3 Powerful Phrases That Will Change a Negative Mindset

3 Phrases

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a pattern of negative thinking?  Maybe you’re angrily ruminating over your endless list of household chores because you feel like the only one who cleans up in your house, or your mind is working overtime trying to figure what could possibly be causing the person in front of you to be driving so darn slow.
We all have negative thoughts now and then, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  In fact, it’s important to allow yourself to acknowledge and accept them from time to time. However, spending too much time stuck in negative thought patterns can affect your mood and even your health, so it’s essential to have some techniques to help you shift gears.
If you find yourself burdened by frequent negative thoughts, try one or all of these phrases to help you change your mindset:

1. “What do I have the privilege of doing today?”

When your to-do list is never-ending, and you’re struggling to fit everything into a day that’s jam-packed, it can be frustrating.  If your commitments are weighing you down, you may begin to feel resentful.
But what if you tried looking at things through a different lens?
Is it possible that some of the things on your schedule could be seen as gifts instead of chores or obligations?  In other words, are there things on your list that someone else might wish they had the opportunity to do, or things you would miss if they were erased from your schedule?
For example, picking up after young children or rushing to watch them participate in their favorite activity can be challenging to keep up with, but they’re also the benefit of having precious children in our lives.  Believe me, they grow up way too fast, and those things (yes, even cleaning up their toys!) will become fond memories before you know it.
So ask yourself, what do you have the privilege of doing today?  Looking at your tasks through the eyes of gratitude can have a profound effect.

2. To each their own.

When people make choices we disagree with, we may feel angry or upset that they would do something that seems wrong to us.  It can be tempting to spend our emotional energy trying to figure out the reasons for their behavior, but as long as their actions aren’t dangerous or causing harm in any way, it’s probably none of our business.

When I find myself trying to fit someone else’s choices into my framework for living, I take a breath and remind myself  “to each their own,” which enables me to simply let go of any negative thoughts and move on with a smile.  We’re all different, and that’s a wonderful thing – the world would be pretty boring otherwise!

3. I wonder what his/her story is?

This question works really well for situations like the one above, where you don’t understand a person’s choices or actions.  Taking a moment to ask yourself “I wonder what his/her story is?” helps you to step back and realize that everyone has a story that you don’t know about.  The trick is to leave it at wondering – don’t spend time actually trying to figure out what the story is.  Remind yourself that you can’t possibly know, and then let it go.

This is also a great question for when you’re stuck behind that really slow driver.  Maybe it’s someone with a new baby in the car, or a teenager behind the wheel for the first time.  Or maybe it’s just someone having an off day, and I know we’ve all been there, right?  Wonder what their story is,  and then let it go.  Hopefully, you’ll feel more patient and understanding.


Shifting out of negative thinking can be as easy as introducing a new thought.  Write these phrases down on a note card or piece of paper and carry them with you. Whenever you need a nudge to move into a more positive mindset, choose one and try it out!  If you have a phrase that works for you, I would love for you to share it below.

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