Top tips to help you think positive

In a world that is full of external factors that we cannot control, it is becoming more and more important to at least control ourselves and how we think. Thinking positively can have a tremendous effect on our lives.

By eliminating negative thoughts, we’re able to at least influence the part of our lives that we can control: our own mindset.

There’s a great quote by Winston Churchill that goes like this:

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity whereas an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

There have been numerous academic studies on this, with the main ‘happiness’ factors being genetics, external factors, and your own outlook.  What Winston is talking about is the latter, the choice people make.  Even when we can’t control the things that happen, be it in work or outside, we can control how we react and therefore influence a big chunk of it.

So, what tactics or actions can we do to help us think positively?

  • Keep a diary to reflect your thoughts.  Recording thoughts can allow you to step back and look at patterns.  Identifying them is the first step to changing them
  • Identify and challenge your negative thoughts.  One good way is to look at how you would respond if someone else had said the thought to you.  You are more likely to be objective.
  • Minimise external influences that trigger negative thoughts, such as loud music and spend more time with calmer things such as music or reading – you might want to join the CCG book club
  • Avoid black and white thinking, learn to embrace the grey.  There are often more than two outcomes, not all outcomes are dire
  • Avoid filter thinking.  This is when you only hear the negative, learn to look for the positive
  • Visit a peaceful place.  This could be outside the office (depending on the weather!) or visit our quiet room
  • Allow yourself time to be creative, learn a new skill by taking a class you’ve always wanted to have a go at or dig out the paints or sewing machine.

This is not an exhaustive list, just some ideas to help you think a little differently and relieve some of the stresses we all put ourselves under.

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