7 Ways To Change Your Thoughts From Negative to Positive

Change your thoughts to change your outer reality.

Woman with her hand on her chin, looking out of a window

Photo courtesy of Pexels for Canva

I Felt Like a Victim of Life Circumstances

Your thoughts are energy, and depending on what you choose to focus on, positive, or negative, will determine your outer reality.  When you focus on and allow negative thoughts all day, you will find more, and more negativity appears in your life.  

If you were to go back 12 years or so in my life, you would see a woman that was feeling like such a victim of life circumstances.  I had been divorced, remarried, and was struggling with blending families.  On top of that, my mother had recently passed away from cancer.  She and I were really close.  

With all that drama in my life, I was struggling in my teaching job, and my own health started to deteriorate.  I had every reason to feel negative emotions and think negative thoughts.  However, I didn’t want to feel that way anymore!  It was too miserable.  

I’ve had clients that were in a similar spot, with everything coming down around them at once.  So, what can you do to turn it around?  No one wants to live like that.


Try this exercise to open your eyes to the amount of negative thoughts you think every day.  I got this activity from business coach, Christine Kane.  She had a cute little trash can, but all you really need is a container and some small strips of paper to write on.  As you go about your day, catch yourself every time you think a negative thought.  Write that thought on one of the strips of paper, and place the strip in the container.  At the end of the day, see how many negative thoughts you thought throughout the day.  For me, this exercise was eye-opening because I had already done a lot of work on myself before this activity.  I didn’t think I allowed that many negative thoughts anymore.  

7 Ways To Change Your Thoughts

There are many ways you can begin to pay attention to, and change your thoughts to more positive ones.  These are some of the ways I found most helpful.  

  1.  Affirmations – Find an affirmation or saying to repeat to yourself every time you think a negative thought.    I like to say, “Everything always works out for me.”, and “I am growing every day.”  You can make up your own affirmations, search Pinterest, Google, or there are even apps you can download.
  2. Cancel that thought – Whenever you catch yourself thinking something negative, immediately say a stop phrase, like “Return to sender!” or, “Cancel, cancel, cancel”, and then change it to a positive thought.  For example, last night, I thought, “I look like such a frump in this outfit.”  I was wearing a black boxy top and some loose black shorts.  I didn’t like the outfit, but I was really just feeling fat.  Immediately, I caught myself, and thought, “Return to sender!  I am getting healthier every day.  I eat the foods that nourish my body.”
  3. Practice gratitude – You can’t think negative thoughts when you are being grateful for all the beautiful things in your life.  “I am thankful for my home.”  “I am thankful for my family.”  “I am thankful for the flowers in my garden.”, and so on.
  4. Celebrate large and small successes – Celebrate even the smallest positive thing that happens in your life.  As you do, you will notice more and more things to celebrate.  You got up early to meditate? Celebrate.  You made a choice not to engage with that angry customer?  Celebrate by giving yourself a high five in the mirror, shoutout “Woohoo!”, or share with a friend.  Write about it in your daily planner, or create a journal just for successes.  
  5. Take time to play – Find time to play.  Bring out your fun side.  Do a hobby, play a game, or watch a comedy.  I was watching a YouTube video by Cass, from Clutterbug yesterday.  At the end of the video, she shared a game her kids learned on TikTok.  She had her daughter teach her to play.  You fill your mouth with water, and then play ‘Rock, paper, scissors’.  Who ever wins, smacks the other person in the face with a tortilla.  The loser has to try not to lose any of the water in their mouth.  Of course, they ended up spitting out the water, because they were laughing so hard.  It was a silly game, but it brought out her playful side with her daughter.  
  6. Allow feelings to move through you – Allow all feelings, even the negative ones.  The key is to name them and then process them in some way.  Just acknowledging them may be enough, but you could also journal about them, talk to a friend or a coach, or meditate on them.  If you don’t allow them, and just stuff them down, they will eventually cause problems.
  7. Start your day with self-care – When you start your day on a positive note, you will be more likely to continue that way.  You can draw on that positive experience whenever something difficult pops up.  Practice yoga, walk in the sunshine, read or listen to positive books or podcasts, or meditate.

It’s a Lifelong Practice

At this point, I’ve been turning my thoughts around from negative to positive for years.  As I mentioned above, those negative thoughts still creep in occasionally.  But, now, I’m quicker at catching them.  Now that I’m noticing the beautiful things in my life, I see more and more of them.  I no longer feel like a victim, and like the other shoe is about to drop.  When something negative does happen, I know it will just be a moment before the next positive thing shows up.



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