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When Something Bad Happens continued...

Instead of: Say:

“I'm going to be late and my boss “I'd better call work and let them know I missed the

will never forgive me.” train.”

“I'm always the first one to get sick “A lot of people are getting sick. I need to wash my

and the last one to get well.” hands often.”

“It takes too long to make a healthy “That recipe would take too long to cook on a

meal.” weeknight.”

When Something Good Happens

You aced the test. Is it because you are a good student who will go far in life, or did you just get lucky? When good things happen, internalize success with some self-kudos.

Instead of: Say:

"I got a raise -- now they're going "I'm a valuable employee and I deserve this raise."

to expect me to do more work."

"She thinks I'm cute? She needs "I'm going to ask her out and I bet she'll say yes."

to get her glasses checked."

"You're just saying you like the meal." "I'm a great cook."

In Social Situations

Negative self-talk can be rife in social situations, especially if you feel nervous or "on display." Positive self-talk can help you put social gaffes in proper perspective.

Instead of: Say:

“I'm never comfortable at parties.” “I felt awkward at the party but I met some interesting people.”

"I always stuff my face." "I have trouble controlling myself around candy."

"I have no focus." "I find it more difficult to focus when I'm tired."

Keep at It

The process of shifting your language is a lot like getting in shape. "If your muscles haven't been worked in a while, guess what? It's going to be uncomfortable at first," Beneduce says. Over time, negative words can take on the quality of a broken-in pair of jeans -- they just seem to fit. And some pessimists don't want to look on the bright side, Lyubomirsky says. "They think it would be deceiving themselves."

Adopting a more positive language and worldview can pay off, however. People who focus on the present and appreciate what they have today are more happy, energetic, and hopeful. Happiness opens your mind to new possibilities, creative thinking, and interest in social situations. Happier thoughts could give you fewer things to feel bad about.