Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude of expecting good in everything and not getting discouraged when plans do not progress as expected. It is an attitude of focusing on the good and positive in a situation.
Positive thinking is the process of creating thoughts that transform energy into reality. It also means trying again and again without accepting defeat. It involves a conscious focus on the benefits of a situation rather than its drawbacks. It includes a conscious attempt to back away from focusing on the negatives in life.
Positive thinking is a conscious choice that we have to make. Some people find it easy to be positive about life while others struggle because it involves optimism. It encompasses cognitive re-framing to combat common cognitive distortions to attain a more emotionally positive frame of mind with the understanding that when we think more positively, we feel better and operate more effectively and efficiently.
Experts continue to find evidence that our thoughts — positive and negative — don’t just have psychological effects, they have physical effects on our body too.
Benefits of positive thinking –
The benefits of positive thinking include:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to various infections
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
No matter what you're going through, there's a light at the end of the tunnel and it may seem hard to get to it but you can do it and just keep working towards it and you'll find the positive side of things.
— Demi Lovato
Tips for developing positive thinking –
- Replace negativity with positivity -
Don’t struggle against the feeling of mental discomfort but instead just acknowledge and embrace it. The sooner you accept it the quicker you’ll get over this initial hurdle. Now you begin replacing the negative thoughts with positive thoughts about the situation instead. Always remember that your beliefs have the power to create or destroy you. It is up to you to create something meaningful and positive out of your life experiences.
- Exercise regularly –
Exercising regularly takes your mind off your worries. Research has proved beyond doubt that regular physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed, and less anxious; it will help you recharge and think of ways to deal with your worries.
- Do regular meditation -
The practice of regular meditation readies you to deal with your thoughts. It trains your mind on how to stay calm when your initial thoughts and reactions are intense and potentially negative; it can help you face your thoughts by teaching you to observe before responding.
- Be thankful –
Having the attitude of gratitude is using the power of positive thinking to its highest degree. Every night before you go to sleep, list everything you were grateful for throughout the day. Over time, you will see your lists become much longer! This will train your mind to stay positive most of the time.
- Use affirmations –
Affirmations are positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often and believe in them, you can start to make positive changes. The power of affirmations lies in repeating them to yourself regularly. It's useful to recite the affirmations several times a day. You also need to repeat your affirmations as soon as you engage in the negative thought or behavior that you want to overcome.
- Be kind -
Kindness also makes us positive. It makes us more inclined to be grateful. So if you are truly struggling with positive thinking, find something to be thankful for. Do a good deed for someone; you will notice immediately how great it makes you feel.
- Be in the company of positive people -
Like any other human emotion, positivity can be contagious. Make sure to surround yourself with people who think and act positively. Even if you are more inclined to negativity at first, you will find your spirits lifted by their energy.
- Keep at it -
Have a strong conviction that you won’t be put off by early challenges or failures. Accept the fact that you may get knocked down along the way. Your mindset will make you stay positive even in the hard times. Thinking positively means understanding that you will face obstacles, and will have to develop the confidence and energy to overcome them.
- Transform negative self-talk into a positive one –
Negative self-talk can creep up easily and is often hard to notice. These thoughts turn into internalized feelings and might weaken your conceptions of yourself. When you catch yourself doing this, stop and replace those negative messages with positive ones. Once you get more practice, you will be way better at this.
- Read inspirational material –
Reading inspirational material regularly is a requirement to sustain a feeling of positivity. So expose yourself to such heartening material content that promotes positive thinking.
- Practice positive self-talk –
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. Think about things you're thankful for in your life.
The bottom line –
Psychologically speaking, something very positive will generally have less of an impact on a person's behavior and cognition than something equally negative. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to change your thinking and fight the tendency toward negative thinking.