How To Think Positively When Things Really Suck

I’ve had my fair share of negative emotions, predominantly when I suffered from anxiety and then postnatal depression. It’s been a hard slog working through them and learning how to think positively, but gosh it feels good when you learn how to recognise your negative thoughts and turn them into positives.

Are you still finding that part challenging though? Well, never fear, I’m going to share some tips with you that have really worked for me.

how to think positively

Negative thoughts are draining, aren’t they? Negative thoughts tend to make life seem like it’s really really bad, like the world might come to an end, but really, it’s not that bad at all. It’s the negative thoughts that are to blame. Even the tiny negative thoughts can morph into something utterly stupid. But yet, one tiny little positive thought can make the difference.

It’s all about identifying the negative thoughts, catching them before they manifest. Make your self more mentally aware of them, as soon as they pop into your head, acknowledge they are there and write them down. Look at them and challenge them, turn them into a more reasonable perspective.

For example, here are some negative thoughts that have most commonly popped into my head and how I would try to deal with them once I caught them and analysed them:

Negative Thought Turn it into a positive
I can’t do this, there’s no way I have the ability to do well. Look at all the things I have done. I can achieve many things when I put my mind to it. If I focus, ask for advice and learn what I need to, my chances of success will increase.
What if I ask her over for coffee and she finds me boring? I will feel so embarrassed. We get on well and it’s likely coffee will be quite enjoyable. I’d rather take the risk and see what happens than not do it at all.

Sometimes it takes a little more than turning negative thoughts into positives, it’s how you live your daily life that builds a foundation for more positive thoughts.  Here are some other things I do that help me think more positively.

Positive Quotes

I have positive quotes around my home. We have a blackboard wall in the kitchen and I make sure I have my weekly mantra written on there so I can see it every day. I also have a pile of quotes on my desk, a new one for each day.

Smile

I always try to smile, especially at other people. The number of people I walk past that try to avoid eye contact is so disappointing. It is so uplifting when you can give someone a smile and receive one back.

No one is perfect

I always try to remind myself that everyone is not perfect. With social media it always seems to be the ‘perfect’ on show but what we forget is that no one is perfect, each person has similar struggles in life. We need to understand that the media creates a unrealistic view of what life is and unfortunately it’s easy for many to think that what we see in the media is real life. Most often it isn’t. Get back to reality and realise that no one, not even the celebrities, are perfect.

Listen to positive music

When I listen to music, I make an effort to really listen to the lyrics. I really dislike music with negative or depressing lyrics. Mr. G will hate me saying this, but a lot of the music he listens to, I despise because of this. It makes me feel yuk, so why would I listen to it? Often too, I listen to music without lyrics, music that helps me drift off into positive places and has a calming effect – water trickling, rain, birds, the sounds of the rainforest…

Positive people

Surround yourself with positive people because their positive energy will brush off on you. Whenever someone is speaking negatively I usually tune out or try to end the conversation somehow because I know from previous experience, the negativity of another person usually makes me go from feeling reasonably happy to reasonably unhappy. Negativity can be contagious.

Read positive

Almost all of the books and magazines I read have to do with people overcoming hardships in their life to become successful.  These definitely help me to think more positively about myself and what I can achieve.  I will definitely not get this out of any gossip magazine or website full of fluff.

Exercise

I know for a fact that exercise clears my head and boots out negative thoughts but I’ve never been able to figure out why I’ve found it so hard to exercise when I know the benefits. Now that I’m starting my learn to run course this month, I’m going to make sure I have lists posted around the house – in the kitchen, in my office, the bathroom, outlining how I feel after exercising.  Exercise boosts serotonin levels, serotonin is the feel good chemical in our body. Not enough of that and then the negative thoughts come creeping back.

How do you think positively?

Mummy Mondays Linky

Welcome to the Mummy Mondays link up! Please link up your favourite post from the last week and I ask that you link up one post only. While you’re here, be sure to visit the other lovely blogs that have linked up too and leave a comment.


Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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16 Comments

  1. August 31, 2015 / 6:59 am

    Good post. I went to a talk once and the guy said ” You shouldn’t believe everything you think’ I think it’s called questioning intrusive thoughts (or something else entirely….anyway, good post!

  2. August 31, 2015 / 7:18 am

    Beautiful post Eva. I love positive quotes, they help me start my day on the right note. For me, exercising brings out my happy hormones and I notice them disappear when I haven’t exercised for a few days.

  3. August 31, 2015 / 7:18 am

    The blogging community generally always seems to be so positive! Listening to positive music always works for me also!

  4. August 31, 2015 / 7:23 am

    You are spot on with these tips Eva! I really think surrounding yourself with positive people makes a massive difference!!! And exercise always makes you feel better!!

  5. August 31, 2015 / 9:32 am

    I think smiling and remembering that everyone else struggles are the best ideas!

  6. August 31, 2015 / 11:37 am

    I am one of those people who can rarely manage eye contact due to my Aspergers, not because I’m deliberately rude. Sometimes I get accused of being too negative but I could swear that I’m all sunny cheerful and perky. Aren’t I? HMPH. But yes- these are good points. Exercise is essential for me. It sounds bad, but I also find that avoiding the news (or at least an over saturation of it ) when you are feeling low or fragile is a good idea too.

  7. August 31, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    Excellent advice Eva! I have a tendency towards grumpiness and positivity doesnt come naturally, but I do try!! Music definitely helps 🙂

  8. August 31, 2015 / 3:58 pm

    Great post. I really need to work on being more positive. Starting with adding more exercise into my day.

  9. August 31, 2015 / 4:35 pm

    It must be a ‘thing’ at the moment..anxiety and negativity have been prominent in my life recently and causing me health problems. I know I am the only one to take control of the thoughts and so on but sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation. Luckily I have two things going for me..a wonderful husband who reminds me and listens well and I now do mindfulness meditation 10 minutes a day via Headspace. it’s brilliant. let me know if you want to know more. Denyse x

  10. September 1, 2015 / 4:31 am

    When I was a mother with young children, I found that I always lived about 20 minutes in the future, and I looked forward to being happy when the kids were in bed, or the laundry was put away, or the dishes were done.

    It was really, really hard to pull myself into the here and now and look at the good things going on — here and now. It’s a mind game in a way, gently prodding our thoughts to not stumble into a hole and wallow there.

    A good post, with good thoughts from someone who has actually lived through the process.

  11. September 1, 2015 / 4:38 am

    Excellent post full of sensible, down to earth advice. Glad to see, based on the comments, that you’re feeling more like your usual self.

  12. September 1, 2015 / 4:47 am

    All such great advice Eva. I had the same as you PND and horrid Anxiety and panic attacks after I had my first son but I too have worked long and hard to they and eliminate negative thoughts and like your show turn the negative throughs into positives.