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7 Positive Thinking Exercises to Cultivate a Healthy Mindset

by: Sarah Appleby
Published: June 5, 2024
Updated: June 5, 2024

Our mind is like a muscle. To see the world in a positive way takes training.

Positive thinking exercises are tools that we can use to train our mind to view situations from a positive perspective.

Positive thinking exercises have the power to brighten your day.

Positive thinking exercises have the power to brighten your day.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in our modern fast-paced world. Often this can lead to negative thoughts and emotions. Unhealthy eating habits can then ensue. This includes comfort eating and binge eating. But this instant gratification is short-lived. Turning to comfort food when stressed can result in unhealthy eating patterns and further health complications. 

If you’re a health coach, understanding the power of the mind is key to breaking these unhealthy eating patterns.

In this post, we’ll share our top 7 positive thinking exercises that will cultivate a healthy mindset.  

What Are Positive Thinking Exercises?

Positive thinking is key to overall well-being, as it:

Positive thinking exercises are rituals or behaviors that promote calmness and evoke happiness. When practiced daily, positive thinking exercises can change your outlook on life.

Next, you'll find our top 7 positive thinking exercises that you can use to bring out the best in your clients. These exercises will help promote feelings of self-worth and improve self-esteem. 

1. Gratitude Journaling

Gratitude is a form of appreciation that evokes positivity. To practice gratitude is to acknowledge specific tangible aspects of your life that make you feel happy and thankful. 

Gratitude journaling is the process of recording moments or events that you are grateful for on a regular basis. This simple practice will shift your perspective and improve your outlook on life. Each day, take a few moments to write down three things you're grateful for. 

The habit of recording the positive aspects of your life in a daily journal has the power to remodel your brain. By doing this you will build resilience and improve happiness in your life. 

Another term for this exercise is “counting your blessings.” These blessings can be big or small, ranging from a delicious cup of coffee in the morning to the love and support of friends and family. 

If performed daily, gratitude journaling will shift your perspective and will foster a sense of abundance and contentment in your life. 

2. Positive Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself regularly to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.

Positive affirmations have the power to rewire negative thought patterns and to change your outlook in any given situation.

Having a list of affirmations that resonates with you, such as "I am worthy of love and success" or "I am capable of overcoming any challenge," is an excellent positive thinking practice to calm your negative energy. Affirmations work best when repeated daily, especially during moments of self-doubt or difficulty.

Having trouble finding the positive words that best resonate with you? Take a look at our list of 43 growth mindset affirmations. You’re sure to find a phrase or quote to motivate you.

3. Visualization

Visualization is the process of picturing the things you want or desire in your mind. During this process you focus on what it would be like if you were to attain or achieve your goals. 

Visualization is a powerful technique used by athletes, performers, and other successful people around the world. The process of visualizing can take many different forms and is often associated with meditation and mindfulness. Understanding how visualization works and how you can implement it into your own life has the power to transform your life.

We love visualization as a positive thinking exercise because it requires no equipment. Just your time and your focus. If you’re new to the process, you can start by taking a few minutes each day to visualize your goals and dreams. Immerse yourself in the experience and allow yourself to feel the emotions of joy, accomplishment, and fulfillment.

Visualization not only enhances motivation but also instills a deep sense of belief in your ability to achieve your aspirations. This technique is amazing for reframing negative thoughts into positive ones, and can also be referred to as cognitive restructuring.

4. Acts of Kindness

Ever wondered why it feels so good to help someone? Research shows that performing random acts of kindness is good for our own mental health as well as the mental well-being of the recipient.

Practicing random acts of kindness not only brightens someone else's day but also uplifts your own spirits. Whether it's offering a sincere compliment, helping a stranger in need, or volunteering your time for a cause you believe in, acts of kindness foster a sense of connection and purpose. By spreading positivity to others, you create a ripple effect of goodwill that comes back to enrich your own life.

5. Surround Yourself with Positivity

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” - Jim Rohn, is more than just a famous quote. 

Research has shown that we tend to become more similar in our appearance and behavior to the people we spend the most time with. This phenomenon is referred to as neural synchronization

Ideally your inner circle should be filled with uplifting individuals who inspire and support you. Do your best to surround yourself with people who have a healthy mindset and share a positive outlook on life. 

Conversely, it’s important to limit your exposure to negative influences and negative people, including toxic relationships, pessimistic news or social media that evokes comparison and envy. 

By surrounding yourself with positivity you will cultivate a positive environment that will nourish your soul and encourage personal growth. 

6. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a powerful exercise that can soothe anxiety and calm the mind. It’s about being present in the moment, without judgment or attachment to thoughts and emotions. There are a variety of ways to include mindfulness practice in your daily routine, including:

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Mindful walk in nature
  • Relaxation 
  • Grounding

Being mindful will allow you to live in the present moment. This will encourage a sense of inner peace and serenity, and you’ll free yourself from your worries and anxieties. 

7. Embrace Failure as Growth

Embracing failure as growth is easier said than done. But, if you can shift your perspective, you can turn a negative outcome into a valuable learning experience. This is growth mindset 101! 

By embracing failure as an opportunity to grow and learn, you’ll develop resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity. This will allow you to deal with setbacks with a positive mindset, even during the most challenging times.

Bonus! Self-Care

Staying positive is difficult when you’re run down and sleep deprived. Our bonus tip is to make sure you’re on top of your self-care.

But what is self-care? The World Health Organization defines self-care as, “…the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health worker.” 

This means, making sure you’re getting enough sleep, and that you’re eating nutritious food. The best way to do this is to plan ahead. Write a shopping list, allocate time to buy your groceries and to prepare your meals.

Self-care also involves engaging in activities that bring you joy. This could be spending time with loved ones. Or attending a yoga class. Most importantly you need to make sure you look after yourself. 

Summary

Cultivating positivity is not about ignoring the negative aspects of your life, or putting on rose-colored glasses. It’s about bringing optimism into your day, and training your mind to see the positive side in the midst of difficulty.

As a health coach, you’ll make the greatest impact if you can help your clients embrace a mindset of abundance, resilience and gratitude. Because a negative attitude is linked to low self-esteem and can ruin an entire day. The positive thinking exercises that we’ve shared in this post will help your clients shed any negativity they may be harboring and they’re sure to reap the health benefits from this. 

To recap, the 7 positive thinking exercises we’ve covered in this post are:

  1. Gratitude journaling
  2. Positive affirmations
  3. Visualization
  4. Acts of kindness
  5. Surround yourself with positivity
  6. Practice mindfulness
  7. Embrace failure as growth

By incorporating these 7  positive thinking exercises into their daily life, your clients will transform their outlook and create a fulfilling life bursting with happy moments. Positivity is not just a state of mind – it's a way of life.

Now tell us what you think! Leave a comment below to start or join the discussion...

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