It’s another Feature Friday without a guest author, so I decided to write about ways to keep yourself motivated.
At first glance, it would seem that positive thinking and motivation have little to do with each other. But those of us who have to deal with negative thinking patterns become frustrated by our daily challenges and frequent feelings of being overwhelmed. This negative outlook becomes infectious and makes it even harder to manage those challenges and move forward.
However when you practice positive thinking, it allows you to focus on your strengths and accomplishments, which increases happiness and motivation. In turn, this allows us to put in more time making progress, and less time feeling down and in a rut.
The following tips provide practical suggestions that you can use to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:
1. Take Good Care of your well being.
It becomes much easier to be positive when you are eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough rest each night.
2. Remind yourself to be grateful for the things you have and the people who are part of your life.
Stresses and challenges are easier to deal with when you can remind yourself of the things that are going right in life. Just by simply taking a moment each day to stop and appreciate the good things you have can make a big difference.
3. Get Proof Instead of Making Assumptions.
A fear of not being liked or a feeling of being scrutinized can leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but those thoughts are usually not reality. If you suspect that a friend or family member’s bad mood is due to something you did, or that others are secretly gossiping about you behind your back, speak up and ask them. Don’t waste time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about.
4. Avoid Using Absolutes
Have you ever told a partner “You’re ALWAYS late!” or complained to a friend “You NEVER call me!”? By thinking and speaking in absolutes, like ‘always’ and ‘never’, will make the situation seem worse than it actually is, and this thought process continues to reinforce your brain into believing this distorted viewpoint about others and creates discontent.
5. Separate from negative thoughts
Your thoughts don’t have any power over you if you don’t judge them or hold on to them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don’t follow it. Let it exit your mind as quick as it entered.
6. Squash the “ANTs”
In his book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” Dr. Daniel Amen talks about “ANTs” – Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the dreadful thoughts that pop-up during normal events, like “Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me,” or “The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!” When you are experiencing these thoughts, realize that they are nothing more than ANTs and smash them!
7. Practice being more affectionate with friends and family
You don’t have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, gives you an instant pick-me-up. A research study on this topic had a waitress randomly touch some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their bill. Interestingly, she received higher tips from those customers than from the ones she didn’t touch!
8. Increase your social engagements
By increasing your social interactions, will help you decrease loneliness. Whenever possible, surround yourself with happy, healthy people, and their upbeat energy will affect you in a positive way!
9. Volunteer to help out others.
Everyone feels good after helping out a worthy cause or someone, whether it’s directly or indirectly. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out into your community and the world, the more you will receive in return.
10. Use pattern interrupts to fight off perfectionism
If you find yourself constantly having to mull things over often, a great way to stop this is to interrupt that thought pattern by forcing yourself to do something completely different. Perfectionists like to hyper-focus on something negative.
It’s really not productive, because it’s not rational or solution-oriented, it’s often rooted in excessive worry. If this happens to you, try changing your physical environment – go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend or turn on some music.
By practicing positive thinking, it allows you to focus on your tasks and helps you accomplishment your goals – which increases happiness and motivation. In turn, you will make more progress, and less time feeling down and out.
What techniques do you use to keep yourself motivated? Are you finding yourself struggling with motivation? Please share your thoughts with me by leaving a comment below. Look forward to hearing from you! 🙂