Negative thoughts eat up our time, energy and health, not to mention our self-esteem. Research says:

  •          90% of our self-talk is negative.
  •         1 to 8 hours a day is spent worrying (1/16th to ½ of our waking hours).
  •         Most heart attacks occur Sunday night due to worry about returning to work.

Yet, only 8% of what we worry about actually happens. If you can do something to prevent an unpleasant outcome, do it. If there’s nothing you can do, visualize, think, write, draw or say the outcome you want. At the very least, you will shift your mood.

Negative thinking is a habit of the mind that you can change. Commit to using the ideas in this article that appeal to you and observe yourself becoming more positive, happier and more productive. The time and energy that you are spending on worrying and negative thoughts will be freed up for fun and productivity.

An easy technique is listening to music that makes you feel good. Lately I’ve been playing “The Time of Our Lives.” I wake up in the morning with the words singing in my head, which brings a smile to my lips and an excitement to my day.

One minister has started a project that encourages people to wear a rubber band bracelet that says “no more complaints.” Every time you complain, you switch the bracelet to the other wrist to remind yourself not to do it again. The goal is to keep the bracelet on the same wrist for 21 consecutive days—the length of time it takes to change a habit. The people who have stopped complaining report being happier and more relaxed.

When you hear yourself saying or thinking something negative, immediately replace it with a positive. For instance, in response to “how are you?” instead of saying “bad headache” or “boss chewed me out”, think of something good in your life and share it.

Laughter is the best medicine, and it does matter how we formulate our jokes. Humor can be kind and gentle or mean and derogatory. Think about the jokes that you tell and whether you’d like to be the target of the “punch” line. Tell a kind joke or if you’re working on a difficult project, force a laugh or smile and watch yourself fly through your work and see others “catch” the good feeling.

Read this statement at least once a day: “All will be provided, especially for those who have an open heart to abundance.”

Before you go to bed, write:  “I intend to …… in a positive way.” List the main things that you want to accomplish the next day, including how you want to feel during the day, e.g., joyful, positive, self-confident, inspired. As soon as you wake up, read the list out loud or in a hushed voice.

Cleanse your environment of negativity. Think about whether you’re uplifted or brought down by the visual images, words and people that you allow into your mind and space. Be as conscious of what you feed your mind as you are of what you feed your body.

We’ve all heard: no one would write on their tombstone, “I wish I spent more time at work.” Wouldn’t it be nice to write, “I enjoyed the time I spent at work and at home.” You have the power to create that life.