Are you a glass half empty, or a glass half full, sort of person?
According to research, negative thinking and the many feelings that can accompany it, such as stress, pessimism, hostility, and anger, trigger several processes in our bodies, including stress hormone release, metabolism, and immune function. Long periods of stress increase inflammation in our bodies, which has also been implicated in a number of serious diseases.
On the other hand, positive thinking is an emotional and mental attitude that focuses on the good, and expects positive outcomes – it is essentially training yourself to adopt an abundance mindset – anticipating happiness, health, and success.
Clinical studies have shown that both, positive and negative attitudes have a direct impact on our physical, emotional, and mental health and that being a positive thinker is the better of the two.
However, positive thinking isn’t about burying every negative thought or emotion you have or avoiding difficult feelings. Also, positive thinking isn’t magic, and it won’t make all of your problems disappear. What it will do is to help you approach hardships in a more positive and productive way, and make problems seem more manageable.
The power of positive thinking can’t be understated, because your thoughts affect your emotions and all your decisions. In turn, this influences how you view the world at large, including the quality of your personal relationships.
Positive thinking takes your life to the next level. Start training your brain how to think positively by implementing these strategies.
- Focus on the good things ~ Challenging situations and obstacles are the inevitable part of life. When you’re faced with one, focus on the good things no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they seem. Do your best to look for them, you’ll see, you can always find the proverbial silver lining in every cloud.
- Keep a gratitude journal ~ Practicing gratitude has been shown to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and foster resilience, even in very difficult times. Writing down the things you’re grateful for can improve your optimism and sense of well-being.
- Open yourself up to humor ~ Studies have found that laughter lowers stress, anxiety, and depression. It also improves coping skills, mood, and self-esteem. Be open to humor in all situations, especially the difficult ones, and give yourself permission to laugh. It instantly lightens the mood and makes things seem a little less difficult.
- Spend time with positive people ~Negativity and positivity have been shown to be contagious. Consider the people with whom you’re spending time. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and help you see the bright side.
- Practice positive self-talk ~We tend to be the hardest on ourselves and be our own worst critics. To stop this, be mindful of the voice in your head and respond with positive self-talk. When going through difficult times, see yourself as if you were your own best friend in need of comfort and sound advice. What would you say to him or her? You’d likely acknowledge her feelings and remind her she has every right to feel sad or angry in her situation, and then offer support with a gentle reminder that things will get better.
- Identify your areas of negativity ~ Take a good look at the different areas of your life and identify the ones in which you tend to be the most negative. Not sure? Ask trusted people in your life. Chances are, they’ll be able to offer some insight. Tackle one area at a time.
- Set the intention ~ Start off each day with the intention to stay positive for the rest of the day, in spite of whatever life throws at you. Your morning ritual sets the tone for your day and puts you in the right mindset to take on all your tasks with positivity.
- Adjust your posture ~ Positive thinking is as much about your body as it is about your brain. Have you noticed that when you’re having a bad day, your body language shows it? You slump over in your chair, or you have a hard time making eye contact with others. This is not a powerful stance; it tells your brain that you are uneasy, angry, or sad. This creates a feedback loop as your own poor posture reinforces your poor mindset. Work on your posture to give your brain the message that you can handle any situation with strength and dignity. Observe yourself; as soon as you catch yourself starting to slump, straighten up. As you hold your body in a power pose, positive thinking will be able to flow more freely.
Keeping your mind positive is a series of actions you take every day. By consciously choosing to shift to positive thinking, you’ll begin to reframe your thoughts, cultivating a mindset that is grateful and open. It doesn’t always come easily, but experiencing the power of positive thinking in your life is worth your investment.
Make positive thinking a priority for 30 days, and let me know how you feel!
Looking forward to hearing your success story!