Please Note These Articles are meant for information purposes only and are not a substitute for Medical or Psychological treatment.
It is sometimes hard to keep a positive attitude in a world that seems full of obstacles. Here Therapist Michael Cohen explains techniques to help you look on the bright side of life…
- Get rid of your ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts. We engage in ‘Self-talk’ practically every moment of our waking lives. If our self-talk is positive then we function well, but if it is negative we experience emotional disturbance. Write down your thoughts and ask yourself whether they are based on reality. Is it a foregone conclusion that I am going to be turned down for that job? Am I blowing everything out of proportion? Challenging your ANTS and replace them with positive thoughts. Then re-write them in a more realistic way.
- Paint a positive tomorrow. Before you go to sleep, compose a picture in your mind of the good things that could happen the next day and tell yourself about the positive things you will be doing. Before you get out of bed the next morning, continue to visualize these positive images.
- LEARN to be your own best friend. If you lack self-esteem and find it difficult to admit your qualities to yourself, think of yourself as another person—someone who would be the ideal best friend. This distancing helps because we are conditioned to see what is wrong with us rather than what is right. Eventually you will see that this ideal best friend is you.
- YOU may think that in order to achieve something you have to feel like doing it. In fact the reverse is true; it’s the doing that gives you the feeling of accomplishment which will spur you on to achieve your goals, even if you encounter setbacks along the way. Make yourself understand that setbacks should be stepping stones on the road to success. If you turn yourself into a doer then you’ll get there in the end.
- USE your anger creatively. Writing, drawing, art, music, exercise can all channel anger and turn it into a positive force. Many successful sportsmen, businessmen and creative personalities have turned anger into energy and energy into success.
- LEARN to say no. Remember that you are a valuable person who has a perfect right to act in your own best interests. Visualize someone you admire standing up for themselves and saying NO over and over again with confidence.
At first, others may be taken aback by your new assertiveness, but is that so bad? Soon you’ll gain self-confidence and respect.
Article © 2010-2011 Michael Cohen