Wendy Doves Blog

Well being for the body, mind and spirit.

The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

We all run an inner dialogue; it’s the voice within who guides us through everything we do. I feel that a great many of us have a tendency these days to be pessimistic, and this inner dialogue consists of No I can’t, I don’t think I could or should etc. etc.

 

Have you ever looked at others who seem to have it all, everything they touch seems to turn to gold? I feel the answer lays in the way you firstly treat you, and rate yourself as a human being. If you yourself feel you can’t, or feel you haven’t the power to get the results you would like in life, then you probably will indeed fade into the background and leave the doors open to all the ‘Go Getters’ out there.

 

Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health.

 

Positive thinking doesn't mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

 

These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your inner dialogue comes from logic and reason. Other inner dialogue may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.

 

If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.

 

Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:
  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
  • It's unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It's also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don't smoke or drink alcohol in excess.

Focusing on positive thinking.

 

You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you're creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:
  • Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it's work, your daily commute or a relationship, for example. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
  • Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you're thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
  • Be open to humour. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn to manage stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.
  • Here are some examples of negative self-talk and how you can apply a positive thinking twist to them.
  • Negative self-talk Positive thinking
  • I've never done it before. It's an opportunity to learn something new.
  • It's too complicated. I'll tackle it from a different angle.
  • I don't have the resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
  • I'm too lazy to get this done. I wasn't able to fit it into my schedule but can re-examine some priorities.
  • There's no way it will work. I can try to make it work.
  • It's too radical a change. Let's take a chance.
  • No one bothers to communicate with me. I'll see if I can open the channels of communication.
  • I'm not going to get any better at this. I'll give it another try.
  • Practising positive thinking every day.

If you tend to have a negative outlook, don't expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you. Plus, when you share your positive mood and positive experience, both you and those around you enjoy an emotional boost.

 

Practising positive self-talk will improve your outlook. When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you're able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.
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