Learn to think POSITIVELY
How many of you wake up at the beginning of your day and think, okay I slept pretty good, I feel good, lookin’ good doin’ good so far, I think the day is going to go well….. then something little happens, like spilling a drop of coffee on your shirt. You might think, hm is this where the day is going to head? Hopefully not. Nah. You move on like a big girl (or boy), then something happens AGAIN, maybe this time someone cuts you off in traffic. UGH! Jerk. Fast forward you’re at work and you’re a few minutes late. Halfway through your morning and you’re starting to feel a little tired… damn! I was supposed to have an awesome day!
All of the sudden that good mood is starting to disappear. We think, this would happen to me. That optimism and hopefulness for a productive and enjoyable day starts to take a turn real fast.
How many of you have experienced this???? It’s so frustrating!
But it doesn’t have to work like this.
You may have heard of the theory that “it’s not the event that matters it’s how you perceive the event that makes it good or bad.” And honestly this is one of my most favorite realizations ever! Your belief or perception about a situation determines your feelings and even how you’ll react or behave. (Life changing.)
One of my favorite techniques with clients is using cognitive restructuring for behavior change and stress management, which is a process of learning to identify and dispute irrational or negative/unuseful thoughts known as cognitive distortions. (Visit Psychology Today to read 50 common cognitive distortions).
First, it’s good to recognize your own personal cognitive distortions or destructive thought patterns.
These unhelpful conversations/remarks in your head can lead to multiple issues, like miscommunication, regretful comments/reactions toward others, negative energy, an overall bad mood and even stress and inflammation in your body. Sometimes it all can lead to a mental breakdown. Having a few bad thoughts or unlucky occurrences in a day is completely normal - obviously - but sometimes people get really caught up in the “poor me” mode. Poor me mode leads to problems in our relationships and health issues (chronic stress = overproduction of stress hormones = chronic inflammation = health issues).
Second, once you realize your own thought patterns, you have the power to stop them in their tracks and create a new way of thinking!
Not only that but you really DO deserve to experience an AWESOME DAY - EVERY DAY - and sometimes (okay all the time!) this is greatly influenced by the way we perceive the world around us. Here are a couple of tips to use cognitive restructuring in your life.
In order to utilize cognitive restructuring you want to self-reflect with questions like,
What is the evidence for and against thinking that?
What would I tell a friend in this same situation who is thinking what I am?
What is the worst that could realistically happen? And how bad would that even be?
Would it really be 100% bad?
Would it be the worst thing that could happen?
Is there any other way to look at this situation?
Is it really true that I must, should ought to, have to…?
This technique can be applied with almost every situation in our lives. Even missing out on a job opportunity - we might be inclined to think and feel very negative, negative thoughts. But WHY!? Why is this the worst thing!? It’s not! Maybe we aren’t meant to get that job. Maybe we need a little bit more experience. Maybe a BETTER job opportunity is just around the corner. All I know is that if you perceive the event as POSITIVE, your energy and mood will follow. And that positive energy will lead you to other, positive experiences in your life. YOU’LL SEE.
We can acknowledge that maybe we wish things were different, but we are also able to accept when they are not. We are moving away from an all-or-nothing type-thinking and we are considering alternatives to our initial thoughts, especially if they are negative. This moves us into a more positive approach to life, and positivity improves both physical and emotional health. I realize that this type of therapy can take a little bit of time and is a continual effort, especially if we are in the habit of “negative thinking.” But I PROMISE you that you can switch your pattern of thinking into a more positive approach.
Boost your mood in 5 minutes -
Fake it till you make it. MY LIFE IS AWESOME. Insert forced smile here. Don’t you feel a little ridiculous? It oddly makes me smile a REAL smile…..
Jam out in your car to blasting music and dance around like a looney-bin. If this doesn’t boost your mood and your energy.. you might not be human….
Go for a 5 minutes walk (or other quick workout). A little increase in our heart rate can boost our mood, even if it’s just doing jumping jacks or some push-ups on the floor. DROP AND GIVE ME 50!
Watch a funny video on youtube.
Force hug. I don’t care how much you hate other people touching you. This physical connection with other people can work wonders. Just don’t start hugging strangers on the street…
I hope these tips help you, because you really do deserve to be in a great mood, every day, and (almost) all day long. Let me know how it works for you!