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  • Hans Lauterbach

Maintaining Positive Behavior




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 you will 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 feelgood 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 in 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 tzhe 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 mayor 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 ios 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 walking in the morning to falling asleep at night. They might be: 7 a.m.-shower, repeat positive affirmations; 7.45 a.m.- really enjoy breakfast; 9 a.m.- write positive affirmations and place on desk; 11 a.m. – teak relaxing break or go for quiet walk; 12.30 p.m.- read something enjoyable over lunch; 6 p.m.- spend evening with positive people; 7.30 p.m.- enjoy good meal; 11 p.m.- repeat a final affirmation before falling asleep.


USEFUL EXERCISES

  • Each day, note something you have done, rate it one to 10 according to how you enjoyed it, and give reason

  • Each week choose at least three positive things to do for yourself

  • Each month, allow yourself one day of total indulgence, doing only things you enjoy

SELF TALK

If you find yourself becoming negative and feel frustrated with harmful thinking patterns, use these instant self-talk boosters to raise your mood and keep yourself on track:

“I am improving day-to-day, even if I still have negative thoughts sometimes”

“I am making a conscious effort to do more of what I enjoy and less of what I do not enjoy.”

“My negative thought is a reminder that I need to be kinder to myself.”

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