If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. – Mary Engelbreit

Have you ever wondered why there is so much negative around us? Have you wondered what you can personally do to change you own thinking and impact your life and the lives of people around you in a positive way.

Have you or do you struggle with negative thought patterns or do you sometimes spiral, for no apparent reason, into a vortex of negativity? Have you ever wondered why this happens and what you can do about it?

What if 5 simple behavioural changes could make all the difference in how you respond to negativity?

Here are 5 things you can begin to do today to change negative thinking.

1.  Have a mindful, morning routine

2. Associate with like-minded people

3. Stop expecting perfection

4. Talk to yourself

5. Focus on your goals and purpose


1. Have a Mindful Morning Routine

There are night owls and morning larks. The night owls certainly benefit from the quiet hours when everyone is sleeping to do their creative work. But nothing compares to the clarity of thought and boost of energy we can get from getting an early start to the day.

Having a regular, mindful morning routine helps us to get our thinking straight for the day and sets the tone for the rest of the day as well. A regular morning routine reduces stress, saves us time and helps us to make better choices throughout the day.

Personally, I find that a regular morning routine helps me to feel grounded. I find that it is a source of stability in what could easily become a chaotic day and that it prepares us for the decisions and choices we have to make throughout the day as well. 

2. Associate with Positive Like-Minded People

Hanging around with the negative Nancys of this world is not the best way to set our minds on productive thinking and action. The negative Nancys, the criticizers  as well as all the doom and gloom group will not help us  feel and be positive. Eventually we all become very much like those whom we associate with. 

Halting negative thinking requires that we get around people who do not tend to think negatively, but who, instead, look for possibilities and opportunities, and who see solutions rather than problems.

Association also includes what we choose to listen to (media) and what we choose to read. What our eyes see and what our ears hear have a tremendous impact on how we think. It is important to choose our media wisely and be selective with what we watch, hear and read.


3. Stop Expecting Perfection

Expecting ourselves, circumstances, or anything we do to be perfect just sets us up for disappointment. Everything is a process, including our lives.  There will be hills and there will be valleys. If we hold ourselves u to a high of a standard, we are certainly setting ourselves up for failure.

Be realistic and be flexible. Enjoy the process and nothings for you, not for what you think others expect you to do. 

We should be gracious to ourselves and to others. We should allow ourselves the freedom to make mistakes. We don’t need the approval of anyone else and our self worth does not or should not come from what other people think.

4. Talk to yourself

We listen to ourselves far too much for our own good. Much of this self listening comes from all the other questionable sources of information we have ingested over time. So when we listen to ourselves, we are being passive and not active. We are allowing ourselves to believe what we have been told by others.

Talking to ourselves is far different from listening to ourselves. Where as listening is a passive activity, talking can be inactive and  intentional activity. We can actively tell ourselves what we want out ourselves to think and believe. By talking to ourselves we can undo all the negative programming that we have lived with for so long. Talking to ourselves gives us control over our thoughts

At the end of the day, if we are not talking to ourselves, someone or something else will be. One of the very best wast to halt negative thinking is to start talking to ourselves is positive and productive ways.

5. Focus on Your Goals and Purpose

With a lot of time on our hands we can very easily slip into negative thought patterns. Having a lot of time without purpose or direction can lead us to start replaying or developing negative ideas and perspectives. It can lead into procrastination, restlessness and aimlessness.

When we know our purpose, that is, why we are doing what we are doing and where we are going (our goals), then we become more productive and focused and will have less time and tendency to slip into negative thinking.

Goals can be anything we set for ourselves to attain and our purpose, our reason helps us to work towards these goals. Focus and discipline are natural results of having goals and a purpose.

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Check out this blog post Staying Positive When Times Are Tough