How to Change Your Thinking:
Practical Ways to Develop a Better Mindset
Did you know that only 2 percent of the population embrace the right mindset?
Everyone has heard someone say "follow your dreams" or "be the change you wish to see in the world." And yet, how many people actually take this kind of wisdom to heart?
Apparently, almost everyone ignores it most of the time. But, if you start to change your thinking about life, you could find that you're actually happier, healthier and more successful as a result.
There is no simple blueprint to discover how to change your thinking. You need to follow our practical ways to achieve this.
1. Discover the Art of Mindful Meditation
Many Americans are constantly distracted by smartphone connectivity. We're always checking our devices for messages and updates.
This could be having an adverse effect on our capacity for attention and focus. If we're never truly concentrating on the moment, this could make our lives worse.
There is evidence that our attention span doesn't even rival an average pet goldfish. That's worrying if you want to get things done!
However, thankfully, there are ways to address this. Treating your brain as a muscle that requires a workout can help you to improve and change your thinking.
More and more people have adopted the practice of meditation. You can simply start by downloading one of the many apps.
Meditation has even been connected with improved mental health across the board. Say goodbye to your depression and embrace mindfulness.
Begin with brief meditation sessions before mastering the practice. Before you know it, you'll be meditating for up to one hour per day.
2. Throw Yourself Into Challenging Environments
Imagine you need to speak with your boss about a difficult topic. Think about being under pressure to perform under hard circumstances. What do you do when you're faced with a challenging environment?
According to a recent study, over 70 percent of people avoid speaking with their boss if they have to handle a difficult conversation. But, this can only make the situation even worse than it was before. It's not a solution to anything!
When you think about challenging environments in a positive way, you start to approach these situations with excitement rather than fear.
But, away from the workplace, challenging environments can be a wide range of different things. For example, you may have a fear of traveling solo.
Facing your fear and being self-motivated to explore the world without anyone else holding your hand can be a source of strength.
A challenging environment could also be applying for a job that you worry you're not cut out for. Or, maybe it's simply signing up as a volunteer to contribute to a local charity comprised of strangers.
3. Find Inspiration in the Wisdom of Others
Around one-quarter of Americans haven't read a book in the past year. And yet, folks such as Warren Buffett, Barrack Obama, and Bill Gates post long reading lists every year.
There's no escaping that if you want to change your mindset, you need to read books that make you think differently about life. But, what types of books?
Religion has a lot to teach about how to live a good life. So, attend Bible study lessons or pick up a Koran in your library.
There are also three thousand years of philosophical teachings that can help you overcome your old ways and embrace change.
Why not read Discourses by the Stoic thinker Epictetus? This could set you straight. Or, why not try learning from Shakespeare's insights into the human condition by experiencing Hamlet.
4. Always Ask Why Questions
Always asking questions can help you change how you think about the world. Don't simply settle for what you already know.
You'll find that you can endlessly explore life by asking why things are the way they are. Avoid thoughtlessly accepting everything.
Why do I want to get a promotion at work? Why do I find it difficult to make conversation with strangers?
You'll gradually learn more about yourself and other people around you by asking this question. Better conversations are also likely to follow too.
Even when you ask questions, remember to reflect on whether you're being honest with yourself regarding the answers. You may be tempted to tell yourself fibs.
For example, if some people are annoying you, you may say that they're annoying you because they are annoying people.
But, actually, you may discover that the reason is that you're not patient and tolerant of other people's needs and wishes as much as your own.
5. Find a Mentor to Help You Improve
Over three-quarters of people say that having a mentor is really important. Yet, around 37% of people actually have a mentor.
Why do people not take their own advice?
There are so many amazing reasons why mentors can help to change your mind and put you on the path towards success.
They have knowledge and experience that we could only dream of. When we fail, they help to lift us up again. When we succeed, they're cheering us on!
However, finding the perfect mentor for you isn't easy. You need to think about who in your life do you always trust and respect.
Whenever you meet someone who has the qualities you want in a mentor, make sure you ask them to become one for you.
Some people say that you need to become a "friendly stalker" to get the mentor you want. You may simply meet someone in your everyday life or get a contact from a friend of a friend.
Once you have a mentor to help you with life's challenges, you'll feel stronger and more resilient than ever before.
