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How to reframe negative thoughts into positive thoughts

A Negative Thinker attitude is a subconscious irrational thought process where you look to the bad and discount the good. It creates a distorted version of reality, not caused by the situation itself but by the interpretation put on it by established personal beliefs, emotions (particularly fear) and standards. As Winston Churchill said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”.

Here are some tips on how to change your mindset from negative to positive:

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Start each morning. Make your first thought each morning a positive one!


Break the cycle. The more you think negative thoughts, the more embedded they will become, so it is important to break the cycle. Use questions to clarify the meaning of your attitudes, to establish where you are limiting the reality, and to identify what choices you have.


Be calm. You need to be focused on the present (not the past or the future) and develop a clear, calm persona, that will enable you to think more positively and with greater perspective about what’s going on around you.


Take a breath. Calm the mind to engage the prefrontal cortex and use this for logical reasoning. Take three long deep breaths or think about something that makes you feel calm and happy.


Check-in with yourself. Self-awareness is so important. Make an effort to regularly check-in with your thoughts. Are they positive or negative? Spend time reviewing the negative thoughts. How much are they taking over/absorbing your thinking capacity right now? If too much, you need to switch your thinking to the positive aspect of the situation. The ideal ratio is four positive thoughts for every one negative thought.


See the possibilities not the limitations. Make a conscious effort to look at what is right, not what might go wrong.


Be solution focused not problem orientated. Make a conscious effort to identify strategies that will make it work not reasons not to do it.


Spend time with positive people. Avoid the moaning Minnie in the office or the person who views everything with doom and gloom.

Learn more about negative thinking in my best-selling book, ‘How to Prevent Burnout’.

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