I know it’s been a while since my last post–thanksgiving break got the best of me. But it was a great time filled with traveling, relaxing and family time so I can’t complain. During this time of year, many people get in the thankful mindset and I certainly was over this past week, which got me thinking about a great blog topic I wanted to write about. It goes right along with the thankful/cheerful/grateful/happy mood that seems to linger around the holiday season. It’s called positive thinking. Now, I know you may be thinking this is corny or cheesy; however, positive thinking really can a powerful tool in your life. Whatever comes your way, whether small or big, going at it with a positive mindset can be a great aspect of living a healthy, happy life that you love. There really is such thing as the power of positivity.
Positive thinking is a way of life, an attitude that we adopt. It can affect our whole being from bringing more happy feelings, cheer and energy to putting us in good health. Thinking positively can affect the way we behave, perform and tackle all of life’s situations. For example, when heading into an interview or other big event, feeling confident and thinking good thoughts can actually cause you to feel and be more prepared and ace the event better than if you had thought and believed negative ideas. Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher, has done studies on the affects on the brain of positive vs. negative thoughts. Negativity closes your brain off and focuses on the negative feeling while preventing your brain from seeing your other options and choices around you. Meanwhile positive thinking broadens your sense of possibilities and opens your mind, which allows you to build new skills and resources that can provide value in other areas of your life. It’s clear here that your thoughts can have a much bigger effect on your mind, brain, health, etc. than you may have thought.
So, now that you know just how important positive thinking can be, how do you make it happen? This can certainly look different in individual lives. I believe the one key area where people see negativity is towards themselves, their body, their ability, their own lives, etc. It’s really easy for us to be negative towards ourselves…thinking we cannot accomplish anything, we have no skills, we hate they way we look…the list can go on and on. However, if you asked someone to go and say these things to their friend or a stranger, most people who would be horrified to do so. So why is it that we would never be down on or negative towards another, but we can so easily do so to ourselves? It’s probably due to the fact that we set goals and expectations for ourselves and since we are not perfect, we will inevitably fail and make mistakes. In this area, the biggest thing is to try and think more positively about yourself and your life and to love yourself. Body positivity can be especially difficult in today’s time and it shouldn’t be! We should all love ourselves for who and what we are and yet that is such a difficult task for many (guilty!). I think the first main step towards being positive is to be mindful of your thoughts. Some people may be more negative than they realized or perhaps more positive than they thought. By paying attention to and trying to catch any negative thoughts, you can start implementing a more positive outlook.
The next thing that can really help is affirmations. Write down 3-4 affirmations and stick them somewhere that you’ll see every single day (hopefully even multiple times per day). This could be your fridge, your car dashboard, your mirror, your door, etc. Every morning start your day off by repeating these affirmations to yourself and then every time you pass by them, repeat them in your head. Example of this could include: I am smart, I can handle any task thrown my way, I am strong, I am capable, I am bigger than my thoughts, etc. One big thing to combat the area of negativity towards loving yourself and your body is to find things you like about yourself. Yes, much easier said than done I know. However, next time you look in the mirror really try to find 3-4 things you like about yourself and says those out loud–even write them down if that would help! Negative thoughts may creep in, but by repeating and thinking those positive thoughts, they soon will become a habit and part of your everyday life.
Lastly, I want to finish by saying that I know first-hand that being and staying positive is no easy task. There are those times when nothing seems to be going your way or it seems like you cannot do a single thing right–the future seems bleak and bare. I used to be really bad at viewing the world in that way and I was what some might call a “pessimist”. But, nowadays I am a lot more positive when thinking about my future and my life in general. Don’t get me wrong, I, nor anyone else I believe, can be fully 100% positive. Yes…not even those people who seem to have their whole life together on social media and in real life and whose smile never falters from their face. At some point or some time, perhaps in private, they too struggle with positivity. It’s human nature because we aren’t perfect and we do make mistakes. But, if you go about life with a positive mindset and think positive thoughts, then even when bad things do come your way you can help yourself be better off in those situations. There is a quote by Charles Swindoll that I really like: “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” This isn’t to say you can never be negative or unhappy or upset; it’s simply saying that being mindful of your thoughts and mindset throughout the day and aiming them towards good ones can lead you to experiencing the power of positivity in your life. And that helps you love yourself–living a life that you enjoy and staying Beyoutifully Healthy!
Here are other links to great articles about positive thinking:
What are your thoughts on being positive? What are some ways you stay positive?