The Importance of Positive Thinking

Life isn’t easy and sometimes we face multiple challenges and adversities that can alter the way we think and perceive the world. We think up negative thoughts and sometimes don’t go for goals or take risks because we talk ourselves down and out of doing what we really want or love. If you’re like this, you’re probably more of a pessimistic person; a “half glass empty” kind of outlook on life.

Thinking negatively can drain the potential and happiness out of your life. How do you identify when you’re thinking negatively? According to MAYO Clinic, here are a few examples of negative thinking:

  • Filtering – magnifying the negative instead of the good in any situation

  • Personalizing – when something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself even when in actuality you had no part in causation

  • Catastrophizing – anticipating the worst

  • Polarizing – seeing things are either good or bad; no grey areas

Some of you might be looking at this list and saying to yourself, “hmm I do think that way…” but putting in the effort to think more positively can alter your life inside and out. There are still many studies on all the benefits of positive thinking but based on the data that we have, thinking positively can increase your life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of distress, build up your resistance to illness and even benefit cardiovascular health. Sometimes it’s hard to make that change and start thinking positively, especially when it seems like bad things are happening one after the other but the key is starting small. Here are some helpful tips for thinking more positively:

  • Surround yourself with positive friends that like to have fun and that make you laugh

  • Be mindful of the things you think about throughout the day – take a moment to pause and analyze your thoughts

  • Exercise – it’s amazing what even a 30 minute workout can do for your mood. Try doing this a couple times a week and when you’re working out, don’t think about anything except the workout

  • Be open to humor – if you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. We all make mistake! Take a moment to laugh and smile even when times are tough

  • Practice positive self talk – Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Encourage yourself and practice positive affirmations

By implementing some of these skills in your everyday life, you’ll begin to notice the changes you feel and how good things and people will begin to flock to you.

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