Meditation is the best way to observe what you are thinking and at the same time transform how you think. In meditation, the practitioner gains the ability to separate himself or herself from personal thought processes. When the observer does not identify with these thoughts, they lack energy and dissipate over time. Then the practitioner can focus on positive thoughts as desired and watch them materialize in the outside world. While it takes a long time to attain levels of mastery over personal psychology, meditation alone has many benefits. The act of simply sitting and breathing for 20 minutes a day can do much to alleviate built up stress levels.
Practice Habit Formation
Habits are what makes for a good quality of life. Our experiences are really just a collection of habits, and this includes mental habits of thought. Take a habit and make sure that you stick with it for at least 3 weeks, the verified minimum time it takes to establish a habit. Ultimately, you want to establish a habit of identifying negative thought patterns as they emerge. In this way, you stop their momentum before they become too powerful. A habit can be something as easy as making your bed every morning or something difficult like visualizing your goal for 20 minutes every day. It is best to pick something simple and stick with it initially. You can build on these habits and the results compound over time. Another habit could be writing a 1000 word blog post every day for 60 days.
While meditation can largely be defined as the art of non-focus, there are also many concentration techniques available that can serve to sharpen the mind. One practice consists of gazing at the tip of your nose for 5 minutes. This is a short and intense technique that works well for those with the discipline to stick with it. This focus can then be carried over to other areas of study. You will be able to apply your focus to different tasks. The skill of concentration is more important than ever before. Social media and other technological advances really serve to distract us, and the population is largely disassociated with little ability to focus on basic tasks.