Updated: Apr 30
I hope all is well and you are staying safe and healthy. So, we have been encountering some challenges this past year, and depending on the individual, your perspective on these challenges will determine the outcomes of your lives. Let me explain. Many people who approach problems or issues they face with negative attitudes usually have a more challenging time recovering than those with positive attitudes. So with that in mind, I would like to discuss the power of Positive Thinking.
Many people who live in snowy or dreary climates are very familiar with the feeling of standing outside in early spring, complaining about how cold and dreary everything looks. It seems like winter will never end.
Those negative thoughts can quickly take over your mindset and challenge you to find anything positive to think about. But then something unexpected happens, making you pause when you hear the birds sing louder than you have listened to in several months. This, in turn, begins to change your mood, and your positivity returns.
Positive psychology, or better defined as the study of happiness, is “a field that examines how people can become more fulfilled and happier.” From negative to positive, this change in mindset is an excellent example of a central principle of positive psychology. For every negative thought, the goal is to think of two to three positive ones. Psychologists believe this technique will help you banish the negativity that takes up unnecessary space in your mind and improve your mood.
Finding the positive is not always a straightforward process, but it can become more concise with practice. Start by recognizing your negative thinking patterns and then intercept them. Frequently, when one negative thought occurs, it usually multiplies. Turning to positive thinking does not mean ignoring the unpleasant things happening around you; it just means that you are approaching those situations more productively.
Positive thinking will help improve your mental health and improve your outlook on life and give great benefits to your physical and emotional wellbeing. According to research conducted at the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking can help manage stress, which helps provide health benefits that include: a strengthened immune system, an increased lifespan, lower rates of depression, and decreased risk of death that occur from cardiovascular disease.
When negative thoughts begin to occur, try to reframe the situation and find two to three positive things to fight that downward spiral. Try focusing on something different such as the beauty of your surroundings or memories with a loved one. Permit yourself to laugh off the “small stuff,” surround yourself with positive people, and practice positive self-talk daily. Positive thoughts result in positive outcomes.
Negative thoughts fill our minds and prevent positive ones from occupying valuable real estate in our brains, which do not have the same importance. You would not keep garbage in your living spaces, so why would you hold negative thoughts in your mind? Eliminate negativity the same way you take out the trash! It only smells and takes up too much space.
Results often reveal a person’s mindset. If the individual has an “it-can’t-be-done” attitude, they are probably right; they thought it proper that kind of negative thinking. Have you ever seen someone valuable to an organization because of their ability to identify all the reasons why something could not be done? Of course not! Organizations need people who will take the most optimistic approach that leads them to success through positive thinking and finding successful solutions.
If you see poor results in your business or personal life, something needs to change. Our thoughts drive our actions. The solution is to examine your thinking and develop a healthier way to fix something that’s not working or simply find a new way to do it. Having a solution-oriented attitude brings grander results in a faster way. Think, what can be changed to do this better?
Most people will agree when I say that the power of positive thinking is remarkable. The thought that your mind can change your entire world almost seems too good to be true. However, I can assure you that I have experienced AND witnessed the good that focusing on the positive can bring to your life. However, before I continue, let me ask a simple question. Can you fathom what the most successful people think about all day long? Simply…Healthy, happy people think about what they want and how to get it! Developing a positive attitude will change your entire life. When you intentionally think and talk about what you want and how to get it, this creates happiness and greater control of your life. When you think about what makes you happy, your brain releases endorphins, which give you a generalized feeling of wellbeing. As a result, you develop a newfound positive attitude.
How to Think Positive
Research has shown that positive people seem to have a unique quality that enables them to live a better life. Can you guess what that is? It is their quality of optimism! The best news is that optimism is a learnable quality. You can learn how to think positively by adopting an optimistic mindset. By the simple rules in cause and effect, if you do and say the same as other healthy, happy people with positive attitudes, you will soon resemble the same feelings, gain the same results, and enjoy the same experiences.
Happy People Find Good in The World
Optimists seem to possess different ways of dealing with the world, which set them apart from the average person.
1. They keep their minds focused on what they want and keep finding ways to get it. Goals remain clear, and they remain confident that they will accomplish them, eventually.
2. Optimists look for the good in every challenge. When things go wrong, they say, “That’s good!” Then they find something positive about the situation.
We know that if you are looking for something beneficial in a situation, you will always find it. This will always produce a more positive and cheerful person.
The Power of Positive Thinking
Optimists seek valuable lessons after every setback or reversal. So, rather than getting upset and blaming someone else, they control their emotions by saying, “What can I learn from this experience?” Learn how to develop positive thinking and develop a positive attitude toward yourself, people around you, and your life.
How to Train Your Brain to Think Positive?
Training your mind to think positively is achieved by leveraging a simple concept. The mind only can focus on one thought at a time due to limited bandwidth. Just keep your mind focused on uplifting thoughts until you form the same neural pathways created when you establish new habits. When an adverse event occurs, remember that how you respond will genuinely determine the outcome. Always look for a positive response or an optimistic lesson when adverse events take place. Positive phrases can be repeated to teach you how to eliminate negative thoughts and encourage a positive attitude. Motivation can be found in inspirational quotes and messages. They are instrumental when trying to induce positive thoughts.
Decide to Be Happy
Happy people give thanks to any blessings in their lives rather than worrying or complaining. Assume the best of intentions in everyone around you. Most people are pretty decent, honest, and trying to do their very best. When you look the good in their words and actions, something will always appear. Finally, resolve to be joyful, no matter what happens. Looking on the bright side of things is the most important mindset to have when things go wrong.
