Do you struggle with constant negative self-talk?
If so, you aren’t alone. Almost everyone suffers from some form of self-criticism and – though we don’t often talk about it – this negative chatter can easily become a debilitating force in your life.
Fortunately, there’s a (relatively) simple fix.
In this post I’ll outline how you can change your thinking habits and move from a negative to a positive state of mind.
How To Change From Negative to Positive Thinking in 3 Steps
In order to shift your thought process and start to view life from a more positive perspective, there are three key steps to follow.
First, you need to raise your awareness to become cognizant of when you are engaged in negative thinking.
Once you identify the negative thoughts, you can then step back from them, breaking the pattern.
Lastly, you can follow a simple process to choose a better feeling thought. Gradually, this will soften the negative energy and shift you into a positive state of mind.
Step 1: Identify The Negative Thought Pattern
Believe it or not, while this first step sounds incredibly simple, it’s actually the hardest part of the process. Most people engage in some level of negative thinking almost constantly, without ever becoming aware of that mind-chatter.
Most often, we only notice negative thoughts when they become really bad. It is easy to pick out negativity when you’re feeling depressed, for example, but reversing the negative thought patterns is easier the earlier you spot it.
This could come in the form of seemingly minor complaints, sarcastic comments, or other subtle negative self-talk. While a single complaint or sarcastic comment might seem harmless, more often than not it’s a symptom of a broader pattern of negativity.
When you notice this energy, you will immediately release some of the hold it has on you. You may find you’ll start to center into the present moment, smile more often and start thinking more positively, just by paying attention to these thoughts.
Step 2: Break The Pattern by Stepping Back
The next step is to start to break the pattern. The best way to do this is to practice simple exercises for stepping back.
Meditation is one common tool for this, but you can also incorporate the process into your daily routine, taking a few seconds or a minute throughout the day to observe your thoughts and focus on your breath.
I outline a simple 30-second process to do this in the following video:
Step 3: Choose a Better Feeling Thought
Lastly, step 3 is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. Once you identify and step back from your negative thought, you have the opportunity to change that thought.
Many people struggle with this step because they overthink the process, and try to jump straight from feeling bad to feeling good. But, if you do not (in that moment) believe in the new thought or affirmation you are using, you could wind up cementing the negativity…and actually wind up feeling worse.
The key is to move gradually. You want to look for the best thought that actually makes you feel good in that moment. Move slowly, thinking thoughts that are a little bit better and a little bit better. Abraham Hicks calls this process moving up the emotional guidance scale.
As you take small, gradual steps, you slowly begin to build momentum towards the truly empowering thoughts you want to think. This can take a bit of practice before you become comfortable with the process, and I explain how to do it in more detail in my workshop on Getting Into The Vortex.
Building Positive Mental Habits
As you practice changing your thoughts from negative to positive, you will begin to realize that your thought patterns are habits you create for yourself. When you do not pay attention to your thoughts, it is easy to unwittingly fall into negative mental habits.
But, with a little focus, you can break these bad habits and create good ones in their place. Doing this successfully is about diligence, practice, and repetition.
At first, change will feel slow and laborious, but, if you stick with it, developing positve mental habits will start to feel more and more natural to you, and you can learn to wake up every day with a feeling of excitement and positive energy.