Positive thinking doesn’t mean you view the world through rose-colored lenses; it’s about having an optimistic mental attitude, focusing on what you can control, rather than what you can’t, and seeking out the best possible outcome.
It not only helps you cope well in stressful situations, but offers a host of health benefits, too. These include longevity, better overall mental and physical health, reduced risk of depression, cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke, and more resistance to illness and infection.
Glass half empty or half full?
Do you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist? This has a lot to do with self-talk, and whether the automatic thoughts that run through your head are positive or negative. Positive self-talk suggests that you’re an optimist, meaning you tackle life’s problems in a more productive way. Doesn’t sound like you? Fear not – you can start to consciously practice positive thinking and change your outlook.
The power of positive thinking
Studies have shown that positive thinking boosts your immune system, reduces anxiety, and increases feel-good emotions such as happiness. It’s proven to be especially powerful when you’re going through a tough time and your life feels out of control. By being able to trigger positive emotions through positive thoughts, you can take action in the face of a challenge and build resources, resilience and coping mechanisms.
Turn that frown upside down
5 steps to practicing positive thinking:
01 Identify negative thoughts
What areas of your life cause negativity? Catch these thoughts and try to think of positive ones, instead.
02 Focus on holistic health
Improving your diet, getting enough sleep, and moving more will foster good moods and reduce stress.
03 Avoid negative people
Try to spend your time with positive, supportive people rather than those who drain you of energy.
04 Smile and laugh more
Seeing the funny side of life, especially in difficult situations, can leave you feeling lighter and happier.
05 Be kind to yourself
Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to another person. Respond to self-doubts with affirmations about yourself.
To kick negative self-talk for good, listen to Kate Robinson’s class.
Health Made Simple
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