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How to harness the power of positive thinking

Does the way you talk to yourself sound meaner than a fifth-grade bully? Here’s the thing: when you change your negative self-talk to positive, you’ll probably start noticing a positive change in how you see yourself and the world. The power of positive thinking can be tapped by developing positive attitudes. You can help do this by creating positive affirmations or statements about yourself or situations. Here are some strategies for changing your self-talk from negative to positive:

  • Use positive statements. Avoid the words “not” and “don’t.” Studies show that the mind cannot register the concept of what you are not. It only registers what you are. In other words, if you say, “I’m not stupid,” the brain registers “I am stupid.” Be positive and say what you are, like: “I’m awesome.”
  • Use the present tense. State self-talk in the present tense with here and now statements. Say: “Right now, I’m satisfied/have everything I need,” instead of, “Soon I'll have everything I need,” “I’ll be better tomorrow” or “I’m not as bad as I used to be.”
  • Identify your goals and say them as fact. The mind operates in absolutes and the present tense. Rephrase your statements to see goals as reality. Instead of, “I hope I can crush my fitness goals this week,” say "I’m crushing my fitness goals this week!” And say it like you mean it!
  • Focus on behaviors you can control, not the behaviors or actions of others. Create positive self-talk that deals with you and your goals. 

Remember, you have more control over how you think and perceive yourself and the world around you than any other person on Earth. Take advantage of that power by thinking and speaking in a positive way. You’ve got this!

Need help with creating and sticking with healthy habits like stressing less, sleeping better and thinking more positively? The Attain app helps you go beyond fitness by rewarding you for taking care of your health. Plus, you can earn points for hitting daily and weekly activity goals. Download today in the App Store. 

This material provides a general overview of the topic. Health information is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a therapist, physician or other health care professional. Contact a health care professional with any questions or concerns about specific health care needs.