Positive thinking can change your life

by Sarah W., Lifestyle Consultant, Edina, MN


Positive thinking is one of the most powerful gifts you can give to yourself. It is an attitude that you can train yourself to embrace and focus on. It’s important because whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is what you will experience.

It is not forcing yourself to have an unrealistic attitude or just trying to be more positive.

  • It isn’t just thinking positive, it is also changing your behavior.
  • Instead of focusing on the problem, you focus on solutions and how to carry it out.
  • It’s a positive frame of mind that helps you stay hopeful, resilient and persevere with whatever you are doing.

How to train your mind to be more positive

We often say that we are going to try to meet our goals or try to work out more or try to do anything that we think would help us live a better life. The word “try” often implies pass or fail whereas, the word “train” implies we are always working on improvement. Some ideas on how you can train yourself to be more positive are as follows.

  • Build habits that set the tone for the day – meditation, self-affirmation, prepping for the day. Instead of getting swept up in a pattern of negative thoughts, refocus your energy to use positive thinking.
  • Read stories about inspiring, happy people. Learn from their efforts and strategies.
  • Spend more time with people who you consider to be uplifting. Happiness is contagious.
  • Use positive words in your inner and outer dialogue. Use words such as “it’s possible”, “I can”, “let’s try it”, “I will”. Take note of the words you use in describing a situation or how you label your efforts to change.
  • Find reason to smile – whether from a funny video, a funny event, or a small daily accomplishment. Smiling brings joy to your face and mind.
  • Look at the bright side of life. It’s a matter of choice and repeated attempts. No matter how tough a situation, there is always some good whether it is lessons learned or finding a solution to get through the tough time.
  • Focus on what you have control over, not what you have no control of
  • Repeat affirmations to change your mind-set
    • I have the power to control my weight and reach my goals
    • Day by day I am progressing toward a healthier lifestyle
    • I choose to nourish my body and mind with healthy things
  • Build resilience. Accept that change is part of life and take actions on your problems rather than just hope they disappear or waiting for them to resolve themselves
  • Change your perspective from negative to positive. For example:
    • I totally cheated on my diet so I might as well give up > One slip up is not the end of the world. I know I can get back on track
    • I don’t have much willpower > It is hard to change habits, but I will start with small steps and progress slowly but surely
    • I should not have had that glass of wine > It was my choice and I know I can decide not to on future nights. My power to stay focused is not based on what happened one night
    • It is too cold and rainy to get outside to walk> I can dress accordingly and use an umbrella to stay on my exercise plan
  • Empower yourself: Instead of blaming others when something bad happens, know you have control to look for a solution, or have control of your attitude. You have the power to change the things you have control of
  • Take control of your physical state
    • When you see yourself slumped in your chair, crossing your arms, getting defensive or angry, adjust your posture to reflect interest in those around you.
    • The more you portray positivity others will see you this way and will treat you accordingly

Remember this: What you send out is what you get back. What goes around comes around. Be good to yourself and to others around you and create a new outlook in life.