Your Positive Attitude in Action
It is a lot easy to be happy when everything is going as planned. But when you encounter unexpected setbacks, this is when you demonstrate to yourself and the world what kind of an attitude you have. Ensure that you possess a positive one!
How Positive Thinking Can Help You
Developing a positive attitude can help in more ways than you might understand. When you think of positive thoughts, you do not allow your mind (conscious or subconscious) to entertain any negative thoughts or doubts. After you begin to think positively, you will notice remarkable changes all around you. Your brain will start to operate in a state of free-flowing feel-good hormones called endorphins, which will make you feel lighter and happier. You will also observe a significant boost in your confidence and will feel more capable of taking on new challenges that might have been previously outside your comfort zone. By reducing your self-limiting beliefs, you will effectively release your brakes and experience growth like you never imagined. Essentially, you can change your entire life only by harnessing the power of positive thinking.
Here is another way to look at Positive Thinking:
There are still diehard people out there who insist that positivity is just a code word for fooling around and not getting things done. They could not be more wrong. The positive state of mind has been shown to fuel incredible results in our lives and work in many ways.
A quick primer on emotions. There are countless emotions we can feel. One set of emotions allow us to be aware of danger and threats with intense focus. The emotions that fall onto the negative side also give us the ability to be accurate with complicated or problematic issues. They also help us signal to others if we are displeased with them, warning that things need to be addressed in the relationship. When we feel any number of nuances of anger, fear, and sorrow, we are negatively affected, which is a fancy word for messing with our emotions and traits.
It’s important to understand that a biological reason accounts for negative emotions, which are essential to our survival. It would be crazy to propose that anyone ever try to wipe out negative emotions. We need them. But here is why it’s essential to be more deliberate about positive affect. We have a lot more brain architecture devoted to danger and threat detection than we do to rewards. So, positive emotions are necessary to give a critical boost to our productivity, effectiveness, and overall wellbeing. We need to deliberately lookout for things that give us positive affect.
We know that negative emotions tend to narrow our focus and prepare us for a fight, flight, or freeze response. When threatening situations occur, our brains look for old information to protect ourselves from the perceived threat. That works well when bad things are happening quickly. This allows us to access relied upon neural pathways to answer problems. That is why we practice something over and over again. Practice helps us create muscle memory to access needed skills in the heat of a situation without thinking. Overall, negative emotions can feel threatening.
On the opposing spectrum, positive thinking and positive emotions feel positive and open our brains for compelling results. This also gives us a sense of reward and safety. We are in our most creative, innovative, and productive space when we feel optimistic about what we are doing. Think about all of the ideas you can develop when there is no threat or risk. Additionally, think about how much longer you stay with something when you like how it makes you feel. Positive emotions also act as an erasure to the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol at the higher levels of a chronic state can lead to numerous debilitating health issues affecting memory and cognitive ability. So, we need to give our brains some relief each day by positively erasing its stressful effects. Our brain’s negative bias is vast, so rebalancing 20-30 seconds a few times a day is all it needs. It is very little to ask when considering the benefits of positivity.
Work and life are filled with situations that require us to do and say things that feel bad. It also makes sense to be more negatively affected when we’re making a spreadsheet or elaborate proposal. That helps with accuracy. However, highly successful people actively seek out thoughts and circumstances that place them in a positive state of mind.
Know where you stand. We are born with a naturally “set range” of positive and negative affects. The more positive affect you possess, the more resilient you are in the face of setbacks and feel more positive feelings. The opposite is true if you have a higher set range in the negative affect.
The way to you can get an idea of your set content by going to www.authentichappiness.com. It is a site by Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania, where he offers several tools. You must sign up to participate. Take the Positive Affect Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). If you answer honestly, you will get two scores: one for positive affect and one for negative. These scores range from 0-50. The higher the score, the higher the effect. If your positive score is higher than your negative score, you are more prone to positive impact. The opposite is true if you have a more negative effect.
If you want to increase the amount of positive thinking in your life, researchers have found that you can do a few fundamental things each day to permanently change the effect in your life.
Here are six tips for achieving more positive affect.
1. Take a picture every day of something that brings a sense of happiness or just makes you laugh. Review your photographs often throughout your week. The bump of positivity you will get is impressive while forcing you to lift your head out of that work project and notice things that give your brain positive neurochemistry.
2. Keep a gratitude journal. Plenty of research has shown that people who write down a simple statement of gratitude for something that happened to them that day are more prone to a sense of wellbeing.
3. Do at least one thing each day that positively surprises somebody else. Call up a dear old friend just to say hello to them. Leave post-it notes on a colleague’s computer screen thanking them for the job they did on a project with you. Compliment someone on their intelligence, talent, and how healthy they look.
4. Do mindfulness exercises or meditate. The primary point is to calm and focus the mind on resetting the stressor chemical cortisol every day.
5. Create a laughter file. Take all the humorous jokes and videos that friends and family send you and store them in a file. Each day, you need to read or watch a few.
6. Keep a file of the articles or YouTube videos that warm your heart. Visit those fond memories each day for a few minutes.
Many of the things here will seem ridiculous to people deeply invested in being negative or adverse. That determination is acceptable, so long as it does not follow with depression or an inability to bounce back from setbacks. Nonetheless, research has shown that positivity only takes one small bump each day to begin to benefit from the power of positive emotions. Eventually, new perspectives develop when bad things happen, and we become more resilient in the face of the danger that the world offers us each day. Hopefully, this has been some insightful and helpful information. Give it a try! You will be surprisingly pleased with the outcome and results. Until next time, have a great month, be safe, stay healthy, and enjoy!
Image provided by Midjourney (April 2023). Retrieved from https://www.midjourney.com/home/?callbackUrl=%2Fapp%2F