Every exit is a start.
- The Happy Show, an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
Last week I blogged about a neat trick with a pencil that gives your attitude an instant lift. That reminds me of another simple yet surprisingly effective positive thinking technique. All you need for this one is a rubber band—and a willingness to change your attitude.
Slip the rubber band on your wrist like a bracelet. Every time you have a negative thought, snap the band—hard enough that it stings—and literally snap yourself out of that downer mindset.
Then—and this is important—replace the negative thought with a positive thought, one that’s affirmative and empowering. If you constantly put yourself down, try building yourself up. Instead of berating yourself, How could I be so stupid? remind yourself, Everyone makes mistakes. I’m smart and determined. Here’s how I’ll learn from this one...
If you tend to think the worst in a stressful situation, look for a bright spot. Say your flight’s delayed. Nothing ever goes right for me, you moan. Snap! Hey, I can call my old friend and catch up. Or, Wow, I actually have time to read my favorite magazine cover to cover. (I hope it’s Guideposts!)
Keep at it and you’ll see your negative thought patterns transformed into positive thinking.
Need some real-life inspiration? Read Guideposts Writers Workshop alum and frequent contributor Susan Karas’s terrific story about how a little green rubber band helped her shed not only a few pounds but also what was really weighing her down—her negative attitude.
Amy Wong is the executive editor of Guideposts and was a founding editor of Positive Thinking. She lives in New York City with her adopted dog, Winky, a natural-born positive thinker who believes that everyone has a treat for her and every day is the best day of her life. Amy hopes to be that optimistic someday (she’s working on it!).