What Is Positive Thinking? Understand the Power of Positivity
Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results—which can lead to putting forth an effort to accomplish goals. While some may argue that positive thinking is simply adopting an affirmative attitude, there’s actually more to it than that. It’s an active lifestyle choice that can make profound changes to every aspect of your life.
The Science Behind Positive Thinking
Positive thinking isn’t simply copping an attitude and hoping for the best. It’s a mental and emotional attitude that influences how we perceive obstacles, challenges, and ultimately, success.
Positive thinking has been linked to improved physical health, better psychological well-being, lower stress levels, and is linked to increased telomerase activity, or the “protective cap” on the end of our DNA strands. One study even showed that positive thinking had some positive effect on academic performance.
Scientists believe that positive thinking can even act as a buffer to help protect us against mental health issues like depression and anxiety. This is because positive thoughts can lead to reduced stress, improved immune system functioning, increased dopamine and norepinephrine levels, and improved cognition.
How To Incorporate Positive Thinking Into Your Life
Now that we understand the science behind positive thinking, it’s time to take it up a notch and incorporate it into our lives. Here are a few steps you can take to start thinking more positively:
Start Your Day with Positive Affirmations:
The way you start your day can heavily influence your state of mind for the rest of the day. One way to get things off on the right foot is to start your day with positive affirmations. Spend a few moments saying positive, uplifting words to yourself in the morning – out loud and with conviction. This helps to shift your thinking from negative to positive.
Celebrate Every Small Accomplishment:
We often focus so much on the ultimate goal that we forget to celebrate our accomplishments along the way. Even small successes should be acknowledged, because they help us to build our confidence and decide us to take on bigger challenges. Every time you reach a milestone – no matter how small – take the time to give yourself a pat on the back or toast your success.
Surround Yourself with Positivity:
Negativity is contagious and can easily snowball if we’re not careful. Steer clear of those who drain you and get rid of the things that bring you down. Instead, make an effort to cultivate relationships with people who bring out the best in you, and devote your energy to activities that make you feel good and purposeful.
Sometimes, negative thoughts might still creep in, despite your best efforts. Instead of letting them take hold, pause and reframe your situation. Step back, take a few breaths, and challenge yourself to take an alternative perspective. Often, when placed in a new context, the same circumstance that seemed so catastrophic before no longer seems so daunting.
Take Care of Your Health:
Physical wellbeing is linked to mental wellbeing. So do yourself a favor and take care of your health. Eat healthy, nutritious meals, make time for physical activity, and prioritize sleep. When your body feels good, it will be easier to think good.
Benefits of Positive Thinking
If you learn to think more positively, you can expect to see the following benefits:
• Improved Problem Solving Skills: Use positive thinking to become more creative and resourceful.
• Stress Relief: By expecting the best instead of the worst, you’ll be better able to reduce your stress levels.
• More Energy: With hyperfocus on possibilities instead of problems, you’ll see an increase in physical energy and mental alertness.
• Better Relationships: Interacting with people in a positive way will help to create long-lasting and meaningful relationships.
• Improved Health: Positive thinking can boost your immune system, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, improve your sleep, and even make you a happier person overall.
Positive thinking is a powerful mental habit that can have profound effects on your life. From improving your mental wellbeing and enhancing your physical health, to reducing stress and helping you reach your goals, the power of positive thinking is real. Start incorporating it into your life today, and you’ll soon start to reap the rewards.