As we grow up, we stop seeing the world through rose-colored glasses but rather as a negative place filled with injustice. Furthermore, as though our negative experiences are not enough, there’s social programming through those around us, and the media does its best work to provide a negative outlook. For instance, you go through life experiencing sickness, anxiety, heartache, depression, and family dysfunction. These are just a few of the gruesome realities of our world.
If you turn to social media or watch the news, you mostly see war, murder, or political slander. After all, stories that encompass hope and positivity don’t sell, so the media focuses more on the negativity. The problem with this is if you’re accustomed to experiencing negativity, your perception of the world will be skewed and understandably so.
The world’s negative pressures give you an outlook on life. It’s a no-brainer that thinking has no perks. Instead, it’s mental cancer that makes bad situations worse, robs you of peace and joy, triggers procrastination, drains your energy, is off-putting to others, and decreases your productivity.
Worse still, being negative is a walk in the park because it’s effortless. Contrarily, remaining positive requires mental and emotional strength, especially when faced with adversity. That is no easy feat.
Nevertheless, the effort it takes to have a positive mindset generates game-changing results in the long run. This guide will delve into the importance of thinking positively and the 7-day positivity challenge.
Why Is It Important to Develop a Positive Mindset?
Thinking positive can be make-or-break because your mental perception directly impacts your reality. That means your actions are a direct reflection of your thoughts. Your actions are the determining factor in who you become as a person. The person you become determines the legacy you leave when you die.
Given that your thoughts determine the outcome of your life, the stakes are high. When you develop a positive mindset by filling your mind with positive thoughts, you can expect the best in others, have inner peace, clarity, uplift others, and live a fulfilling life. Contrarily, people who dwell more on the negative cannot see past life’s challenges. Positive people understand that hardships are temporary, take each setback as a chance for growth, and become wiser and stronger.
For instance, facing rejection from your dream job can be devastating and leave you feeling bummed out. While a negative person will entertain thoughts of being a failure, doomed, and worthless, a positive person will understand that it wasn’t meant to be because there’s something better in store and that the scenario has nothing to do with their achievements or capabilities. Given that positive people have more value to add due to their mindset, they undoubtedly burst with joy and contentment.
The 7-Day Positivity Challenge
It requires you to be intentional about striving for positive thoughts for seven days, continuously. Catch yourself in negative thoughts or self-talk and counteract it with positive thoughts.
During a setback, take it as a learning experience and a chance for growth. That doesn’t mean you develop unrealistic beliefs that everything is inherently well. Doing so would mean being oblivious to the negativity in this world, which is a naive way to live.
Instead, the 7-day positivity challenge is geared towards helping you choose positive actions and thoughts rather than wallow in negative thoughts when a setback crops up.
Day 1: Acknowledgment
You have been hard on yourself countless times. You dwell on the negative and find it challenging to acknowledge what you’ve done right. Worse still, you seek validation from others on your accomplishments and strong suits. Therefore, to embark on a positive journey, take the time to write five things you’ve accomplished in the last year, no matter how big or small.
Day 2: Thankfulness
Begin each day by listing five things you’re thankful for in your life. As human beings, we inherently get caught up in the things going wrong in our lives rather than the good things. That’s negative thinking. By focusing more on the good in your life, you’re slowly rewiring your mind to be more positive.
Day 3: Quit Complaining
Going 24 hours without complaining can be an uphill battle. Although complaining is intertwined with venting, it leaves you wallowing in negativity when overdone. Here’s where self-awareness comes into play.
Given that complaining keeps you in a negative headspace rather than allowing your mind to look for solutions, the positivity challenge entails 24 hours without complaining. It’ll be hard at first but will shift your perspective moving forward.
Day 4: Body Movement
For your mental and physical health, it’s advisable to move your body for at least 30 minutes daily. That entails going for a brisk walk with your pup, yoga, indoor cycling, or going to the gym.
When you’re active, your brain releases endorphins, also known as the feel-good hormones. These generate a feeling of euphoria, which boosts self-esteem and self-confidence and diminishes stress.
Day 5: Smile
You might have realized how irresistible it is not to smile back when someone flashes their million-dollar smile at you. That’s because smiling is contagious. Furthermore, studies have proven that it lowers stress and blood pressure. Smiling also leads to a longer life and boosts mood. In this challenge, show those pearly whites to everyone you meet with a smile.
Day 6: Gratitude
Acknowledging the good in people is just as beneficial for you as it is for them. Once you find someone you deeply care about, express your gratitude and appreciation for them. Showing kindness towards others and yourself will put a smile on your face and theirs.
Day 7: Alone Time
Taking some time to take care of yourself by doing something solely for your benefit will boost your overall mindset tremendously. If you’re not feeling your best, you cannot show up for others. After all, you cannot pour from an empty cup. For instance, you can carve out 30 minutes of your day to read a book, soak in a bubble bath, or a long drive with your favorite music playing in the background. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how rejuvenated you feel afterward.
