As we go through life, we begin to develop patterns in the way we think and believe. Some of those patterns and behaviors can force us into destructive habits, that if left to continue, can have a devastating effect on our physical and emotional health. The patterns get stronger and more familiar the longer they are allowed to continue. In order to break those patterns and re-establish balance, we must learn to let go of the negative and begin to allow positive reinforcement to take its place.

BELIEVE AND EXPECT MORE FOR YOURSELF
In some ways, society continually prepares us to accept the worst. It is easier to believe negative comments and feedback than to accept and appreciate the positive aspects of a situation. We begin to believe that we don’t deserve happiness or that we are not good enough to have what we truly want. Thinking this way actually creates a cycle that keeps up locked in a downward spiral. The more we believe in those types of thoughts, the less we value ourselves.

CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE
Letting go of the negativity and destructive habits will allow positive reinforcements to establish themselves. The hardest part of the entire process is learning to let go. The negative habits create a comfort zone in which we begin to feel at ease. When we expect the worst, we don’t have to worry about impressing others or getting hurt. It can be difficult to leave the comfort zone for unfamiliar territory.

TAKE CHARGE
The first step in giving up the negative and replacing it with the positive is simply making the choice to do so. The beginning can be difficult, but there are things you can do to make the transition easier. A few simple ideas will help you remain positive and upbeat while breaking the negative habits. They include:

  • Remove negative language from your vocabulary and replace it with positive affirmations, i.e. replace “I can’t” with “I will try”
  • Eliminate negative people from your inner circle of friends and begin to look for friendships that offer encouragement and support instead of sarcasm and judgment
  • Trade a sedentary lifestyle for an active one by exercising at least three days a week
  • Take inventory of the gifts and blessings you have been given
  • Learn to appreciate and give thanks for the many blessings you have been given

BE MINDFUL
One thing that is important to remember is that even bad times allow us an opportunity to grow and learn. We may not like what we are experiencing, but what we learn from that experience builds our character. Letting go of the thought that everything negative is bad for us, helps us to embrace each lesson and grow through the adversity. It provides us with an appreciation we may not otherwise have had without the experience.