If thinking, therefore, affects how we feel (as it definitely does) then thinking is important for our happiness. In very simple terms, there are certain types of thoughts that help us cope and function and achieve our best where as there are other types of thoughts that contribute to distress and problems. Most of us who want to enjoy more happiness would prefer to have more of the former!
So how do we do this? How do we think more helpful and constructive thoughts and less unhelpful, negative ones? Well, today I bring you 7 simple strategies that should boost your happiness...
- Accept that some "negative thoughts" are natural (this might sound counter-intuitive and not necessarily conducive to reducing negative thoughts but it works! Accepting the reality that we all have some distressing and disturbing thoughts, at times, can take a lot of pressure off and, therefore, minimise associated distress)
- Don't fight negative thoughts; just let them go
- Be aware of your thoughts but don't feel as though you have to believe them; thoughts are not facts
- Question your thoughts the way you might question or debate someone at a dinner party or in a team meeting
- Try to imagine a different way of thinking about certain (especially distressing) situations
- Ask yourself how someone else you know, preferably someone who's mostly happy and seems to cope well, would think in this situation
- Look for the best as often as possible
Prof. Timothy Sharp
Executive Coach & Consultant, Facilitator and Speaker