Practical Positivity

Guidance

My ex used to say to me “change your thoughts” when I spoke negatively of myself and I never really understood what he was saying. “But I can’t help what I think?!” – was my answer. It seemed to come very naturally to me to think negative thoughts, perhaps because they had been my companions for a long time. Those negative thoughts could really drain me of my energy, and can stop me doing the things I wanted to do. They put a barrier between me and my confidence. What I didn’t realize until recently is that I don’t have to stay friends with those negative thoughts. I don’t have to be a slave to them and it’s very simple to replace them with positive thoughts. Below is a 2-step exercise on how to do this:

“The mind is a great servant, but a terrible master”

1. Identify your negative thoughts. What was your most negative thought(s) today? I would invite you to simply listen to the voice in your head and catch it each time it says something negative. If you are not sure what a negative thought is, below are some examples:

  • I don’t look good
  • I am stressed
  • Work is stressful
  • I am fat
  • I am lazy
  • All men are #%@&#%@s!
  • I don’t have enough money
  • Nobody cares about me
  • I wonder if my boyfriend will cheat on me
  • I am not good enough (funny enough, clever enough, strong enough, young enough, creative enough, slim enough, etc. etc.)

2. Replace them. Now you have identified what your negative thoughts are, I would invite you to replace them with positive ones. Here is the list again, with example replacements. You do not need to believe the positive statements, only to repeat them as many times as you possibly can for as many days as you possibly can. For some reason, we tend to feel awkward giving ourselves a compliment and speaking positively to ourselves, but rest assured, the more you do it, the more natural it feels. Each time you catch yourself thinking a negative thought, quickly say the positive thought in its place as many times as you can.

    • I don’t look good

I love and appreciate my body exactly as it is

  • I am stressed

 

I live and breathe with ease, everything is as it should be

  • Work is stressful

 

I carry out my duties with efficiency and ease

  • I am fat

 

I am grateful for my perfect, healthy body (also visualise yourself at your perfect weight)

 

  • I am lazy

 

I am full of energy and enthusiasm

  • I don’t have enough money

 

I have everything I need in abundance

  • Nobody cares about me

 

I am grateful for the love and support of my friends and family

  • I wonder if my boyfriend will cheat on me

 

I am beautiful and I am loved (keep a happy picture of you and your partner close to hand – perhaps as a screen saver so you can see it often)

 

  • I am not good enough (funny enough, clever enough, strong enough, young enough, slim enough, etc. etc.)

 

I am more than I appear to be, all the world’s strength and power rests inside  me

In fact, why wait until you have had a negative thought…!  You can repeat the positive thought (sometimes called a Mantra or Affirmation) while you are walking, running, washing up, or driving – any activity that doesn’t require too much thought.

One of the best and most important times to repeat a positive thought, is when you are in the middle of a difficult situation, for instance, during an argument when things might feel tense and difficult. This is the perfect time to repeat a positive affirmation silently in your head (I am loving and patient). You may think that an argument is a situation that requires concentrated thought and that repeating a positive affirmation might distract you from what you are thinking, but having put this into practice, I have found that it actually helped me feel calmer, stopped me from over-thinking and ultimately allowed space for the other person to express themselves.

Another way is to write down the positive affirmation and have it somewhere visible where you can see it often. Writing the affirmation down gives it extra power and helps an intangible thought become more tangible and real. Positive affirmations can make us feel safe and secure and I personally find it a comfort and a great way of reassuring myself when I’m struggling with a situation. When I stared following this practice, within just two days I saw a noticeable difference in my interactions with others and an increase in positive events taking place throughout my day.

Even if you don’t believe this will work, it won’t cost you anything or harm you to give it a go. So why not see what happens?!

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