What Is The Power Of Positive Thinking?

Does thinking positively really have any benefits? Can the power of the human mind have control over your health, attitude, or emotions. Psychologists have begun studying the affect that positive thinking can have on an individual ever since the advent of positive psychology in the late 90’s. Whereas the concept of positive thinking was largely left to self-help gurus in the past, rigorous psychological and psychiatric studies are being conducted on positive thinking.

Positive thinking is an attitude cultivated within the mind that only allows thoughts, words, and images that are conducive to growth, expansion and success. Positive thinking tries to eliminate the negative self-talk that most people experience on a daily basis. Instead, a positive mind anticipates health, success, joy, and happiness in every situation. What we are beginning to see is that what the mind expects, it finds. Why not expect happiness?

Some people scoff at the idea of positive thinking. At first glance, you can understand their position. Blind belief in positive thinking without any positive action to back it up sounds suspiciously like a “miracle pill” for happiness. If that’s only what positive thinking entailed, I’d have to agree. However, positive thinking allows for a whole range of positive outcomes that are directly related to taking a positive outlook on life.

For example, lets imagine that you are being interviewed for a new job. You are sure you’re not going to be hired and on the day of the interview you got up late. As you were rushing around to get ready for the interview, you didn’t have time to eat breakfast and you realised the shirt you were going to wear was dirty. Your only other shirt option was very wrinkled, but what else could you do? You leave your house harried and dishevelled.

Upon arriving at the interview you are tense and display a negative attitude. You’re sure you’re not going to get the job, so why does it matter, right? You’re hungry because you didn’t have time to eat in the morning which results in you being distracted and giving an overall poor impression at the interview. Sure enough, you end up not getting the job, thus fulfilling your negative prophecy.

What would this scenario have looked like if you were thinking positively? Lets say you spent the week visualising doing well in the interview. On the day of the interview you wake up early and make sure you take care of everything you need to do to feel good before you arrive at the office. You are confident that you will get the job and that confidence carries over into how you conduct yourself at the interview. You give an overall good first impression and you end up getting the job.

There is no magic or huge difference, other than mental state, between these two examples. Thinking positively will indirectly affect a whole slew of characteristics and actions that will engender greater success in your life.

If you are interested in tapping into this source of power, there are some things you can do to improve your capability. Like nearly everything else, taking the time to practice this skill is key. Unfortunately, positive thinking cannot be turned on like a light switch. It requires you to slowly replace negative attitudes and thoughts with more positive alternatives.

At first, try focusing on just very minor negative thoughts and attitudes. If you find yourself being annoyed by something, try to become aware of that and replace the negative thoughts with something more positive. The more you do this the more you will become conscious of how you’re thinking and when negative thoughts are entering your mind. Gradually, begin to work on larger negative thoughts and attitudes that pervade other areas of your life. With practice you will learn to replace the negativity with a more positive outlook.

 

Written by Karen Bell

What Are The Benefits of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that focuses on positive thoughts, actions, and beliefs. It anticipates only happiness, joy, health, and successful outcomes for every situation and action. An individual that masters positive thinking will often find that more positive situations arise in their life. Psychologists have discovered that whatever a person tends to expect is what they can expect to find. Why not expect positivity and happiness?

Positive thinking may seem mystical or to good to be true, but there are some very real health benefits to be experienced by mastering positive thinking. Some people criticise positive thinking as nothing more than hoping for the best without actually trying to do anything to bring about those positive results. Actually, positive thinking allows for a whole series of positive outcomes because it puts people in a frame of mind to expect and be ready for positive outcomes. It is not a cure all or “miracle pill” for happiness but a helpful tool for living a good life.

One of the main benefits of positive thinking is reducing stress. Everybody experiences stress in their lives and it’s not always a negative experience. Stress can push us to improve our environments and situations. However, too much stress can have a very deleterious affect on our health. Handling events in a more positive manner, a hallmark of positive thinking, reduces the stress that you’ll feel on a daily basis. Instead of just seeing the problems in a given situation, positive thinkers see solutions. Working toward solvable solutions will lower your stress levels.

Secondly, positive thinking will result in you having more energy. What can be more sapping than feeling like no matter what you do you won’t be able to improve your situation? This is the mindset of a negative thinker. Thinking like that will only result in your energy levels being lowered. Positive thinking lets you look at the brighter side of life and instead of feeling like there is nothing you can do to improve your situation, you will feel exhilarated by the challenge in front of you. A simple re-framing of the stress in your life from an insurmountable annoyance to a surmountable barrier will do wonders for your energy levels.