Other Tips for a Positive Mindset
Besides the 7-day positivity challenge, let’s delve into other surefire ways to be more positive.
The most essential aspect of being positive is choosing positivity. You can choose to wallow when life throws you lemons, or you can make lemonade by switching your mindset.
2. Positive Body Posture
Just like the concept of smiling to feel positive, body posture can make all the difference. With upright posture that entails standing tall with your chin, chest, shoulders, and head held high triggers your mind to start thinking positively. A positive body posture results in a positive mindset. It also evokes confidence.
3. Uplift Others
A simple message of, ‘thinking of you, I hope you’re doing well’ can do wonders in uplifting the recipient’s day. As a result of making someone feel seen and remembered, you’ll become happier.
4. Acts of Service
Performing an act of kindness for someone else gives you a greater perspective on the type of person you are. You’ll feel amazing, and life’s small setbacks won’t weigh you down as much because acts of kindness to others will remind you of the essential things in life.
5. Give Generously
Giving money to a stranger in need will improve their day and yours. If you notice a server pacing around, trying to serve ten tables simultaneously, including yours, a generous tip will make them feel appreciated for their efforts. Additionally, if you stumble upon a homeless person, buying food and a warm beverage will go a long way.
6. Switch Your Goal
Many people are overly hard on themselves when they strive for perfection and fall short. Perfection is an illusion that is impossible to achieve because human beings are not created to be perfect. We all have flaws. Therefore, strive for progress and keep track of the strides you make. That will allow you to remain positive and be consistent in your goals.
7. Focus on the Future and the Present
You cannot change the past no matter how much you’d want to. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to control your actions and how you respond to situations in the present and future. Use your mistakes as lessons to become wiser.
The most successful people achieved their success by taking their failures as lessons and using them to their advantage.
8. Listen to Your Favorite Music
There’s no denying that music has the uncanny ability to positively impact how you feel. If you’re having a rough day, turn to your favorite playlist to switch gears and boost your mood.
9. Steer Clear of Negative People
One of the greatest deterrents to living a positive and fulfilling life is the company you keep. Having negative people around you will drag you down the rabbit hole of negativity.
Therefore, when you notice a friend, colleague, acquaintance, or family member constantly complaining and bringing negative energy into your life, keeping them at arm’s length is a wise move. Life is hard enough as it is. The last thing you need is someone discouraging in your space.
10. Find Positive People
As you distance yourself from negative people, find positive people who radiate uplifting and good energy. These people create an environment where positive thinking, including solution-finding, is the norm. Moreover, the positive sounding board you receive will be instrumental in your growth journey.
11. Adequate Sleep
If you don’t get a good night’s rest the previous night, being positive the following day will be an uphill task. You’ll wake up feeling groggy, which is the perfect recipe for a negative mindset throughout the day.
Strive for 6 to 8 hours of sleep every night to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. When you’re in a positive headspace, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll make wise choices to benefit your growth.
12. Healthy Eating
Although greasy food such as French fries, burgers, and pizza might seem like a good idea in the spur of the moment when the cravings strike, the aftermath is feeling lethargic. Low energy and low mood go hand in hand.
Fuel your body with healthy foods such as fruits, veggies including leafy greens, white meat like salmon and chicken. In turn, you’ll feel amped up, which ushers in a positive mindset.
How to Identify Negative Thinking
If you’re uncertain whether you’re engaging in negative or positive self-talk, we’ve rounded up a few tell-tale signs.
If you magnify the negative aspects of a scenario while filtering out the positive ones, you’re guilty of filtering. For instance, after a fruitful day at work, you focus on doing more tasks rather than acknowledging them.
When something unfortunate happens, your first instinct is self-blame. For instance, if your partner cancels a dinner date, you’re quick to assume that it’s because they never wanted to hang out with you when the reality is that something unexpected cropped up.
It entails anticipating the worst-case scenario without having all the facts. For instance, the barista at your local Starbucks gets your order wrong, and you automatically believe that you’re doomed for the rest of the day.
It’s synonymous with the lack of accountability. Playing the blame game entails absolving yourself of your role in the breakdown of a relationship. You also avoid being responsible for your feelings and thoughts.
Constantly in a State of ‘Should’
All the things you should do come to mind, and you blame yourself when you don’t do them.
It entails turning a molehill into a mountain which means making a big deal of small problems.
Setting impossible standards and striving for perfection rather than progress. Doing so sets you up for failure.
It’s a black and white approach to life whereby there’s no middle ground. You solely perceive situations and people as bad or good.
Positive Thinking Is a Practice
If you usually have a negative perception of life, developing an optimistic mindset takes time and intention. However, you’ll silence your inner critic and embrace more self-acceptance in the long run.
When you’re less critical of yourself, you’ll be less critical of others. Moreover, you can handle everyday stressors objectively rather than emotionally with an optimistic state of mind.