I’ve always been a really negative person. I express my emotions and most of those emotions are whinging. Glass half full? Obviously it’s empty. Expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed, right?

Except in the last year I’ve started to realise (with the help of a psychologist and the world’s best personal trainer) the power that our mindset has to change the way we feel.

For many people, positive thinking comes easily. But for some, like me, thinking positively takes time, energy and homework (and even then, I have a long way to go!)

What are some of the things I try?

  • positive self-talk and thinking about how to phrase the things I find frustrating and challenging
  • a gratitude journal (like the 5 Minute Journal) that forces me to pause and reflect on the things I have to be thankful for
  • forcing myself to try new and scary things, like talking to people at social events
  • meditation, breathing, yin yoga and mindfulness
  • providing myself with security and outlets like friends for when times are tough.

I was sceptical for a long time because the ‘power of positivity’ sounds like every awful self-help Instagram quote account on the internet, but ultimately, changing negative thought patterns is at the root of many of the most effective cognitive behavioural approaches. As with all therapy, it’s about finding an approach that works for you.

I don’t get it right all the time, and I do a whole bundle of things to help keep me sane (including exercise and medication) but we could probably all benefit from being a bit kinder to ourselves.

image credit: @maythethoughts (Instagram)