To integrate positive-thinking strategies fully into your life, you must learn to apply them in all circumstances, at all times. Only when they are second nature will you really reap the benefits.
Staying on Track
Under stress you may find your positivity starts to slip. If this happens, distract yourself by concentrating on what is happening around you. Repeat an affirmation, smile to create a feel-good physiology, or give yourself a break by being determinedly negative for a whole ten minutes. And if you find yourself being gloomy in order to get sympathy, find other, more cheerful ways of getting attention.
Keeping Up The Practice
The more positive you are, the more positive you learn to be. Expand the positive-thinking opportunities in your life. During the day, pick a task, an interaction, or a journey where you focus on thinking and being positive. Catch yourself every time you slip into negativity and consciously replace that with a positive thought. Once you start to succeed, designate areas of your life as negative-free zones, where you only feel, think, and act positively. Start with the most stress-free areas of your life and gradually expand your positivity throughout all areas of your life.
Using “As If” approaches
If you meet a major challenge to your positivity, try acting “as if” everything is fine. Act as if you like yourself, or as if you accept others; act as if your future is bright, or as if your past is resolved. Picture yourself as successful, beautiful, effective, loving - and whatever you say or do, make it the words or action of the person you want to be. This approach may feel false at first, but you will learn valuable lessons about what it means to be positive, and with practice will grow into the role.
Planning a Positive Day
A good way to get into the habit of thinking positively all day and every day is to make a day plan. Write down at least ten possibilities for specific times of day, from waking in the morning to falling asleep at night. They might be: 7 AM - shower, dress, repeat positive affirmations; 7:45 AM - really enjoy breakfast; 9 AM - write positive affirmation and place on desk; 11 AM - take relaxation break or go for quiet walk; 12:30 PM - read something enjoyable over lunch; 6 PM - spend evening with positive people; 7:30 PM - enjoy good meal; 11:45 PM - repeat a final positive affirmation before falling asleep.