6. Avoid Negative News Stories
Over half of Americans say that reading the news causes them to feel stressed and anxious. Many even report experiencing sleep loss as a result.
However, we continue to turn on the television to see what's happening in the world and scroll down news apps to stay plugged in.
But, what if we simply avoided any negative news stories? This might help to lift our mood levels and help us focus on what actually matters.
Do you really need to be aware that there is a war going on overseas? Are the ins and outs of politics really worth your attention?
You could find that you feel much better when you don't tune into this kind of news. Simply follow happy and cheerful news stories.
There are many apps that only send you positive news. You can follow happy news stories on your Twitter feed.
Even when you hear negative news stories, just remember that most things in the world don't affect you and are out of your control.
When you avoid the bad news stories, you'll find that your mind begins to change and you develop a more positive outlook on the world instead.
7. Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
Only around 3 percent of Americans are leading a healthy lifestyle. What about the rest of us?
We're probably eating a poor diet with too many sugary and fatty foods, combining this with a lack of exercise and stress.
If we're constantly leading an unhealthy lifestyle, then how can we expect to think differently about things?
It's important for your brain function to have a healthy body to support it. So, if you want to change your mindset, you need to improve your physical health too.
Regular exercise is crucial if you want to improve yourself. This could simply be going for long walks in the park or cycling to work in the mornings.
Whatever you do, avoid spending your days sitting down and being sedentary. This is the key to a healthy life.
Eating better food is also important. Lots of fruit and veggies with whole grains can ensure you remain strong and healthy.
Finally, you also need to improve your sleep patterns. You won't be able to think clearly if you're not getting enough hours in bed.
Going to bed earlier in good sleep conditions (e.g. a dark room and cool temperature) is important if you want to change your attitude for the better. When we're tired, we're always grumpy.
8. Start Keeping a Journal
As the Greek philosopher, Socrates famously stated, "the unexamined life is not worth living."
Many successful people spend a lot more time thinking and reflecting than the rest of us. At the start of the day or the end of it, journaling is an important way to develop yourself and change your mindset.
Instead of simply living without any thought, you create a regular habit of reflecting on what you have achieved that day. There is even evidence that people who journal are happier and healthier than everyone else.
Whether you want to write down a few thoughts for each day or simply record everything you achieved, this is a useful way to develop a better state of mind.
There is even strong evidence to say that you can physically heal faster and recover from a serious disease by journaling on a regular daily basis.
Changing your thinking doesn't happen overnight. But, it could definitely occur over numerous nights of journaling before bed.
9. Be Kind to Other People
Would you say you were kind to other people?
When someone asks for a ride to the airport, do you say yes? When there is a call out for volunteers to go litter-picking, do you say you'll join?
Random acts of kindness are really important if you want to change your mind. Instead of always focusing on yourself, you start to think about other people.
Strangely, one of the best ways of developing yourself is by thinking about others. When we start to do this, we notice that we're not at the center of the universe.
Saying you want to change your mindset to focus on others is easy. But, this can only be achieved when you get involved with your local community more.
Volunteering overwhelming results in a happier and healthier life. You cannot escape the power of doing good.
10. Set Goals That You Can Actually Achieve
Human beings are hopeless at setting themselves goals. We say that we want to be healthier or spend more time with our family.
But, these types of goals are always so vague and ambiguous. You need to find ways to set goals that you actually achieve.
This is why around 80 percent of New Year's resolutions end in failure. But, it doesn't have to be this way.
If you want to improve your mindset, you need to focus on tangible and time-bound goals. What does this mean?
It's the difference between saying you want to do more exercise and committing to going to the gym three times per week for 30 minutes.
The latter goal can be tested. You know whether you accomplished your goal or not. Whereas, the former is impossible to confirm whether you did this or not.
This also applies when you're changing your mind. Setting practical goals around changing your mindset is the best way to be happier and more successful.
Practical Ways to Change Your Thinking
The world is always changing. We shouldn't stay still while everything changes around us. We need to change our thinking at the same time.
And yet, knowing how to change your thinking isn't easy. But, with our practical ways to alter your mindset, you can set yourself on the path to a better life.
Do you want to discover more tips and advice on self-growth? There are plenty more ideas on our blog.