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SALT LAKE CITY — Life is not always easy, though it is even more difficult when negative thinking creeps its way into our minds.
There are lot of benefits to living optimistically, including less stress, more motivation and a longer lifespan, to name a few.
If you're used to thinking negatively, switching to positive thinking can be a challenge. There are lots of ways to begin that process, and here are a few to get you started.
1. Look for the good
The commonly known phrase "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade" spells it out perfectly.
It may be difficult at times to find the good, but if you really try it can be found. There is always a lesson that can be learned from even the toughest of situations.
Searching for the good puts you in a positive mindset, giving you a foundation toward living a more optimistic life. It may be hard at first but it will get easier as you make it a habit.
2. Don't complain
Complaining feels good–for a little while. Eventually, a lot of complaining can take a toll on your mindset.
Complaints build up and can often cause a bigger problem, at least in your head, than before.
Most of us complain a lot more than we realize, especially about ourselves. So it may seem hard at first to break the habit, but if you keep working on it then it'll make your life a little more positive.
3. Think small goals instead of big ones
If you wanted to be able to do 40 pushups, you wouldn't drop down and do the entire set right away because unless you had trained you would most likely fail.
It's easier and more rewarding to start in small chunks on your way to accomplishing the large goal. It's more realistic to start with your max amount of pushups then add a few more each week until you reach your goal.
The same thinking applies to anything you want to accomplish. When you achieve the small goals, you'll be able to feel better than if you had tried to take on the whole thing at once.
4. Positive affirmations
If you have you ever seen Jessica's "Daily Affirmations" ( you can watch the video above) then you get the general idea of what positive affirmations are. The 4-year-old is more exuberant than you need to be, but she does give a good example of how to be more optimistic.
If you think positively about yourself, it reflects into your day-to-day life.
Write down a list of good and true things about yourself. It is OK if you are not confident in the attributes that you think of since you are working on building up to have confidence in them.
Take your list and say them to yourself every day. For instance, one thing you might have on your list is funny. Every day you would say "I am funny" and so on.
While this exercise may seem a little ridiculous, the repetitiveness will become a reality if you believe in what you are saying each day.
Amanda is an intern at KSL. She attends Utah Valley University where she is studying journalism with a minor in digital media and will graduate in 2015. She is the assistant life editor for the UVU Review. Follow her on Twitter at @HollmanAmanda.