There’s probably nothing scarier than realizing you’ve turned into “negative nancy.” Okay, so maybe there are scarier things; but it’s definitely a wake up call that your brain could use a little training.
These seven tips will help you train your brain to seek the good, reject the bad, and be a happiness-making machine you were meant to be.
- Keep the bad–add a little good: If you’re struggling to find the good in something, start with the bad. Whenever you have a negative thought, just add a “but” or “and” then add whatever positive you can come up with. For example, “I’m having a bad day”, add “but tomorrow might be better.”
- Play the game–Try to finding something good: Just like when you learned to do crossword puzzles in elementary school, training your brain to look for something the good gets easier!
- Put this on a list: I know; you don’t want (or need) more lists in your life; but this one is really helpful. Start making lists of things you’re happy about, things you’re grateful for and times you didn’t die or poop your pants on a plane.
- Take out the trash: Trying to train yourself to be positive when you’re surrounded by negative is more than an uphill battle. If there is something (or someone) making you miserable, it’s time to take out the trash. You don’t have to be rude, or cut someone off cold turkey; minimize your exposure to things that make you miserable until you’re left with more good things (and people) in your life than bad.
- Share the love: When you’re having an enormously bad day, consider what you wish someone would say to you. Take that same concept, and say it to a few friends. Hearing how well they respond to your positivity can cultivate a connection that is reaffirming and restorative.
When all else fails, try and try again. It’s not easy to change the way you think; progress isn’t a straight line up. There will be days when you feel like a total rock star, and days when you feel like you’ve taken 4 steps back. Embrace the self-awareness and keep on moving along. You’ll get where you’re going soon enough. In the meantime, try and enjoy the journey.