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Archive for January, 2012

Keeping an Optimistic Mind

Last month’s article focused on the differences between optimists and pessimists. This month we’ll focus on behaviors and habits you can develop to stay positive and avoid becoming negative.

1. Concentrate on what you want to happen as opposed to what you don’t want to happen.

2. When worry begins, focus on past successes and exceptions to your concerns.

3. When you have the urge to complain, don’t speak. Instead, think of something positive.

4. Don’t commiserate with negative people. Talk positively, change the subject or just walk away.

5. Practice correction over criticism.

6. Learn “to argue with yourself.” Challenge your negative thoughts. Demand objective proof. Avoid dire thoughts and worst-case scenarios. Realize the problem is temporary, limited and external.

7. Give equal time to the upside of a bad situation. Look for the silver lining in the dark clouds.

8. Stay hopeful. Hope allows you to stay in touch with possibilities, answers and solutions instead of limitations and problems.

9. Stay focused on:
* What you can do rather than what you can’t do.
* What you control rather than what you can’t control.
* What’s working rather than what’s not working.
* Possibilities rather than limitations.

10. Learn to appreciate the positive aspects of negative thinkers. Pessimists:
* Help us see things more accurately.
* Increase our perception of danger.
* Cause us to weigh the downside more carefully.
* Better remember negative feedback.

11. Practice gratitude. It requires you to focus on the good things that are happening.

12. Practice forgiveness. It frees your mind of negative thoughts.

13. Play to your strengths. Focusing on your strengths and experiencing the success that comes with doing something well keeps you in the moment and makes it virtually impossible to feel negative and pessimistic.

14. The part of the brain that controls our emotions also controls our facial muscles. Changing the way you move can snap you out of a negative state. No matter how negative you feel, act positive. Your brain cannot tell the difference.

Learning to think in an optimistic/positive way is a behavior that can be learned. It takes a commitment to change and requires practice so that it becomes a habit. The rewards of a happier and more fulfilling life are well worth the effort.

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CTS Consulting, Inc

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Baltimore, Maryland 21214

phone 410-444-5857

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