Thought Catalog
March 16, 2017

15 Positive Thinking Exercises & Activities To Transform Your Life

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Alice Donavan Rouse

Your mindset has a major impact on everything you do. For example, if you have a negative attitude or feeling “down” it is highly likely that you will “transmit” that way of thinking to your work, relationship with other people, and life in general. On the other hand, positive thinking makes you more open to new challenges, boosts your energy, and it is needless to mention you feel better about yourself and people in your life.

Of course, it is impossible to banish negative thoughts forever; they come across your mind from time to time. What makes the difference is how you handle them. It is up to you whether you’ll let those negative thoughts control your entire mind and life or you’ll stand up to them.

Fighting negativity isn’t as difficult as you probably assume, with a little bit of practice it can become a natural thing. Throughout this article, you’ll see different exercises and activities you can do to be more positive and transform your life.

1. Listen to upbeat music

Music makes everything better, and it’s not just because everybody loves listening to music, but due to the fact, its beneficial impact on the way we think is well-documented. The Journal of Positive Psychology published a study which found that listening to positive and upbeat music poses as an effective way of improving happiness, especially when it is combined with an intention to be happier and more positive.

While you’re usually going to see tips to listen to music if you want to banish negative thoughts, your choice of songs matters too. So, start browsing for upbeat, happy songs and download them to your phone.

2. Have sex

Sex is one of the easiest things you can do to have a positive outlook on the life itself. Sexual intercourse stimulates the production of endorphins or feel-good chemicals that make you feel happy and content. When you’re happy, you are more likely to avoid negative attitude. However, benefits of passion and intimacy go beyond chemical connections in your brain.

Regular sex with your significant other will also improve your relationship which leaves its trace in other aspects of your life. Another reason to make love more often is that women who have sex regularly also have better memory, than those who don’t. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to improve memory and think positively, sex is your answer.

3. Travel

Traveling is an excellent opportunity to improve your cognitive functions (yes, seriously) and to learn more about yourself, different cultures, meet new people, and so on. Benefits of traveling also extend to the improved conversation and social skills. Better skills in communication and socializing with other people helps create healthier relationships with friends, family members, coworkers.

Naturally, the quality of your relationship with other people affects the way you think. As already mentioned, when you travel you also learn about yourself which is vital for positive thinking. The more you know about yourself, passions, wishes, desires, likes/dislikes, the easier it will be to make decisions in your life and create better personal and business opportunities.

4. Know what to eat

Positive thinking requires certain lifestyle adjustments including your diet. Ideally, you should avoid or limit consumption of unhealthy foods with little to no nutritional value. For example, fast food and sweets may seem delicious, but they don’t provide energy, make you feel lazy and unmotivated.

On the other hand, healthier food options such as fruits and vegetables provide an abundance of nutrients to your body, boost energy levels as well as your productivity. Increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids which also belong to the group of best brain foods. Not only will wiser diet choices make you healthier, but more energetic, productive, and happier.

5. Be thankful

Struggles and doubts as well as negative thinking decrease when you start being thankful. Unfortunately, expressing thankfulness is largely underrated, but you should try it. The grateful mind doesn’t experience troubles regardless of the obstacles you’re coming across. Instead, it continues to be positive by allowing you to have the courage to overcome them.

Strive to be grateful and appreciate everything you have i.e. count your blessings.

6. Write it down

Writing things down is always better than memorizing them. Plus, everything somehow seems official once you write what you’re thankful for or your strategy for positive thinking. When it comes to this, you’ll find it more beneficial to write stuff down in a notebook rather than typing them in smartphone’s memos. Here’s an idea: at the end of the day write something nice about it.

You can write just about anything about your day as long as it’s positive. Even if you feel like you had a bad day, still strive hard to separate one positive thing about it, the silver lining. After some time, this will turn into a habit, and you’ll instinctively focus on positive rather than negative thinking.

