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The power of positive thinking

by Freya 5 minutes read

Last updated: 03 Aug, 2022

Positive thinking has a lot of benefits, whether that is your physical health or your mental health, it will affect both.

Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the good in life to encourage happiness.

At times it is hard to control our thoughts and feelings, whether they are positive or negative. Our thoughts affect the way we act, it is usually the case that someone that thinks negatively will have a negative outlook and act this way and vice versa.

Tip: there are some circumstances where positive thinking won’t solve your issue so you need to think of a beneficial way to solve the issues instead, but be positive in your actions.

The benefits of positive thinking

There are a range of different benefits that come from positive thoughts, including:

  • Reduces depression

  • Reduces stress

  • Improves immune system and reduces the risk of illness

  • Increased life expectancy

  • Reduced risk of cancer

  • Reduced risk of respiratory conditions

  • Able to cope better

  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease/heart disease

According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no clear answer as to why positive thinking has these benefits but some theories suggest it allows you to cope with stressful situations easier, reducing the negative health effects of stress on your body. It could also be the case that positive people are likely to live healthier lifestyles, thus reducing the risk of harmfulness to your body.

It is difficult to change your mindset, especially if you’re unsure if you are a negative thinker, so the first step is to recognise your negative thinking and pinpoint the issue to change your mentality.

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How to spot negative thoughts

  • You see things as only good or bad

  • You will overplay a small problem

  • You do not act of the things you think you should be doing and blame yourself for not doing them

  • You keep impossible standards for yourself

  • When something bad happens you will always blame yourself

  • You filter out positive compliments

  • You often catastrophize things - you automatically think the worst

  • You blame other people for something that has happened to you

Some examples of negative self talk/thinking:

“I can’t do that”

“That won't work”

“No one cares about me”

“I can’t be bothered to do this”

“I will never get this done”

“It's too difficult”

“I don’t like change”

How to think more positively

It can be difficult to switch up your mindset when you suffer from negative emotions, but is still possible to have a positive outlook on life, by introducing the following tips to implement into your daily life:

  • Take time to notice if you thoughts are negative throughout the day, if they are negative try to put a positive spin on them

  • Allow yourself to smile and laugh, even when you are going through a difficult time

  • Keep an active and healthy lifestyle - aim to be active for at least 30 minutes a day, this can affect your mood greatly

  • Identify what areas of your life lead to negative thinking and do what you can to take a different approach on the matter or cut what is negative out of your life if possible, this will benefit you in the long term.

  • Practice positive affirmations and self-talk

  • Avoid negative people and surround yourself with positive people

  • Practice gratitude

Some examples of positive thinking:

“I will give that a go even though I have failed before”

“I will try reach out to those that haven’t reached out to me in a while to check if they are okay”

“I will try my best”

“I can try make it work”

“I will take a chance”

“Change can be a good thing”

“I will try again”

Some examples of positive self-talk/affirmations:

“I am powerful”

“I am a hard worked”

“I am confident”

“I am strong”

“I am loved”

“I matter”

“I deserve happiness”

“I am grateful”

“I can be whatever I want to be”

“I will achieve my goals”

“I am beautiful”

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If you are an avid negative thinker, you are not going to become a constant positive thinker overnight, it will take time. If you follow the tips suggested and do your best to keep a positive attitude, this will eventually lead to positive emotions furthering your positive psychology.

Dr Norman Vincent Peale has written a book named, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’, it is a great read and can be a helpful read if you are wanting to change your outlook on life.

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