Listen to a happy and positive song or playlist.
- Share some positivity by giving a compliment or doing something nice for someone.
Side effects of negative thinking
Negative thinking and the many feelings that can accompany it, such as pessimism, stress, and anger, can cause a number of physical symptoms and increase your risk of diseases and a shortened lifespan.
Stress and other negative emotions trigger several processes in our bodies, including stress hormone release, metabolism, and immune function. Long periods of stress increase inflammation in your body, which has also been implicated in a number of diseases.
It is vital to focus on positivity everyday and to interact with positive people who will help you make positive decisions every day.