We all know this: Nobody feels like hanging around somebody who is constantly complaining. It zaps your energy being in the company of people who focus only on the negative, but even so, the world is full of them.

Sometimes it’s just a bad habit. For others, it’s important to be “realistic”, while others again catch themselves being negative again and again, although they would like to change it. If you belong to the first or the last group of people, here are 5 methods you can use to turn the negative thoughts positive.

1. Separate who you are – from what you do
Words have greater meaning than most people ascribe to them. People who are good at focusing on the negative things in life are often described by others as being negative. There is a BIG difference, however, between being negative or thinking negatively. When you separate who you are from what you do, you will find it easier to let go of many of your negative thoughts.

2. Change your “problems” to “challenges”
As mentioned already, words have SIGNIFICANT meaning. All the words you use give you different associations, and when you change the word “problems” to “challenges”, you will find that even though the situation is the same, it is often easier to accept a challenge than it is to solve a problem.

3. Surround yourself with your successes
Reality is that life is filled with both good and bad experiences. For people who think very negatively, however, the good experiences don’t take up as much space as the bad. In order to turn the negative thoughts to positive, it is therefore a good idea for you to surround yourself with things that remind you of the good experiences you have had. Get out your diplomas, along with your education certificates, awards, pictures, or whatever else you have around to prove your successes. Hang them up and set them as screensavers on your phone or computer to remind yourself of the good experiences you have under your belt.

4. Create a new morning ritual
It’s easy to wake up in the morning and start by focusing on the things you didn’t get done or complain about the things that need to happen during the day. If instead you start your day by asking yourself questions like, “What am I looking forward to today?”, “What’s the best thing that’s going to happen today”, or “What am I thankful for?”, you will discover that, day by day, you are starting to change the negative thoughts to positive.

5. Stop reading all the bad news
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this too, but the news in newspapers, on the internet, radio, TV. etc. are very good at focusing on tragedies and sensations that all have a negative focus. One of the best things I’ve done for myself was to cancel my television package, stop listening to news on the radio, and only skimming the headlines in print media and the internet. Whether we want it or not, we are impacted negatively by all the bad news sent out from the media every day. Therefore, when you stop reading all the bad news, you’ll find that your focus starts to change, because you are no longer receiving all the negative input from the media.

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