Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a rut and things aren’t flowing as smoothly as we would like. This may be a sign that it’s time to reprogram our thoughts, release limiting beliefs and implement strategies to think more optimistically.

You may think that reprogramming your thoughts requires a lot of work and effort on your part, but there are actually simple ways that can override your default negative thinking and kind of hypnotize your mind into thinking differently.

Our brain is innately programmed with a negative bias as a survival mechanism, which was a great advantage for our distant ancestors who had to constantly deal with danger and with that they had to rely on being able to detect and avoid dangerous situations.

However, in our modern-day society, there generally isn’t a real threat to our survival and the negative thoughts that replay in our mind aren’t really getting us anywhere. The good news is that it is within our control to determine what our mind produces.

Here are our TOP 10 ways to reprogram your thoughts and drastically reduce that negative bias.

#1 Use Positive Affirmations
Several studies show that positive affirmations have the power to effectively change the wiring of our brain. By using positive affirmations we rewire our thoughts because the brain changes how it filters incoming stimuli. Rather than using the negative bias that has been hard-wired into our brain, it now has a bias towards the positive and effectively changes our thoughts and mood. To create positive affirmations think about the areas of your life you’d like to improve, write down the most important improvements you want to make and write down several positive statements for each. Make sure to write them in the present tense and focus on what you want rather than what you don’t want. Post your affirmation all around your house and read them frequently, out lout is best.

#2 Switch Up Your Daily Routine
Our daily thoughts and habits have a huge impact on our decisions and ultimately our success. If you want to reprogram your thoughts you first need to change your habits and your routine. For example change your routine so that you get up a little bit earlier to have time to go to the gym or start your day with a yoga class, which gives you a sense of accomplishment and boosts your confidence. This positive attitude will follow you all throughout the day and helps you to change your perspective and thoughts towards the positive. Look at all the parts of your routine that you want to change and choose a new routine that supports your quest for reprogramming your thoughts in a more positive direction.

#3 Keep a Gratitude Journal
Research shows that having a regular gratitude practice has the power to make our brain happier and healthier. If you keep a daily gratitude journal you can experience better mood and sleep as well as boost your motivation, attention, energy, enthusiasm and determination. Gratitude hones in on all the positive aspect in your life and with that reprograms your thoughts towards a more positive outlook.

#4 Stay Active
Idleness gives our brain ample time to overanalyze and overthink and one of the easiest ways out is to divert yourself and what better way to do that than to exercise. Working out releases endorphins, which are the feel-good hormones that make us feel euphoric. The natural antidepressant is far more capable to reprogram our mind towards the positive than any prescription drugs while at the same time oxygenizing our brain, stimulating brain plasticity, releasing a multitude of other hormones that provide our brain cells with nourishment, improving our memory and learning skills and it can even reduce the risk of neurological disease such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. So get up and get moving.

#5 Take Time to Travel
Travel is a fantastic way to get a respite from the stresses of our daily lives, but more than that, traveling also has the power to reprogram our thoughts and behaviors and change our perspective. Research shows that travelers are much more emotionally stable and agreeable and as we’ve seen earlier, our routine has a huge impact on our thoughts and nothing switches our routine more than getting out of town and gaining a new perspective. Keep in mind, it doesn’t need to be expensive or elaborate, even a short excursion can do the trick.

#6 Give Yourself Quiet Time
We live in a loud and noisy world. Between our smart phones, open-space offices and 24/7 video streaming services it becomes more and more challenging to find some quiet time, but if you want to reprogram your thoughts, quiet time is exactly what you need. Make it your mission to find some quiet time every single day. Whether you start a meditation practice or take a walk in the park, carving out quiet time gives our mind the opportunity to explore new thoughts that can get drowned out in our daily rut.

#7 Develop Healthy Sleeping Habits
Sleep is a key component of health and well-being, yet many people are willing to skimp on sleep. When you develop healthy sleeping habits, you are more productive at work, but you will also improve your mental health as sleep positively affects our thoughts, mood and happiness. Just think about it, when we lack sleep, we get antsy and irritable and reprogramming our thoughts becomes a lot harder. But if we actually get eight hours of sleep, we have to ability to build up mental acuity.

#8 Avoid Caffeine
In the moment, caffeine seems like a wonder drug to get out of a brain fog. However, even though caffeine can alter our thoughts, it can also increase our anxiety levels. If you are relying on caffeine to get through the day, consider going a month caffeine free and see how your thoughts and brain are clearer than before. While we don’t advocate to give up caffeine altogether, think about whether or not you depend on caffeine to get through the day and keep in mind that caffeine can negatively impact our thoughts. Alternately, use meditation, breath work and stretching to rejuvenate your brain throughout the day.

#9 Practice Creative Visualization
Visualization is a powerful tool to reprogram your thoughts as you create a detailed mental picture of a desired outcome. The cognitive priming technique helps to stimulate new, positive neural pathways and stimulates your subconscious mind to accept your visualization as reality, which in turn redirects your thoughts and behavior and with that ultimately leads you to where you want to go.

#10 Read Fiction
In order to reprogram our thoughts, we have to give ourselves new perspectives and new experiences and one of the easiest ways to do that is to read a work of fiction. Reading can open up a whole new world for us and on top of that we become more empathetic and can understand the thought process of ourselves and others a lot easier. And with that we can start to reprogram our thoughts.

A lot of people follow the same thought patterns all throughout their lives and make the same mistakes over and over again without doing anything about it. However, it is possible to reprogram our thoughts and belief system for health, wealth and happiness to achieve any goal in our life.

Joschi & Monika