Home > Uncategorized > 30 Day Positive Thought Challenge

30 Day Positive Thought Challenge

I was positive and happy, actually surprisingly positive, for about a week.  Nice.  Then all a sudden, I became depressed, started beating myself up, and even starting to feel bad for myself, drenched in my self-pity.  What happened?!  Am I doomed to constantly cycle from high optimism to crazy pessimism?  This same cycle seems to keep showing up in my life, of striving and becoming happy, to going straight down into dark depression. I even went through the McDeath drive-through late last night, ordered an Orea McFlurry, then beat myself up mentally after I had finished it…  I recognized that something I was doing must be off, and realized I had let my thoughts run around on their own with negative ideas and beliefs.  I fell back into living unconsciously.

Also, my head has been so full of self-help, things I want to accomplish, and goals that I want to pursue, that it would be impossible for me to do it all at once.  I tend to be the kind of person that needs to focus on a few things at once (sometimes only one thing at a time).

I decided last night (after the McFlurry), choosing one thing and just doing it, is far better than sitting there, evaluating which option would be the best, , thinking, pondering, evaluating, thinking some more…. And never doing anything at all.

I have heard that it takes roughly 21 days to form a new habit.  I am going to choose 30 days just to test it out for myself.

My goal is whenever I have negative thoughts, to immediately accept them for what they are (rather than resisting them and giving them energy), then tell myself something positive that results from the negative thing/action/event.  My belief is that by the end of 30 days, this will become automatic, and run on its own, similar to the negative thoughts that seem to be on autopilot right now.  Maybe I’ll even sit down every time and again to have a positive fest and write down everything that rocks about life.   That means, if this becomes a habit, my brain will automatically be making me feel more optimistic.

In short, this goal will:

  1. Keep me Conscious throughout the day and not “zoning out” into negativity.
  2. Turn my brain into an automatic positive seeking machine and cause me to feel more optimistic and better about life naturally.

For example, last night I went and ate a McFlurry.  I thought to myself, “Damnit TJ, this is full of sugar, you are going to feel horrible when you wake up tomorrow, and now you are going to have a tendency to want to eat McDonald’s more you bastard.”
But that McFlurry also gave me a reminder that I really don’t enjoy eating fast food, that it makes me feel tired and lethargic.  It also even helped lead to the creation of this post! So in reality, seeing myself drive out late at night by myself, seeking a McFlurry, led me to bounce back and make a real goal for happiness.

I’m going to keep an update on this post regularly to make sure I’m still participating in my own challenge, and write my goal on a piece of paper and keep it on me as a constant reminder.  Negative thoughts in reality do not accomplish anything, and usually have a hidden motive behind them such as not wanting to take responsibility.  Anyone can relish in their own self-pity and doubt, but it takes courage and conscious thought to find the good side in life.

Also, if anyone else wants to join in and needs some accountability, send me an email or post up a comment.

TIPS FROM MY OWN JOURNEY:
-Try to feel the positive thought you produce.  Instead of saying, “I love life” with a nonchalant attitude, say it to yourself as if you actually believe it, even if you don’t.  Eventually you will start to believe it, you just have to put in the time and effort during the beginning.

UPDATES:
Day 1: Very positive in morning and at night.  Mid day I had a bought of negativity, but was able to turn it around. Nice.
Day 2: Not too great.  Beat myself up, feel a little sad right now.  No biggy, because I discovered that I need to work on self-acceptance and self-love.  A great eye opener and so therefore, the outcome of this day is great.
Day 3: Became trapped in a loop of self-defeating thoughts concerning, ironically, improving myself.  I repeated some positive thoughts in my head, but didn’t really feel them, rather just said them in almost a sarcastic tone.  Great day because I realized the importance of saying it to yourself with conviction.
Day 4: Realized I had depression, decided to call my University’s counseling center and ask if they have a support group.   Good because I discovered I could use a support group.
Day 5: Was having a relatively rough time but staying positive.  Sleep and diet are a major factor.  Still learning a lot.
Day 7: Went to a counselor to ask about support groups.  I actually started telling myself that I was going to
beat depression.  That’s a new thought for me.
Day 8: Had good enough rest, started day slow, then kicked some ass and was extremely positive the whole night! Had a great time at a party
Day 10: Driving home at night, felt very postive.  I then tried to feel depressed or down on myself and couldn’t.  I literally could not feel down or sad.
Day 11: Was chillin about at 11:00pm and thought something negative and m
y brain automatically thought something positive about it.  A few seconds later, I stopped and realized what had just happened.  Was a good moment.
Day 12: Had a stumbling block.  Day was full of a lot of negative thinking.  Good because I learned how easy it can be for me to fall off and that I need to stay focused.
Day 13: Same as Day 12, with more negative thinking
Day 14: Realized what was going on, bounced back and started thinking extremely positively.
Day 15/16: Starting the bounceback, but still have some negativity floating around.
Day 17: Swinging back up into positivity. Looking at Day 10 and Day 11 gives me motivation.
Day 18: Went up to a cabin as part of my new challenge that is now overlapping this one.  Great time.  Positve thoughts were on overdrive.  Getting back deep into the habit.
Day 19:  Amazing day.  Full of positivity.  Had some negative thoughts creeping in but kept looking at the positive side of it.
Day 20: Was very sleep deprived, but still managed to stay positive!  Usually being sleep deprived alone will send me into a depression, and the fact that I stayed positive the entire day while sleep deprived says a lot.
Day 21: Good day, felt some negative feelings and wrote them out into poems to help alleviate them.  I saw the states with lower energy, as opportunities to explore and write about them, rather than undesirable exercises.
Day 22:  I am really starting to realize the true meaning of being positive.  In my life, it doesn’t mean I have to be in some upbeat happy go lucky mood all the time.  It simply means to see reality, and look at it in a good way.  Wrote another poem.
Day 23:  Feeling great.  Mood is lifted, positive thoughts, still have negative thoughts that are mainly about self-esteem, but I am still improving every day.
Day 24: Neutral day.  Lived unconsciously, need to work on that.

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  1. Brock
    August 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    I think I may give this a try. Awesome logic makes sense to me.

  2. Brock
    August 21, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Ok so my recent ex girlfriend and I work together. We see each other at work all the time and oddly enough it still lowers my mood. I thought of this challenge and wrote an optimistic list of the freedom of being single and how I can accomplish a lot with my spare time and share interests with new people. And how I will never again date co workers. Boom. Feel better.

    • August 21, 2010 at 11:43 am

      Nice Brock. Keep it up, and thanks for your post it helps keep me motivated

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