You may not be aware of this fact, but your life is actually shaped by your thoughts. The way you view the world and your place in it determines how you feel, act and live. While we can’t all be sunny and happy all the time, how you talk to yourself does set the tone for everything you do. If you are lost in negativity, that dark cloud will color your world It’s important to learn how to snap yourself out of the pattern of self-sabotage by discovering how to turn negative self-talk positive. Follow these suggestions to flip your thought process.

Recognize Your Triggers

Before you can end your poor thinking, you need to be able to recognize it. Take time throughout each day for a week to pay attention to the thoughts that cross your mind. When you note a self-critical one, write it down. You may also want to take notes regarding the kinds of behaviors that usually come from such thinking. Some people may reach for comfort food when feeling down on themselves, while others become irritable with those around them. Self-awareness is crucial to changing habits.

End All or Nothing Views

Hardly anything is ever one way or the other. Including concepts such as never and always are usually signs that you are having unrealistic thoughts. Watch out for telling yourself that you should do something or labeling yourself with critical terms. You don’t always mess up, and you aren’t a failure. Re-phrase these admonishments by telling yourself that you sometimes are forgetful or that you are having a tough time right now.

Brainstorm Awesome Words

One quick way to pull yourself out of a slump is to think of happy and lively words. You can just make a list in your mind or actually write them down. While it may seem like something that’s too simplistic to be effective, you may just be surprised at how quickly your mood shifts with this technique. Thinking of energetic words and phrases has a way of shifting your mood and acting as a catalyst for positive thinking.

Be Grateful

Another useful strategy is to employ gratitude to push away the nasty self-talk. You can’t be bashing yourself while you’re thinking of all the wonderful things you are fortunate to have in your life. List big items that transform your life, but don’t forget about the little things. An attitude of gratitude can really put life in perspective and set you on a path to positivity.

Consider the Worst

Yes, that’s right. Put your worries in perspective by thinking of the worst thing that could happen. Then take a moment to decide if even that situation is really all that terrible and the likelihood of it happening. Quite often, the worst-case scenario isn’t as bad as we’ve made it out to be in our heads, and it’s not even something that’s likely to occur. Gaining perspective makes it much easier to push fear and doubt aside in order to be proactive in our lives.

Be Your Own Friend

When you find yourself deep in self- criticism, take some time to think about what you’d say to your best friend or a loved one in the same situation. Chances are, you’d never talk to someone you care about in this manner. Better yet, consider the words you would use with a child. You likely couldn’t imagine crushing a child’s spirit with such scolding. You shouldn’t treat yourself this way, either. Instead, tell yourself what you’d tell that child or friend. Then act on the words.

These techniques are really quite simple, but they may take some time and practice to embrace on a regular basis. Keep practicing, and you’ll see a turnaround in your negative self-talk and in your life.