Finding a way to be happy when things are negative, stressful, or scary might seem like an incredibly hard task. However, everyone is in charge of their own happiness and capable of rewiring their mind to think positively when feeling negative.
You may be wondering what the actual power of thinking can cause. Turns out, positive thinking is linked to less risk of catching a cold, better cardiovascular health, and better coping skills during hard times.
No one can make you think positively except yourself. If you are struggling with thinking negative thoughts and want to achieve happiness, check out these 13 exercises to create a positive mindset.
Spend Time with Positive People
We become the people we spend the most time around. If you constantly feel like being around certain people makes you think more negatively, these individuals are providing too much negative energy. In order to try and think more positively, stay away from negative people.
If you have to be around people who are negative, as in you work or live with them, there are other ways to remove yourself from the toxic situation.Try to Facetime or talk on the phone with other people who are not as negative to make sure you’re getting a daily dose of positivity. Know that you do not owe them anything and it is your obligation to take care of how much negativity you can handle.
Change Your Negative Perspective with Mantras
Mantra is derived from two Sanskrit words, manas (mind) and tra (tool). A mantra is a mind tool, usually used for meditation purposes. What happens in the mantra practice includes repeating something over and over again until your mind acknowledges it as truth. This was originally done with Hindu and Buddhism religious meditation and the use of the word “om” and other mantras. However, anyone can use a mantra, mind tool, to change your perspective.
Creating and using mantras is rather easy and shows us the power of positive thinking. Simply focus on your mood and emotions and determine what you are feeling and why. Next, pick a phrase that is the opposite of the negative thought or feeling. For example, if you feel angry, pick the phrase, “I feel calm”. Then, simply repeat this phrase, or several and begin to believe it. It may help even more to say it out loud to yourself!
Acknowledge Your Bad Thoughts and Banish Them
It may be simple to walk away from negative people or places, but walking away from your own thoughts? If only it were that easy…
Actually, it might just be.
While it is impossible to banish all negative thoughts, doing this little trick can help you shift your perspective and let in happy thoughts. Simply talk to your thought or negative emotion as if it were another person. Say to the thought or emotion, “I see you, I acknowledge you are here, but I am not okay with you here and need you to leave”. Doing this simple exercise pinpoints the emotion, personifies it and banishes easily.
Realize What You Can Control
Realize that the thought that seems to be overpowering you, has absolutely no control of you. It is just a thought. Most of the time, it is a worry about an event that either happened in the past or is about something to happen in the future. Both of which is something that is pointless to worry about now, in the present
If you cannot do something about that negative thought or emotions, realize what you can control in this situation. You can get up and walk away in an argument that is causing you anger. You can use a breathing technique to calm down your anxiety. You can control your response to a rude comment. Focus on the things you can control, not the one you can’t.
Remember that this Negative Feeling is Temporary
When in a state of feeling less than adequate, it seems as if the time goes on and on and the only thing that matters in that moment are your feelings. However, there are much more important things, that you too will find important in due time. The negative feelings block your rational thinking and make it seem as if this can last forever. It is important to remember that this negative feeling is something you have felt this way before many times and each time only lasted for a period of time and then it left.
Do Something that Makes You Happy
In a situation when you are feeling negative, do something that will distract you or change your mind into thinking more positively. If you enjoy painting do that. Sometimes just doing tiny things which make you happy helps change your mind and set you in the right direction for feeling positive. Like taking a walk, doing laundry, reading a book, or talking with your friends.
Doing something that makes you happy can increase happy hormones like serotonin, but it also distracts you from the very bad thought or feeling that you were experiencing. Sometimes distracting yourself is a great way to focus on something else until the negative feeling passes.
Practice Self Care
Doing something good for yourself is a great way to put you in a positive mood. Self care can be anything from taking a bubble bath or meditating, to journalling or doing yoga. Really, doing anything that makes you feel cared for is a great way to change your mood to something better. Taking care of yourself is something you can control so it is significant when dealing with negative or toxic feelings from outside sources you can’t control.
