Dear Dr. Laura,
When I get negative thoughts in my mind, I try to hear them and catch them early. It is a battle but one of the ways I do it is to first WAKE UP with a good attitude and that starts with the moment I open my eyes. Even if I am tired and groggy, I think of THREE THINGS THAT I AM THANKFUL FOR that morning. It could be that I am alive; it could be that I have a window and beautiful plants to look at; it could be that I woke up earlier than I planned (because of the dog snoring - for which I am thankful I have a dog) and therefore had more time to get something done.
And at the end of the day I don't beat myself up if I wasn't perfect in my attitude. Before I go to bed, I ask myself what three good things happened today and what did I accomplish? That puts me in a good mood as I go to sleep.
I battle it all day, but it is getting better with practice.