Good habits spark positive thinking

By ISAAC MEJIA

“Elevate your mood today with a positive attitude” (Isaac Mejia/ Ethic News).

Maintaining a positive attitude is crucial in life. This is especially true for students in times of distance learning, where never-ending technical difficulties continue to wear patience thin and attack mental psyche. During distance learning, it is very common to find feelings of frustration or thinking negatively throughout the day. It is possible that the thought of a pessimistic mindset is justifiable or that it helps cope with current struggles. Nonetheless, constantly thinking negatively can leave someone overwhelmed with defeat, frequently upset and cause unnecessary anxiety. 

According to a study conducted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, more optimistic people had a “30 percent lower risk of dying from any disease.” So, how do humans combat negative thinking? The answer is simple: It starts with you. You have the power to change your way of thinking and transform the way you choose to live your life. 

Here are some habits that may help you start to develop a positive mindset:

1)  Coming to terms with negativity

We are all human beings. It is unrealistic to think that we can operate throughout our day without ever experiencing a negative thought or emotion. Because of this, you can allow yourself to temporarily feel negative. Sometimes, it’s okay to not be okay. It is not okay to trap your emotions inside yourself and never come to terms with what’s really bothering you. So when you start to recognize that you are having negative thoughts and feelings, you should talk about it, release them, and move on. 

After you release yourself from your thoughts, you can start thinking positivley without any negative thoughts in the back of your mind preventing you from doing so.

2) Appreciation and Perspective

Once you have a clear mindset, start to recall all of the good moments, cherishable memories, and simple instances of happiness that you have expeirenced throughout your day. No matter what, there is always something that you can be thankful for. Sometimes, when we are so consumed in our misfortunes, we allow our negative thoughts to overshadow all the positive aspects of our life. It is easy to forget the many luxuries we enjoy on a daily basis such as being allowed to pursue an education, having air conditioning in our car, or owning a mattress to sleep on. 

No matter what, our circumstances can always be worse. Therefore, it is important that we appreciate what we individually have and recognize that some of our problems are miniscule compared to others. Putting things into perspective can be very beneficial when you are attempting to think positively. 

This is not to say that your negative thoughts aren’t affecting you, but it is a tactic that will help you identify whether or not you are manifesting a greater negative perspective than necessary. By simply appreciating all of the wonderful things you do have and putting your situation into perspective, you can transform your way of thinking and elevate your mood.

3) Limit negative encounters

As we start to think more positively and develop happier lifestyles, we want to prohibit ourselves from interacting with things that will stimulate negative thoughts and set us back. We do not realize that some of our daily habits are a direct catalyst for our negative mentality. In today’s society, where social media reigns supreme over the lives of many high school students, we are unaware that hours of social media scrolling can generate negativity. 

Unintentionally, you may find yourself constantly comparing other individuals lives to your own which will cause insecurity and negative thinking. Maybe you are not a social media addict, another source of negativity can present itself through watching the news. The news, while informational, discusses many topics that you may find disconcerting or troubling. These feelings can lead to negative thoughts and even fear. You should be mindful about how you spend your time and ask yourself whether or not you are being lifted up or brought down by those things.

As many people probably can concur, starting to think positively is hard. It’s a commitment, a choice; a lifestyle. It will improve your quality of life as, according to John Hopkins Medicine, a positive attitude is directly connected to “lower rates of depression” and “less stress.” At first, you may find it difficult to change your way of thinking, but as long as you persevere, you will start to develop a positive mindset and wonder how you ever lived without one.

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