7. Breathe

Considering that breathing is a natural process we underestimate its power. A simple action of focusing on breaths you take can help you feel calmer and have a more positive outlook on your life or current stressful situation.

This happens because people usually make rash decisions or conclusions without thinking things through. Then, it’s easier to get caught up in negativity. Just try taking slow, deep breaths and focus on every breath you take and you will realize how your breathing can influence the way you think and feel.

8. Use positive words

The way you talk also reflects the way you think. So, when communicating with others try to use positive words and omit negative ones. Use more positive words and phrases like I can, I will, definitely, fantastic, absolutely, certainly.

Avoid using negative words such as I can’t; I won’t, etc. too frequently. Moreover, when talking you should use a more positive tone and rather than “quit bothering me” expression.

9.Practice positive affirmation

One of the most effective and popular positive thinking exercises is practicing positive affirmation. What is that? It is the practice of encouraging and empowering yourself by repeating positive statements or mantras. You can either create your mantra such as I am worthy of love, success, and happiness or I am smart to conquer any obstacle, and you can also find hundreds of these positive affirmations online.

Repeat your mantra every morning and throughout the day, write it down on post-it notes and keep around house or office. Besides merely repeating them, you have to believe in every word you say. These mantras will help you have a positive outlook on life.

10.The best possible self

The best possible self (BPS) is an exercise that can boost optimism and positive thinking. It requires people to envision themselves in an imaginary future wherein everything has turned out in the best possible way. To do this exercise you have to set up your stopwatch for 10 minutes, think about best possible future for yourself and write it down. When writing, don’t worry about grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Focus on feelings and thoughts.

Once you’re done, reflect on your feelings and answer these questions:

• Does the exercise make you want to make changes?
• What changes do you want to make?
• How did you feel envisioning your future?
• Did the exercise motivate you and inspire you?

11.Volunteer

Volunteering or engaging in positive activities in your community is yet another way to start thinking positively and change your life. Helping others helps you reduce stress, combats depression, keeps you mentally stimulated, and provides a sense of purpose while you are providing vital help to those in need.

Moreover, volunteering makes you more thankful and appreciative towards your life, and it connects you to others. It is important to bear in mind that helping others also creates happiness, feeling of fulfillment, and enriches the mental health and your mindset.

12.Take back control

Negative thinking controls you and everything you do at home, work; you name it. To stop that, you have to regain the control of things you can change and accept those you can’t.

There comes the time when some things cannot be changed, but you can always alter the way you feel about them. This may not be the easiest thing in the world, but it’s entirely achievable.

13.Never a failure, always a lesson

Never a failure, always a lesson is more than a tattoo on Rihanna’s shoulder. Let’s face it; sometimes you’re up, and sometimes you’re down. That’s life; you fail and succeed. While failures are inevitable, it matters how you deal with them.

The key is to consider it as a lesson; learn from it to come back stronger and avoid the same mistake repeating. Turn it into an exercise; think about the last failure you had (it can be anything you assume as a failed situation) and then identify what you learned from it. Write it down.

14.Mirror technique

Whenever you see yourself in a mirror, think of something positive about yourself and truly believe every word. You can say I am fabulous or I have what it takes to turn this day at work into a success. You can even compliment your clothes, hair, say anything that makes you feel great.

15.Socialize

Never underestimate the power of social support you can get from family, friends, significant other, and so on. Positive thinking requires social skills, and you have to work on having healthy relationships with people in your life. As a result, you’ll be aware that you have their support, they believe in you, and you’ll find it easier to believe in yourself.


Conclusion

It is easy to let negative thinking control you, but it prevents you from fulfilling your potential, achieving everything you can, and having healthy relationships with people in your life. Positive thinking is a matter of a strong willpower, consistency, and persistence and with tips from this article, you can do so. Remember, everything you do in your life also affects the way you think.

Exercise, eat a well-balanced diet and also give a chance to natural dietary supplements enrich your body and mind with different nutrients that keep you calm and serene.
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