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Have you ever heard this quote before?: “Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”– Alphonse Karr

We all have those people in our lives who tend to always see the glass as half empty. Can you immediately think of that person? They may be people we work with, interact with each day, or we may even be related to them. While we can’t necessarily always cut those people out of our lives, it’s important to take negative interactions with a grain of salt.

I found these tips a while back about stopping negative thinking and, I figured I would share it with you! When Kevin and I were reflecting on the past year, we did have some negative, sad experiences, but we decided to move past them because dwelling on them does nothing positive for anyone. It’s important to celebrate and appreciate the good, instead of dwelling on things we can’t control. Check out these tips and let me know what you think!

10 Tips To Stop Negative Thinking:

1. Smile more often

Smiling might be difficult, especially if you are angry, unhappy or depressed. However, even if you force a smile, it does have an effect. The act of smiling sends blood and oxygen to the face, and this improves how you feel!

Try to smile more often. If you look around you, you and will always find reasons to smile! If you’re struggling, my go-to is to always write down 5 things that I can be grateful for at that very moment.

If you find it awkward to smile when you are not in the mood for smiling, then force yourself to smile in front of the mirror when you are alone. This will help you change your mood and relieve stress 🙂

2. Seek the company of positive people

When stuck in a negative mood, call up or meet a positive friend who is usually full of energy, happy and optimistic. Talk about anything you want, however try to avoid complaining or sharing every little problem you may be having. You don’t have to transfer your problems and bad moods to him or her!

Be receptive to positively oriented people, letting their mood and energy affect you.

3. Listen to music

Listen to music to when you feel down and when your mind starts on a spree of negative thinking. What kind of music makes you feel good? Have a positive playlist that gets you pumped, or maybe even a meditation playlist that takes your mind off the negative.

4. Take the “don’t complain” challenge!

I heard a challenge from author Hal Elrod (author of The Miracle Morning, one of my favorite books!), who made the “don’t complain” challenge. He said “try going an entire week without complaining”! It may sound simple, and I consider myself a pretty positive person, but when I was intentional about not complaining, I realized that sometimes I would complain about silly, petty things out of my control! What’s the point??

5. Avoid repeating negative thoughts

Avoid, as much as you can, repeating in your mind negative thoughts and narrations. When this happens, engage yourself in some activity you like, which requires physical activity. This helps you divert your attention to other things. Go for a walk, swim, or go to the gym, cook, bake, or go dance or work on a project at home.

6. Don’t act and behave like a victim

Don’t act like a victim, instead, take charge of the situation.

You don’t have to choose to be hurt, feel lack of self-esteem or weak. Nobody can belittle you, unless you allow them. Nobody makes you feel like a victim, unless you allow that.

Stand up and assert yourself. You have the right to happiness, high self-esteem, and success, just like everyone else!

7. Be nice to people

Be nice and kind to people. Greet the people you meet, and chat with them for a few moments. This takes away your negative thoughts for a few moments, and sometimes, for much longer.

Acting kindly and being considerate will make people treat you in the same way, and this will lead to feeling good, happy, and therefore, becoming more positive. They say that “joy shared is doubled, while negativity shared is halved”. Have you ever been in a bad mood, then made it a point to go do something nice for someone? I know for me, it immediately makes me get over myself and feel much better!

8. Avoid using words like ‘cannot’, ‘impossible’, ‘difficult’ and anything along those lines

Be a little more aware of the words you use in your inner conversations and when speaking with people. Avoid as much as you can the use of words that denote weakness, lack and absence of self-esteem. How do you talk about yourself or to yourself?

9. Watch a funny movie

Watching a funny movie diverts your mind from your problems and negative thoughts to something funny and entertaining.

While watching the movie, focus on it and enjoy it, letting go of anything that bothers you.

10. Read inspiring quotes

Reading inspiring quotes always change my mood. Quotes inspire, motivate and broaden the mind! It would be a good idea to read a few quotes in the morning and in the evening, and even carry a few with you on a piece of paper or on your phone! I have a whole document of positive quotes that fire me up. What inspires you??

While we can’t avoid trials, tribulations, obstacles and hardships, we can CHOOSE what we focus on. Let me know if at least one of the tips above can help you to make 2019 a positive, productive new year!!

– Mandy Webb, KW Fitness