Check out Moodpath, an app that guides you through mood shifts and delivers you to a better state.
Do Something Productive
Doing something productive is a great way to reduce negative feelings or emotions. When you focus on something else other than the negative thought or feeling you’re experiencing, you’re giving yourself time to cool down and think rationally. Doing something productive gives your mind something to focus on during that time.
Doing something productive also gives you something to be proud of within yourself. Feeling pride in doing your work around the house, completing that project, or cooking a healthy meal can make you happier.
Exercise to Boost Endorphins
Exercise is a definite way to feel a boost of happiness. When you move your body, you release certain chemicals in your brain known as “happiness hormones”. This includes endorphins. Your body also releases “reward hormones” which include serotonin, norepinephrine, BDNF and dopamine.
Working out is a great way to receive an instant boost of positivity when feeling negative. You also will be proud of yourself for doing something to improve your happiness and healthiness. There are alot of great resources for working out at home, so there are no excuses to skip this one!
Watch Something Funny to Improve Your Mood
While it might seem the best thing to do is wallow in your negativity, try to solve it, or talk to others to resolve the feeling, sometimes the best thing to do is just make yourself laugh. Realize that life is not as complicated and stressful as it needs to be. Adding a little humor into your negativity or low points in life is a great way to radiate positivity and convince your mind that everything is okay.
Spend a couple hours watching your favorite comedy film or laughing at videos of fun times with you and your friends. You might want to even head to Youtube to watch old Vine compilations, or download TikTok and try to memorize a funny dance.
Celebrate your Accomplishments
Sometimes, feeling negative and low thoughts are about our own competence, purpose in this world, or about the way we look, feel, or behave. This is normal and sometimes beneficial as it can cause you to push yourself harder or strive for bigger and better things for yourself.
However, cutting yourself down can be extremely harmful to your own self esteem and even physical health. Celebrating small things releases dopamine and can give you an instant boost of happiness. Find a way during the negative thoughts to celebrate some small accomplishments you made that day.
A good way to do this is to write down 3 small accomplishments you did today and 3 large accomplishments you have completed during your life.
Give Back and be Kind to Others
Giving back to others is a great way to boost positivity and banish negative thoughts or feelings. When giving back to others, you instantly feel proud of what you are doing for other people which makes you feel good about yourself.
Ever heard that smiling is contagious? It’s true! When other people smile, we essentially “try on” other’s expressions and see what it feels like. So seeing the happiness you are spreading is essentially bringing happiness to you by smiling and sharing in those emotions with those others you are helping.
Find the Silver Lining in Your Negative Situation
While it is maybe difficult to be positive when feeling negative, trying to think of anything good that is coming from the feeling or situation you’re in can help you get some clarity and closure. Is there a lesson that you are learning about yourself? Is there something you are learning about the person who made you feel sad? Can this maybe help you protect yourself in the future? Asking yourself these questions is a great way to think of the positive side of the negativity you are experiencing.
Maybe you finally got out of a bad relationship, or will now get an even better job after being fired. Write down any positive thing that has come from the negative experience or thought and see how your negative thinking can create a lot of positive life lessons.
Everyone feels negativity at some point. However, no one else is in charge of your positivity except you, and you are 100% able to achieve your own happiness. Whether you need to talk to a therapist to get your positivity and happiness back on track and help you with these exercises, or you can handle it yourself, finding a positive outlook is crucial to your mental and physical well being.
We are what we think and do. If you think negatively all the time, it can only lead to an overall negative life. We should all strive to choose happiness and positivity! It is less stressful and more fun. Try one or all of these exercises to achieve an overall positive and happy life.
Quotes that can help you think positive
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.
– Aldous Huxley
Change your thoughts and you can change your world.
–Norman Vincent Peale
The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.
Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.
–Jonathan C. Short