Willie Nelson said, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” This doesn’t sound like rocket science, so how do you flip the switch?

1. Start Right

Changing your tune can start first thing in the morning. Set the tone by starting your day with positive affirmations, and refuse to let negative thoughts arise. If they do, go back to repeating your affirmation or statement. For example, “Today will be an awesome day.” You’ll be surprised how much your day improves.

2. Focus on Good

Focus on good things, however small they are. This is not a perfect world so when you encounter obstacles throughout the day, focus on what’s going right – no matter how insignificant it may seem. Stuck in traffic? Turn on your favorite podcast.

3. Attitude of Gratitude

Express gratitude for things in your life that you take for granted. Being thankful opens up the heart and serves as a reminder that life is nothing short of a miracle. Have an attitude of gratitude throughout your day.

4. Smile & Laugh

Find a friend in humor. In your darkest moments, allow yourself to experience humor. Just lost your job? Watch a comedy or read a funny book.

5. Encouraging Words

Turn off your inner critic. Yes, the one with a loud voice with nothing but negative words. These words can turn into internalized feelings that lead to an inaccurate view of yourself. Drop: I’m terrible at this! Try: I’ll be better at this after I practice.

6. Be Present

Focus on the present – not on today, but rather, this exact moment. If you received an unwanted criticism from a close friend, forget it. Don’t run over it five minutes later, an hour later, the next morning, etc. Instead, focus on the present moment. In most situations, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you imagine it to be.

7. Find the Right Environment

Surround yourself with positive people. Their positive mindset will sink in and affect your own thoughts, which then will impact the words you choose, which then can impact your community.

8. Positive Thinking

Almost anybody can cultivate a positive attitude. Positive thinking offers compounding returns, so the more often you practice it, the more benefits you will reap.

We’re all tested by circumstances beyond our control. Our power lies in the control we have over our reaction to those situations.