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10 Ways to Take Control Of Your Life

Jan 3, 2008
Many of us in today's society develop negative thinking patterns because we become frustrated by our challenges and frequent feelings of being overwhelmed. This negative outlook then makes it even more difficult for us to face those challenges, let alone overcome them and move forward.

Practising positive thinking allows us to focus on our strengths and accomplishments, resulting in increased happiness and motivation. This, in turn, allows us to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling claustrophobic or depressed.

The following tips provide practical suggestions for you to help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:

1. Take Good Care of Yourself
Positive thoughts and attitudes become much easier when you are eating well, participating in exercise, and getting enough rest.

2. Remind Yourself of the Things You Are Grateful For
The impact of stresses and challenges will appear less drastic when you are constantly reminding yourself of the things that are going right in life. Taking just 60 seconds a day to stop and appreciate the good things will make a huge difference to your attitude.

3. Look for the Proof Instead of Making Assumptions
A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are usually only our perception and not reality. If you have a fear that a friend or family member's bad mood is due to something you did, or that your co-workers are secretly gossiping about you when you turn your back, speak up and ask them. Don't waste your time or energy worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about. You actually have no idea what has caused their mood or irritability. More often than not, it is something totally alien to you.

4. Refrain from Using Absolutes
Have you ever told a partner or colleague "You're ALWAYS late!" or complained to a friend "You NEVER call me!"? Do you hear yourself saying "I'm always useless" or "I'll NEVER be able to get it right". Thinking and speaking in absolutes like 'always' and 'never' makes the situation seem worse than it is, and programs your brain into believing that certain people, including yourself, are incapable of delivering.

5. Detach From Negative Thoughts
Your thoughts can not hold any power over you if you don't judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, acknowledge it, and then let it go. Don't follow it.

6. Squash the "ANTs"
In his book "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life," Dr. Daniel Amen talks about the acronym "ANTs" - Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the bad thoughts that are usually reactionary, like "Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me," or "The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!" When you notice these thoughts, realise that they are nothing more than ANTs and squash them! They deliver far more harm than good to your behaviour.

7. Practice Lovin', Touchin' & Squeezin' (Your 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, is an instant pick-me-up, and a fine dose of positivity. One research study on this subject had a waitress touch some of her customers on the arm as she handed them their bills. She received higher tips from these customers than from the ones she didn't touch!

8. Increase Your Social Activity with Like Minded People
By increasing social activity, you decrease loneliness. Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will affect you in a positive way! Mixing with like-minded people is a must. Those that put you down or do not agree with your choices will only drag you down and under!

9. Volunteer for an Organisation, or Help another Person
We all feel uplifted after helping another. You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more positive energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return.

10. Use Pattern Interrupts to Combat Rumination
If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different. Rumination is like hyper-focus or being engrossed on thoughts of negativity. It is never productive, because it's not rational or solution-oriented, but a case of excessive worry. Try changing your physical environment - go for a walk, a swim or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music.

It is now time to put 'you' first. Follow the ten tips above to gain control of your life, and begin achieving what you desire.

It will take courage to face challenges, but break your goals down into smaller steps and you will find so much more happiness and success in your life. We are human, we are imperfect but why should we be caught up in some emotion such as stress?

Love yourself, love who you are and love your life. Don't let your life control you as you are in the driver's seat. You are in control, so it is up to you to make the most of your time on this planet. Don't waste a single moment. Take control of your life now with positive thinking.
About the Author
Danette Hibberd
Wellness Coach
NLP Practitioner
Speaker
Author - From Flutter to Fly, Inspirational Quotes to transform you.
Free e-course - 7 Simple Steps to Transform Your Life
fabat40.com
Total wellness for women 40 yrs plus
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