There is no reason you should allow negative thoughts and emotions to control your life. Negative thoughts about yourself, your abilities, your potential and your future often create self-fulfilling prophecies.
For a naturally pessimistic person, learning to turn that negativity into positivity and motivation is critical for creating the energy and environment for success. It is also critical for one's overall well-being and happiness.
On the other hand, if someone is naturally positive and experiences a challenge (or perhaps has a stressful emotional situation to deal with), it is equally important to be able to recognize it for what it is, and then continue with a positive mental outlook. The below ideas can be applied to any aspect of your life, including work, relationships, family and personal finances:
1. Focus on the solution, not the problem.
One of the biggest ways we trap ourselves in cycles of negative thoughts and emotions is by focusing on the problem, or on assuming there is only one solution. You must focus on being creative, generating multiple solutions and thinking positively. This will help improve your state of mind tremendously.
By thinking about how to work through the problem, you not only avoid negativity, but you also come up with the creative options you need to get back on track. Try brainstorming for 20 minutes to see how many alternative solutions you can come up with to your problem.
By giving yourself more options, you are setting yourself up for success. With more options, you will feel more in control and less worried about what to do if one thing doesn't work.
2. Be mindful.
Being mindful is the practice of living in the present moment. Some benefits of mindfulness include increased productivity, improved cognitive function, reduced stress and improved creativity. Like other skills, mindfulness can be cultivated and honed. The more you practice living in the moment, the easier it will become.
Begin by breathing deeply and focusing only on your breath. Then, expand your awareness, but only to include the immediate sights, sounds and smells. You will eventually learn how to utilize your ability to be mindful.
Push negativity away and improve positive thoughts. Pick up a book or read some articles about mindfulness online.
3. Acknowledge your skills, talents, gifts and blessings.
When you are in a negative state, it is difficult for you to see the good in anything, let alone in yourself. However, it is very important that you start to become confident, positive and empowered. You must make an effort to get rid of all of that negative self-talk and self-doubt.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Start by making a list of all the things you are good at and that you consider your skills, talents, gifts or blessings. They can be simple and basic, or they can be complex. You can even write down things others have said that are positive and that made you feel good about some aspect of yourself.
Every day, add at least one more thing to that list and spend time reviewing and thinking about those talents and skills. If you hear that negative voice start to enter your thoughts, go back and read the list.
Focus instead on using those positive attributes to help you resolve the challenge, change or conflict you may be facing, either internally or in any aspect of your life.
This article was originally published on The #1 Motivational Guide.