Counsellor Sarah Barr shares seven ways you can make your thoughts more positive.

Positive thinking focuses on the positive side of life.

To use positive thinking in your life, it is more than being aware of it, it is about adopting it in every aspect of your life.

So below I have listed some techniques you can use today to help change your thinking patterns.

1. Avoid negative self-talk

Negative self-talk is all the horrible things we say to ourselves, all the put downs, labels and cruel words. It is that annoying voice inside our head, that sometimes just won’t shut-up. As a result negative self-talk eats away at our self-esteem.

One way to break this pattern is to start becoming aware of these thoughts and catching them. When you catch these thoughts, take a minute and challenge them.

Ask yourself:

Do you have evidence to back this thought up with?

Is this thought based on feeling or fact?

2. Laugh

Laughing is the natural antidote to stress. By trying to have some fun and laughter in your life will lift your mood and impact positively on your thoughts.

So surround yourself with positive people, people who make you feel happy and care-free. Watch your favourite comedy or book tickets to see your favourite comedian.

3. Be optimistic

Learning to be more optimistic and to think positively is like strengthening a muscle. Researchers believe that how you explain things or events, is linked to whether you are a pessimist or an optimist.

Optimists tend to explain things in a positive way, viewing hard or challenging events as isolated incidents that are outside of their control. They may also try and pull some positives from the event, such as asking themselves what have they learnt? What new direction has this event led them towards? Or taking pride in themselves for overcoming difficult times.

4. Visualise

By using your imagination to visualise what you want, will help shift your thinking. Believe you can achieve your goals, imagine yourself doing what it is you want. Create a vision board of everything you want in your life. By focusing on what you want rather than on what you do not have, will help shift your focus and thoughts.

5. Positive words

It does take patience to create your new way of thinking, however eventually thinking positively will come naturally.

Here are some words that can help you develop your new thinking habit:

‘I can’ 

‘I will’

‘It is possible’.

Meditation is a good technique to use in helping to ignore negative thoughts, or keeping a record of all the things that have gone well for you.

Also try using affirmations daily such as:

‘I am happy’

‘I am healthy’

Repeat these to yourself regularly during the day and before you to go sleep.

6. Write it down

Writing down your thoughts will stop them being suppressed or buried. The more aware you become of your negative thoughts, the easier it is to challenge them.

By keeping a Mood Journal for a couple of weeks you will be able to see patterns in your negative thinking.

7. Work on it

Unfortunately, there is no on/off switch for thinking positively. It does take time and effort. Like any goal, the secret is to stick to it.

Remember to think positively you need to nurture yourself. Put yourself to the top of your priority list, it isn’t selfish to do so.

The power of your thoughts is always shaping your life. This shaping is usually done subconsciously, but it is possible to make the process a conscious one. Counselling and Mentoring can help you become more aware and change your thinking patterns. Solution-Focused, NLP and CBT are all techniques that may help.

For more details or to book a free consultation in Letterkenny, Moville or Derry check out my Facebook page or call 086 4477867.

Take Care ~ Sarah