Thirdly, your relationships will improve and deepen if you adopt principles of positive thinking. Attitudes are contagious and people much prefer to be around positive people. It’s easier to connect with someone who is naturally positive and optimistic. People like to be surrounded by people who encourage and support them, not somebody who is negative. Learning how to think more positively will improve the relationships that you’re already a part of and will introduce you to more positive relationships with others.

Fourthly, positive thinking often leads to a healthier lifestyle. As I’ve already mentioned, negative thinkers are generally wracked by stress. Too much stress can have a very negative affect on our bodies. It can weaken the immune system, make you more susceptible to fatigue, headaches, sleeping disorders, muscle tensions and other unpleasant feelings. Thinking positively lifts that blanket of stress and allows you to live a healthier lifestyle. Additionally, positive people believe they have control over their future and are therefore more likely to exercise and eat healthy foods.

At first glance, it may seem overly simple to attribute so much to something as simple as positive thinking. However, the benefits of positive thinking are very real and very simple to begin experiencing for yourself. Try to recognise negative thoughts when they enter your mind and replace them with positive ones. It will be difficult at first to realise when you’re being negative. However, over time you will begin to notice when that negativity begins to creep into your mind and you can begin replacing it with positivity.

 

Written by Karen Bell

Exercises For Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is a mental attitude that focuses only on positive outcomes and emotions. A person with a disciplined positive mind only allows thoughts of happiness, joy, and success into their mind. Developing positive thinking abilities will result in a large array of benefits. Some of the benefits include stress reduction, better sleep, less headaches and an overall happier and more positive existence.

Developing your positive thinking abilities is not particularly easy, but can be accomplished with practice. The following is a large list of exercises and activities you can do to practice your positive thinking.

1. Only use positive words when talking: If you are constantly telling yourself that you cannot do something, it will be difficult to do so. If you are constantly telling people around you that they cannot accomplish things, they are unlikely to do so (or keep you around).

2. Believe you will succeed: You are defeated in any endeavour before you have even begun if you don’t think you can succeed. You should spend time visualising and anticipating your success to actually make it a reality.

3. Push out feelings that aren’t positive: One of the very best things you can do as you begin to cultivate your positive thinking is merely recognising when negative thoughts enter your mind. Once you have become conscious of negative thoughts, you can begin pushing them from your mind. Pushing out negative thoughts makes room for positive ones.

4. Analyse what went wrong: Everybody fails. It is completely unreasonable to think that you can go through life without ever failing. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to learn from your mistakes. Positive thinking does not mean ignoring the negativity in your life. Instead, try to analyse what got you to the point you’re currently at so you can make changes. You want to constantly be learning and growing from your experiences.

5. Look for opportunities: One of the hallmarks of the positive person is the ability to see opportunity in what most people would view as a negative situation. In fact, negative situations are often the best events for practicing a large array of skills and abilities that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to practice. Do you have a difficult boss? It’s an opportunity to practice patience and getting along with difficult people! Are you having money problems? It’s an opportunity to learn how to live more frugally or start a side business! Look for opportunities where other people only see despair.

6: Decide if it could be worse: Things can almost always be worse. Regardless of how bad things currently are, you can always find something to be grateful for. Try writing down specific things that you are thankful for a couple times a week. Even when it seems like nothing is going right for you, you will probably be surprised by how much you have to be thankful for. Nothing is too small to recognise and write down. To get you started, you can be thankful you have the ability to use a computer to read this article, to have the ability to read, and for the fact that you are currently breathing!

7. Work toward your goals: Everybody feels happier after they have taken concrete steps toward achieving their goals. The first step is to set some goals that you are excited and motivated to accomplish. Once you’ve done that, break them into small and manageable chunks. Take some time everyday, or as often as you can, to work on your goals. Even if its something as small as making a phone call or taking some notes, constant work toward your goals will help develop your positive thinking.

Like any other skill, positive thinking needs to practice. Spend time everyday and practice thinking positive thoughts and you will see huge gains in your life satisfaction.

 

Written by Cheryl Stein

Most Effective Techniques For Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is cultivating a mental attitude that focuses on states like happiness, joy, and success. It may seem like some people are naturally born to be more positive than others, positive thinking can be cultivated and learned. Like anything else, deliberate practice will help you develop the skills needed to use positive thinking to its full potential. The following is a list of effective techniques to help you develop your positive thinking skills.

1. Get active: Exercising has been proven to release chemicals in the brain that make you feel good. The rush that most people get from exercising makes it much easier to allow positive thoughts into your mind. You don’t have to go for an hour long run or lift heavy weights. Something as simple as a short 10 minute walk has been proven to be enough to give people health, both physical and mental, benefits.

