Do you see the glass half full or half empty?  Our outlook plays a large role in our joy and satisfaction with our lives. It is normal to feel negative sometimes, but we don't want it to overtake us.  Here are seven practical strategies to make stinkin' thinkin' a thing of the past...

  • 1

    Make Positivity Easier for Your Brain

    Our brains tend to gravitate toward what's familiar. To counter negativity, make positive concepts more accessible. Try having a "positive word of the day" or memorize positive words each morning and recall them at night. Strengthening the connections between positive concepts can make generating positive thoughts easier in the future.

  • 2

    Recognize Your Negativity

    Recognize that our thoughts play a significant role in our negativity. Reflect on whether you engage in any of the following thought patterns:

    • Catastrophizing: Blowing things out of proportion.
    • Personalization: Assuming everything is about you.
    • Black-and-White Thinking: Seeing situations as all good or all bad.
    • Filtering: Focusing only on negative aspects.
    • Overgeneralization: Drawing broad negative conclusions from isolated incidents.
  • 3

    Practice Self-Awareness

    Mindfulness helps you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions. When negative thoughts arise, observe them without judgment. Mindfulness allows you to respond rather than react impulsively

  • 4

    Replace Negative Thoughts

    Challenge negative self-talk by questioning its validity. Replace it with more balanced and constructive thoughts. For example, if you think, "I'm terrible at this," reframe it as, "I'm still learning, and improvement takes time"5.

  • 5

    Learn Acceptance

    Accept negative thoughts as part of being human rather than avoiding or denying them. Acknowledge your feelings without judgment. Coping strategies, such as deep breathing or grounding techniques, can help manage negativity.

  • 6

    Protect Yourself From Negativity

    Remember that other people's negativity is not your burden to carry. Set boundaries and practice self-care. Accept their moods as temporary feelings and maintain your inner calm.

  • 7

    Surround Yourself with Positivity

    It is not enough to avoid negative people. Try to seek out and spend time with supportive and positive individuals. Engage in activities that uplift you, such as hobbies, exercise, or time in nature.

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