3 Proven Keys To Keeping A Positive Mindset In Dark Times

Photo: getty
woman forming a heart

Have you ever been in a holding pattern, waiting on something important?

Maybe it’s an acceptance letter. Or the results of a biopsy sent off to the lab. Perhaps, it’s whether or not you got a big promotion.

We’ve all been there and the in-between can be painful.

When this happens, your mind can move into overdrive and quickly head down a negative path.

"What if I didn’t get in?" "What if it’s cancer?" "What if someone else got the job? "

RELATED: 10 Golden Rules To Help You Think Positively

Once you let in negative thoughts, they can quickly lead to a negative thought pattern.

After all, the average person has 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts a day and 80 percent are negative.


Have you ever had a great day ruined by one critical comment? Or attended a fun evening out only to spend the next day focused on the thoughtless words you spoke to a friend?

It can be easy to head into a negative thought pattern, but there’s also a way out. That’s because humans are the only species that have the ability to change their thoughts.

Here are 3 proven keys to keeping a positive mindset during dark times.

1. Switch it up.

The first step is to identify a few foolproof, positive thoughts that can’t lose. Everyone has them.

These are the thoughts that make you light up, sending your energy skyward.

Maybe it’s your faith or a memory you’re forever grateful for. Maybe it’s a place you adore or a person you can’t do life without. Whichever you choose, they just put you in a better mood.

Pick three or more and when your thoughts turn negative, switch it up!

Replace each negative thought with one of your favorite positive thoughts. In this way, you can learn to redirect your thought pattern for the better.

RELATED: How To Be More Positive At Work And In Relationships (Even When You Don't Feel Like It)

2. Make peace with what you don’t know.

When you’re waiting, it’s easy to start making plans for the outcome, good or bad. But, this is a trap that can lead you right back to a negative thought pattern.

My grandmother used to say, "Man plans, God decides." Whether you have faith in a higher power or not, the fact that you’re not totally in control of your fate can be hard to accept.

That’s why it’s uncomfortable in the mid-zone, which is where you are!

Don’t plan for something that may or may not even happen. Instead, make peace with what you don’t know.

3. Examine your thoughts.

If you spend time on negative "what ifs," it’s possible you can actually will them to happen. "Think positive" isn’t just a cute saying — it can actually improve your mindset, your relationships, and your overall health.

When you have a negative thought, it’s time to examine it.

Ask yourself: Is this thought a fact or is it an assumption?

Most negative thoughts are actually just assumptions. When they hang around too long, they can turn into beliefs — ones you made up yourself!

Table the assumptions and the facts — then your reality won’t be so overwhelming.

Next time you’re in a holding pattern, don’t assume the worst. Instead, follow through with the three steps above and work towards a more positive you.

RELATED: How To Keep A Positive Attitude In A Negative World

Hilary DeCesare is the Founder and CEO of The ReLaunch Co. She’s appeared on ABC’s The Secret Millionaire and on major news outlets such as CBS, ABC, Fox, Huffington Post, and Yahoo, and offers several ReLaunch courses and coaching. To connect with her directly or for media requests please email

This article was originally published at The ReLaunch Co.. Reprinted with permission from the author.