How to Build a Pattern of Positive Thinking – Your 10 Steps to Positivity
Do you recognise that your thinking can be negatively focused sometimes? Do you recognise that this negative thinking cycle can then have an impact on your mood? Do you feel stuck on knowing how to manage this negative thinking cycle?
What if I told you there are a range of straightforward steps that you can begin to practise and apply that could significantly improve your thinking pattern, and equip you with a range of thoughts that will help you thrive day-to-day?
The most important first thing to understand is that your negative thinking pattern does not have to be the boss of you. You can take control of your negative thinking, work to rephrase it, and create more supportive and affirming thoughts to empower you on a daily basis.
Think about it this way – would you hang out with someone who was critical and negative all the time? Most people would try to get as far away as possible from someone like that. So the same principle applies in coping with your negative thinking patterns. You can choose to take those negative thoughts on, talk back to them and rephrase and create new thoughts to be more supportive, nurturing, empowering and enabling of you day-to-day.
The world is a challenging enough place to be sometimes, without coping with your own internal critic on top of that.
So, let’s start…
- First, work to identify some positive thoughts to say to yourself each day. If you are not sure what that might be for you, here is a tip – take your negative thought and flip it to a positive. So say, for example, your thought is: “Today is going to be a rubbish day” – rephrase that to “I’m going to let this day unfold and deal with it to the best of my ability and learn as I go”.
- Next, take time to recognise when negative thinking can start to take hold. Think for a moment, are there particular trigger situations that begin your cycle of negative thinking? It could be dealing with a difficult work associate, having to do a presentation at work, feeling tired, or juggling too many things at once. Think about what you can do and how you can support yourself around these trigger situations.
- Now think how you can create some effective techniques to support yourself in navigating those negative thoughts. So say, for example, that your negative thinking starts when you feel tired, or stressed – think what you could do to allow yourself to rest and recharge; think what you could do to de-stress. Self-care can be a cornerstone of counteracting negative thinking patterns. Which leads me to my next tip…
- Begin to create a solid, self-affirming and self-caring routine. To counter your negative thinking patterns create actions and affirmations that value and acknowledge you. Do things that are a support to you. Do things that take the pressure off rather than put more pressure on you. Tell yourself you are more than enough, every day. Tell yourself you are a work in progress, that you are evolving and growing every day and that is how it should be.
- Next, work to identify those habits and rituals that help you to feel better in yourself. If you haven’t already done so, allow yourself some time to create a go-to list of routines, rituals and activities that will help you unwind and feel better in yourself. That will be something different for each one of us. So choose those things that feed your soul and not anyone else’s.
- Start to create positive mantras that are a good daily support for you. Think how you can be your own best supporter. Think how you can encourage yourself in a loving and supportive way. What are the thoughts and perspectives that motivate you? You can even google affirmations and empowering mantras to get you started if you are struggling to create your own initially.
- Get to know your self-sabotaging behaviours and create steps to counter these. We can all at times get in the way of our own progress. So pause for a moment and consider what self-limiting behaviours you have, what choices you can sometimes make for yourself that don’t actually help you.
- Create a daily self-love ritual that empowers and inspires you – so you have started to pull these tips together, now have a think about what you can do to create a daily self-empowering routine drawing on all these strategies. What would you like your daily self-affirming routine to look like?
- Create visual cues and reminders that help keep you motivated and committed to your “Thrive Routine”. Sometimes it can be really helpful to have visual reminders strategically placed in your day-to-day surroundings to help you keep on track and to help you to stay connected to a more empowering mindset and perspective – stick a post-it note on your fridge so you see it first thing in the morning; create a screensaver for your phone, so you see it every time you pick up your phone; surround yourself with these cues and reminders and work to create that self-supporting and self-empowering environment for yourself.
- Work to apply this routine for yourself consistently over an 8-12 week period. This will help to embed these new routines to the point that they start to feel like second nature to you. Over time, allow yourself to regularly reflect and summarise your most significant awareness and learning points from this process – which practices did you find most useful for you? Which ones felt like a really good support for you? Which positive thoughts did you respond best to? Remember them and use them to support yourself going forward. Tweak your plan if needs be, take out what doesn’t work for you. And continue to use this process on a cycle – wash, rinse and repeat.
Make the commitment to yourself every day, and work to hold yourself accountable to the process. That is how empowering and uplifting habits are created. And that will nurture a more positive and self-supporting inner voice which will nurture you long term.
If you feel it would help to have a conversation about your next steps – email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to arrange a time to talk.