More Than A Mindset – Positive Thinking Works.
Put Positive Thinking to Work for You
The “power of positive thinking.” How many times have you heard this phrase throughout your life? If you’re like me, it’s been countless times! Teachers, parents and family – everyone believes in the power of positive thinking.
In 2000, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, a noted clergyman, wrote a book with that title. It’s become a worldwide best seller, having sold over 7 million copies in 15 different languages since its original publication date. Dr. Peale has written over 46 books, but none has been as widely read or as successful as “The Power of Positive Thinking.”
What makes “The Power of Positive Thinking” so special? Perhaps it was the first time that anyone addressed “self doubt” – the most devastating handicap that prevents people from achieving all they want to achieve in life. It showed people that there was a way to free you from stress, worry and to live a life free of resentment.
Dr. Peale showed a worldwide audience that it was possible to go above the problem at hand to visualize solutions to the problem, along with ways to attain them. By eliminating negative thoughts that keep people from achieving happiness and success, people are able to implement positive changes in their lives.
So what exactly is positive thinking, and why is it so important?
Positive thinking is actually a mental and emotional feeling that helps you see the brighter, happier side of things, and helps plant the expectation that positive results and outcomes can be achieved.
But despite its widespread acceptance, many people still think that positive thinking is not to be believed. People who do believe in positive thinking are often ridiculed by those who don’t believe that it is can be effective.
For those who do believe in the power of positive thinking, it becomes a way of life. All negative thoughts are put aside, and the focus is put on positive thoughts and feelings. This provides positive energy and a feeling of happiness. It’s often felt that positive thinking is contagious, and people enjoy being around positive people, while avoiding those who are always negative.
Removing stress from your life.
Are you an optimistic person? Do you look at a glass as half empty, or half full? If you’re the former, your optimism will impact all areas of your life – even your wellbeing and health. If you’re optimistic, you’re also often a positive thinking person. What’s great about that is you have a tendency to reduce stress in your life, because you’re not focusing on the negative thoughts that often cause stress – instead, you’re focusing on the positive aspects of life. You feel emotions like joy, happiness and contentment. These emotions are the ones that help to reinforce positive thinking.
The fact is, positive thinking is not ignoring negative situations- they happen to everyone. It’s all about how you approach those negative situations – doing it in a very positive way. But exactly how do you gather positive thoughts from within?
Everyone has thoughts running around their heads. It’s called “self talk.” And no, it doesn’t mean you have any mental issues! Everyone has self talk that they practice. Most of the time, the self-talk is filled with positive thoughts, but certainly there are times where the thoughts are negative. You get your thoughts from your assessment of a situation, and then you put your own logic and reasoning. Or maybe you have some misconceptions about a situation, and you create negative thoughts simply because you don’t have enough information.
Positive thinking and positive self-talk help you to channel your thoughts in an optimistic way, thinking that the outcome of any situation will be ok. What does this do for your health? In addition to reducing stress, it helps to reduce depression, provide you with an increased life span, minimize the amount of cardiovascular disease and provide you with better skills to cope with just about every situation that comes along.
How can you emphasize the positive thinking and minimize the negative? Your self-talk needs to be positive! Instead of automatically going to the negative aspects of a situation, go to positive ones.
You do this in several ways. Sometimes, you blow the negative aspects of a situation out of proportion. People often have a tendency to blame themselves when something bad happens – even when it has nothing to do with you. Another problem is that people anticipate the worst possible outcome. If you spill a drink on your computer, for example, you think your entire day will be bad.
Finally, you don’t see any grey areas. Everything is black or white, without any middle ground. So if you see that something isn’t perfect, you blame yourself as a complete failure.
This isn’t how it’s supposed to be!
Start thinking differently, positively, and put those negative patterns aside. What areas of your life appear negative to you? Is it work, relationships, family issues? Find one area and focus on it in a more positive way. By starting off slowly, you can build up to tackle all the negative situations you feel are affecting your life.
Whatever the situation, look for a humorous aspect to focus on. If you can find a way to laugh at adversity, it won’t seem so dire. By laughing at negative situations, you reduce your body’s stress levels.
Start living a healthier lifestyle! Begin an exercise program, eat a healthier diet and find unique ways to manage your stress. Exercise is critically important, as it releases endorphins in your body, naturally occurring brain chemicals that relax the body and reduce stress.
Hang around positive people. Positive people are supportive, and provide good advice and feedback when you need it. Being around negative people only tends to increase your stress level, preventing you from managing your stress in a productive, positive way.
If you have a negative mindset, things will not begin to change immediately. But over time, as you practice positive thinking and positive self-talk, you’ll start being less critical about the situations in your life and adopt a more positive, healthy attitude.
Strategies to use if you’re stuck.
Sometimes, it’s hard to accept the fact that you can change your mental outlook. You have a negative feeling about things, your body language shows a defeatist attitude – even your vocabulary shows you don’t have any positive energy. But it’s all based on habits – and you can train yourself to overcome those bad habits.
Over time, people train themselves to feel frustrated, or stressed, or overly sad. It’s a pattern, and it’s one that can be overcome. Over time, you can train yourself to feel passionate about things; you can train yourself to start seeing things in a positive way, and minimize the stress in your life.
One of the ways you can begin to have more positive thinking is to meditate. Research shows that people who practice meditation on a daily basis show more positive emotions than those who don’t. The people who meditate also build helpful, long-term skills, like mindfulness, social interaction and far less illness in their lives. Yoga can also help to relax your body and mind, and will bring you back to living in the moment.
Another way to have more positive thoughts is start writing about your positive experiences. It’s based on a study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, and it showed that people who wrote about their positive experiences – for only 3 days, had better health than those who did not write about personal, positive experiences.
Here’s another one for you – start scheduling some play time in your day! You schedule just about everything else in your calendar – everything except play time. It’s time to change that! You would be surprised how important play time is in terms of providing you with positive emotions. It gives you the opportunity to experience joy, contentment and the ability to build new skills.
Another tactic is to help someone else. By taking the focus off of you and doing something positive for another person, you’ll feel good about yourself and begin to see positive effects of your efforts.
Take responsibility for your actions. You are the one who is in control of your life, so don’t become a victim. You have choices you can make to change any situation, and by taking responsibility you’ll find you’re in more control – which helps to build positive thoughts.
Finally, start practicing the technique of affirmation. Affirmations are simply positive statements that you use to describe a situation or habit or goal that you desire to achieve. When you repeat them on a frequent basis, they begin to become a part of your subconscious mind, and transform the way you think. Positive affirmations help you build positive thoughts, and positive thinking. They’re similar to creative visualizations, which are images you create showing what things would be like if you achieved your goals.
Over time, positive thinking will have a huge, positive impact on every aspect of your life. Put the power of positive thinking to work for you – and start living a happier, more productive life.