How often do you find the chatter inside your head repeating the same type of messages day in and day out? Are they mostly positive, encouraging messages or negative, limiting ones? This self-talk, often referred to as internal dialogue or your inner voice, frames how you go about your life and how you react to situations and circumstances.
With constant negative self-talk, you may be filled with feelings of fear, guilt, anger, and even hopelessness. These negative messages can hold you back, not allowing you to reach your full potential. Replacing them with positive self-talk is not always easy and will take a conscious effort on your part. But the rewards are many.
Positive self-talk can create a more optimistic you. Furthermore, it bolsters your ability to cope with life’s challenges, both good and bad. Here are 14 ways to help you bring more positivity into your day.
Begin Your Day with Positive Mantras or Affirmations
Each morning when you wake up and negative thoughts of the day ahead immediately enter your mind, recognize them for what they are. Then replace them with a positive mantra or affirmation.
A mantra is a sacred word or phrase you repeat to yourself as in a spiritual practice. An affirmation is a motivational statement that you repeat to yourself throughout the day. Both can lead to positive changes in your life, and can be a simple word or a short statement or phrase, such as the following:
- May my heart be full of kindness today.
- I am strong, confident, and energetic.
- I live with abundance.
- I will choose to be happy today.
- I am grounded and blessed.
Post Positive Reminders
Posting positive words and statements where you can see them daily can help remind you to stay focused on being more positive. Write each one down, whether a word, a phrase, a statement, or a favorite scripture, and post it where you will often see it. This could be on a mirror, a refrigerator, above your desk, or near the front door so you see it every time you leave or enter. Surround yourself with positive messages to assist you in creating more positive self-talk.
Make Laughter a Priority
Laughter has been shown to switch off negative thoughts and boost your health, both mentally and physically. To add more positivity to your day, find things to laugh at, such as an amusing friend or an entertaining video.
Also, reframe your thoughts and chuckle at your minor mess-ups or how crazy life can get sometimes. This will help you see that not all circumstances are bad.
Identify things in your life you are grateful for to add more positivity to your day. This will help to boost your attitude and create more positive self-talk. Carry around a small notebook to list what you are grateful for each day. These can be big or small things, from a new job to sunshine after a week of rain, to a smile from the parking lot attendant. This brings your focus to the good things in your life.
Exclude Negative People from Your Life
Look around you. Who are you spending time with? Are they mostly negative or positive? While you can’t always choose who you work with, you can make efforts to limit time spent with negative people overall. Include positive people in your every day, and exclude as many negative ones as possible.
Resist seeing events as catastrophes. If you miss your flight, it’s not the end of the world. It is an inconvenience, of course, but remind yourself you have coped with far worse in life and can get through this one too. Instead of catastrophizing something, accept it for what it is, and maybe even turn it into a challenge.
Replace the Word Can’t
Whenever you tell yourself you can’t do something, your thoughts continue to spiral down into negativity. Instead, try replacing the word can’t with don’t.
How does this help add positivity to your self-talk? While can’t phrases make you feel limited and failing, don’t phrases put you in the driver’s seat, with control over your life. For instance, if you decide to run a marathon and find it too challenging to complete, don’t say, “I can’t do this.” Instead, tell yourself, “I don’t have enough training yet to tackle this.” That way, you have a more positive outlook on your situation.
Keep Doubts at Bay
Doubt plays a crucial role in negative self-talk and keeps you from accomplishing your goals. Whether it be for a workout routine or a new job, doubt sets you up for failure. Replace it with positive self-talk, believing you can achieve anything you set your mind to. Stop downgrading the skills you already have and your ability to learn, adapt, and succeed. Believe in yourself. It doesn’t always have to be pretty, but it can be successful.
Be a Friend to Yourself
We often treat ourselves harsher than we would a friend. We provide support and acceptance more readily to others, and often times forget about ourselves. Begin treating yourself as a best friend. Stop saying mean things to yourself and give yourself a break.
Identify Your Inner Critic
That voice inside your head is usually your worst critic. To decrease its power over you, identify it with a name. That way, when a strong thought or emotion comes up, say to yourself that’s just negative Nancy getting in the way of my solving this dilemma.
Flip Negative Thoughts to Positive
When a particularly negative thought enters your mind, immediately replace it with a more positive one. This will switch your thinking and your attitude quickly. Challenge yourself to find the positive in everything.
If there is something you don’t like about your life, switch your self-talk to thoughts of how you can change those aspects of your life. Pat yourself on the back for steps you are taking and any and all successes, large or small.
Visualize What You Want
Visualization can help lead to positive changes in your life. Visualize what it is you want, such as to complete that marathon. See yourself succeeding, then use positive self-talk to keep you focused. Athletes often use this technique to enhance their participation and reach their goals.
Set Realistic Goals
Instead of squashing your hopes and dreams with negative self-talk, boost them by setting reachable goals. Start out small, then gradually build them up. You gain positivity every time you meet one of these goals and are encouraged to continue.
Maintain a Positive Focus
Tell yourself each day that you will remain positive. Negative thoughts will sneak in from time to time. But now you can recognize them. As long as you are creating more positive self-talk, instead of drowning yourself in negativity, you’ll find that your days are more positive overall.
Resolve to quit exhausting yourself with negative self-talk. Begin telling yourself positive things daily. Change the conversation and bring more positivity into your every day.