Acknowledge that you can control and change your thoughts. It's quite common for some people to believe that the way they think today is the way they will always think in the future. That's not the case.
Believe that you can control and change your thoughts. This goes deeper than just thinking that it's possible because I or someone else has said so. Consider the power of these two statements: "I think I can" and "I believe I can." The first statement is much more open to doubt than the second. It's essential that you believe you can overcome negativity because it influences your thoughts, actions and behavior.
Start each day with an affirmation. A short, powerful statement that you repeat over and over again will help to reinforce your decision (and your belief) to not be pessimistic or negative as you go through your day. Your affirmation can be as simple as, "Today, I will think positive thoughts only and will find positive solutions to any challenges." If you have negativity in specific areas of your life (for instance towards your boss or financial situation) you can customize your affirmation to suit them.
Be aware of your feelings. Negative thoughts are accompanied by negative emotions. By trying to switch those emotions to positive ones, you solidify your efforts to change your negative thoughts. Let's consider gossip, for instance. When you gossip about someone you are reinforcing negative feelings. You may be trying to "get back" at someone, to feel more powerful than they are, or to have your negative emotions validated by someone else. The end result is that you end up in a vicious cycle of negativity that feeds on itself. Instead, try switching your emotions towards that person to more positive emotions such as compassion, forgiveness, or even humor. Switching your emotions and thoughts becomes easier the more often you practice it.
Focus on your ideal life. When you acknowledge that you are prone to negativity, you'll start to notice the way it impacts so many areas of your life, including your relationships. Negativity also affects your work life. It narrows your perspective and can prevent you from finding creative solutions, being able to work well with others, or asking for a raise or promotion. However, if you have a clear vision of the type of life that you want to have a happy family, successful business or rewarding job, and a full, active social life, youre much more likely to adopt a positive attitude than a negative one.
Build your self esteem daily. One of the biggest factors that fuels negativity is low self esteem, or low self confidence. When you don't feel good about yourself, it's hard to be positive about the world around you. If you've suffered from low self esteem for a while, it may take a while to build it. But, you can do it. Other steps mentioned here will help to start building your self esteem, such as accepting that you are in control of your thoughts and letting go of negative thoughts and emotions. It's also important that you give up negative self-talk or beating yourself up. So many of us criticize the way we look (consider the surge in plastic surgeries in recent years). Or, when we fail to achieve a goal, we may berate ourselves for even trying and repeat negative thoughts to ourselves over and over again. One thing I continually stress as a Los Angeles life coach is that we always learn from our failures and must learn to build upon the smallest of successes. A better approach is to reject preconceived ideas of what you think you should look like or be like, and start to fall in love with yourself (inside and out). Also, look at any situation where you did not meet your goal as a victory and learning opportunity. The victory is in trying, which takes courage. Also, if you try again you will know what to avoid and what to do to be more successful next time around.
Reject negativity from others. In some cases the negativity in our lives comes from the people around us. Make a firm decision to not allow others to unload their pessimism on to you. Practice not being drawn in by someone who pushes your buttons. Walk away from negative conversations and actions. And, stop letting negativity into your home through sources such as the TV, radio, Internet or magazines. Just a few small, yet life-changing, steps you take each day can make you into a much more positive person. Positivity helps you to feel more resilient, at peace, and in control of your life. If you find yourself stuck in negative thinking and can't seem to break the habit, seeking outside help may be the best best. As a Los Angeles psychotherapist I help get to the root cause of negative thinking and then facilitate in making cognitive changes that bring more positivity into people's lives.