Perhaps you find yourself experiencing negative thoughts and emotions more than you would like. You might wonder why you are so angry all the time, particularly at a certain person, or why worrisome thoughts keep you awake at night.
You might have heard the trite advice to “think positive” as if you could wave a magic wand over yourself and you’d be magically transformed to a happier place.
Actually, there is a way that you can become that positive-thinking person. You can commit to consciously changing your behavior repetitively over a period of time so that it becomes a habit. For instance, whenever you feel angry or anxious, try being kind. Instead of shouting at your child, look him in the eyes and give him a hug.
Like any new skill, the more you practice, the easier it will get.
The good news is that your new and improved behavior is directly related to how others will react to you. If it’s too difficult at first, you can always “fake it til you make it.” For example, you might simply smile at someone on a checkout line or a stranger walking down the street as they pass you. Try it as an experiment. In all likelihood they will smile back!