Suffer from negative thought syndrome? Join the club. One of the most popular New Year's resolutions is to become more positive in day-to-day life.
But why is it so hard? Why do people find it difficult to simply be happy? The answer is most people don't pay attention to what they're thinking about most of the day.
Negative self-talk controls our minds, puts us in bad moods and causes us to do and say things we might regret later.
Thankfully, there are steps you can take to tame your inner ego and improve your quality of life:
1. Wake up with a positive mantra.
Most of us wake up and the first thought that enters our heads is, "Ugh, too tired. I need way more sleep." By doing this, you're essentially telling your body to feel tired.
Don't believe thoughts have energy? For a week, try to wake up and repeat a positive mantra. Pay attention in the morning, and let your first thought when you wake up be something like, “I feel great,” or “Looking forward to a great day.”
Even if you're tired, it can have a real effect.
Keep repeating the phrase in the morning until you feel comfortable and believe it's working. If negative thoughts enter your mind, don't stress. Just go back to your mantra and keep repeating it to distract you from any negativity.
2. Be thankful for good things and good people.
It's easy to complain, but it should be easy to be grateful, too -- after all, there's truly a lot to be grateful for. If you don't think so, focus on the little things.
You have food. You have a home. You have someone who loves you -- even if that someone is a parent, sibling or friend.
You can read this article, clearly, so you have access to a computer. And you're reading it, so you know you have the ability to identify an issue and want to change it. That's a good start!
Switch your thinking from what you lack to what you already have -- and then be thankful for that.
3. Take responsibility for what's happening in your life.
You are the only one who controls your life, so when you feel like there's so much to complain about, step back and ask yourself if you can change those things that bother you.
If you don't like something your partner does, sit down and talk about it. If you find yourself complaining about being too tired at your job, come up with a plan to fix your sleep schedule and get more sleep.
We like to fall into patterns we think can't be changed, but ultimately, you can change anything in your life once you realize you're creating it.
Take responsibility for what's happening to you, and you'll feel better instantly knowing there's a way it can change.
4. Actively look for positive content.
The worst people to be around are negative people. That's because it's so easy to unconsciously mirror what they're thinking or feeling. But it's also hard to get away from them, especially if you're working or living with the people you're trying to avoid.
If you find yourself in this situation, you need other outlets to remind yourself to stay positive. Again, you must realize when someone is being negative and not allow yourself to join in, even if it feels tempting.
Try to ignore the person or change the subject because once you fall into the rabbit hole of commenting, agreeing or even listening for too long, your mind will run away again with stressful thoughts.
An easy way to stay positive around negative people is to watch videos or read interviews with people who have overcome adversity and who can guide you and motivate you to do the same. Seeking out motivational, inspiring content and conversations regularly will keep you looking positively toward the future.
You don't have to let negativity be a part of your day-to-day life. As long as you stay focused on clearing out stressful and gloomy thoughts, you'll find you can easily be a happier, more positive person.