The boot camp doesn't require any push ups or drill sargeants, only a notebook and some time to reflect. Here's my 37 Days of Positive Thinking Boot Camp- every day you are to record in your journal the following:
- 1 thing you are grateful for and why
- 1 good thing that happened to you that day and how it made you feel
- 1 way in which you made a positive difference to someone else and how they were impacted by it (it could be anything, even as simple as a smile)
- 1 thing you found truly beautiful during the day
- 1 thing you like about yourself
- 1 thing you are afraid of and why, and
- 1 thing that needs to be forgiven, whether that is yourself or past hurts and old grudges
Why did I select those things? To me, all positive thinking begins with gratitude. When we take time to really look at the people and things in our lives that we appreciate but probably take for granted, we find that our blessings usually outweigh our troubles. Even on bad days when you feel like the world is conspiring against you, there is always at least one bright moment that happens; let that bright moment shine in your mind and it will chase away the darkness you feel. Negativity is very self-centered, so when we shift our attention to others and share simple acts of kindness, it show us that our lives have purpose and meaning beyond ourselves. Taking a moment to savor something beautiful, even if it's just a flower growing in a sidewalk crack, make us slow down and appreciate the good things the world has to offer. It is easy to be our own worst enemies and be critical of ourselves. We tell ourselves things that we would never dream of saying to another person. Reminding ourselves of our good qualities on a daily basis reminds us how important it is to be our own best friends. Fear drives a lot of our actions and because it is painful, we hesitate to acknowledge it. Fear can make us make bad choices and hold us back from future happiness. In order for fear not to control us, we have to bring it to the surface and process it, much like exorcising a demon. Only then can that fear be seen for what it really is and be conquered. And lastly, forgiveness is the only way to achieve lasting peace. If you harbor hatefulness and regret in your heart, you leave little room for peace. Holding grudges usually causes more pain to the one holding the grudge rather than the one the grudge is about. It's a splinter that festers. Forgiveness helps you remove the splinter and begin to heal.
You might not be ready to tackle all of these items at one time. Split them up and work on them in a way that fits your current need. But the main thing is to take the first step and tell negativity that it has no place in your life.