In my last blog I discussed the connection between our thoughts, emotions and actions. Now I’d like to focus on how we can alter our thoughts from a negative perspective to a positive one. Making such a change takes time and commitment. Over time our thoughts become so automatic that in order to switch from a negative mindset to a positive mindset requires an immense amount of awareness. Here are three techniques to help on this journey:
1. Thankful List
Begin a list of everything you are thankful for in your life. Then add to this list each day. Listing something you are thankful for that happened. This trains your mind to recall the positive aspects of your life , as well as, train your mind to be looking for positive things each day. This is pulled from the Power of Attention which essentially is the believe that we get more of what we give our attention to.
2. 3:1 Rule:
This exercise takes time and awareness. Whenever you realize you’re having a negative thought stop and state three positive things about that specific situation. The more specific the better. For example, a few years ago my car was broken into. The side window was shattered and they stole a bag out of my trunk. I had to cancel my appointments since I didn’t know how long it would take to deal with the police and such. Plenty of negative thoughts were running through my mind. I could have easily let this ruin my entire weekend. Instead the positives I chose to focus on were: nothing of great value was in the bag, my insurance will cover the damage, and since the police report didn’t take as long as I had anticipated and my appointments had already been rescheduled I was able to spend time with my family.
3. Change your Adverb:
The smallest tweak to our language can alter our emotional response and perspective. Replace “have to” with “get to”, “need to” with “want to.” For example: “I have to got to work” versus “I get to go to work”. Even reading these two statements evoke different reactions.
In the beginning these changes take time ad energy…as does any true change. With dedicated practice the mind will naturally begin to have a positive focus because you will have trained it to automatically respond in that way. Before you know it you won’t need to add to the thankful list because you will have thought of countless things you were thankful for that day. Your 3:1 rule will occur without a second thought and your language will no longer need altering.