2. Stop watching the news: The news that you watch on TV is filled with negativity. War, conflict, poverty, and crime fill the airwaves. Constantly watching and listening to negativity will have a negative affect on your own mood and outlook. Try to eliminate these unnecessary sources of negativity from your life. The TV news is a great place to start. You might also want to consider the magazines and newspapers you read and what you listen to on the radio as well.

3. Explore: A great way to distract yourself from negative thoughts while cultivating positive ones, is exploring the world around you. Most people do not even come close to utilising the full extent of their five senses. Cook a new recipe. Go to a grocery store you don’t normally go to. Go to a new park. Investigate a part of town you’ve never been to. The opportunities are literally endless if you have a little imagination and sense of adventure.

4. Get inspired: If you have access to the Internet, and even if you don’t, there are tons of resources available that will help inspire you. Spend some time reading about people you admire online or in a book. Read about people who have accomplished the things that you want to do. Want to lose weight? There are thousands of blogs on the Internet with success stories. You can also check out websites like TED.com for inspirational speeches and talks. Utilise your resources, whether that’s the Internet, library, book stores, or the people around you to inspire you to new heights.

5. Fake it until you make it: Even if you don’t feel particularly positive, act like it anyway. Scientists have discovered that smiling, even when the person doesn’t feel happy, results in increased levels of happiness. Acting positive will eventually lead to feeling positive. You’ve just got to keep “faking it” until you make it.

6. Start immediately: Starting to live more positively is under your control. It requires life changes, some major and others much more minor. But many people feel like they need to start their experiment into more positive living at a specific time, like the beginning of a new month. You can’t afford to wait for a date of significance to begin taking control of your own life. Start right now! Not next week, next month, or after you finish that last negative thought.

Positive thinking is the culmination of your genetic disposition and the skills you’ve learned and practice. You have no control over your genes, so don’t even worry about that part. Instead, focus on what you can control. You can control how you react to situations and what you can do to become more positive.

 

Written by Cheryl Stein

Tips For Positive Thinking

Becoming a more positive person is entirely possible for anybody. While a certain aspect of our personalities are determined by our genes, a large part is determined by the attitudes we adopt.

We can learn and develop skills that will lead to more positive thinking. To fully adopt a positive mindset, we have to change our attitudes and beliefs. That is not something that can be done at the push of a button. It takes systematic and long-term commitment to change.

However, there are a few tips that can help you along your journey of improving your ability to think positively.

1. Concentrate on breathing: When you are feeling overwhelmed by negativity, focus on your breathing. Slow down and take deep, calming, breaths. Studies have shown that taking a few deep and slow breaths in times of stress results in measurable improvement in stress. You have control over your breathing and regardless of the situation you can use this technique.

2. Monitor your thoughts: Our minds are incredibly adept at having many thoughts. If you’ve ever meditated before you know how difficult it can be to quiet your mind. Have you ever noticed how many of those flitting and quick thoughts are negative in nature? Start becoming more aware of your thoughts, particularly the negative ones. When you find yourself thinking negatively, try to expel those thoughts and replace them with something positive.

3. Find a partner: Like with exercise, finding a partner that is willing to work with you can be very motivating. Try to find a partner who is also trying to practice positive thinking. You can keep each other in check and share experiences. It can be helpful to have someone to confide in who is likely going through the same emotions when times get tough or it seems like you’ll never be able to live more positively.

4. Count your blessings: One of the best ways to think more positively is to realise how many things you already have to be grateful for. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude has been shown again and again to improve happiness. Try sitting down a couple times a week and writing in a gratitude journal. Just write down the things that you are grateful for, no matter insignificant they may seem. Regardless of how bad things are going for you, there is always something to be grateful for (like being alive and healthy enough to read this article, at the very least!)

5. Relax: High levels of stress make negative thoughts easier to pervade your mind. If you’re finding yourself to be very stressed out or overly negative, try to relax. If you don’t currently meditate, starting a meditation practice is a very good idea. Meditation has been proven to help reduce stress levels and make it easier to think positively. It may be difficult at first, but the more you practice the greater benefit you will see from it.

6. Focus on your strengths: Everybody has certain strengths. Spend some time figuring out what you’re good at and focus on using those strengths as much as possible. It can be disheartening to constantly have to do things that don’t align with your natural strengths. If you are working in a group or company, try to do tasks that align with your strengths as much as possible.

7. Visualisation: Visualising yourself happy is actually a great way to get on the path to greater happiness. Athletes have known the power of visualisation for decades and only recently is it being adopted by psychologists. Visualise yourself being more positive and you’re likely to find yourself becoming more positive.

Like anything else worth doing, becoming more positive takes hard work. However, I think you will quickly find that it is definitely worth the effort as there is very little you can do that will have a bigger impact on your daily life.

 

Written by Cheryl Stein