Positive Thinking - 3 Ways to Improve Your Outlook
Do you take positive thinking for granted? It’s a given from all quarters in our society that it’s the way to go. But do you ever seriously think about positive thinking? What is it exactly? How is it done? How is it actually good for me? Wait...what if it’s not good for me? What if I’m keeping my head in the clouds while the pessimists in life get ahead!?
Okay, first the good news: keep staying on the sunny side of life beautiful people! Studies have shown that optimistic people live longer and healthier lives, and positive thinking has been linked to numerous psychological benefits. So there’s the good news. However, we have to qualify it all. Psychologists have discovered that there are techniques and modes of positive thinking that work better than others let’s look at three of these specific ways shown to have the best impact.
1. Choose the Right Affirmations
Positive thinking can backfire and has been shown to have negative effects when we don’t live up to our expectations. For example, if you spend every day with an affirmation like “I’m not going to lose my temper today,” or “This is the year I get that promotion,” if those things don’t come to pass it can lay a lot of stress on you. You feel like you’ve failed.
Choose gentle affirmations that emphasize that you’re giving it your all. “Today I’m going to try to accept all that comes, and if I lose my temper that’s part of the process,” or “This is the year I work to push my career forward.”
I’m not big for the gym, but I drag myself there because I know the result of a daily workout is a healthier body. That is, I’m not the kind of person who inherently enjoys their workout. I’m there for the byproduct. This is how we should approach happiness, it’s the byproduct of our healthy life habits, both physical and mental—it’s not something we can think ourselves into.
Direct your positive thinking into identifying how you can build up these healthy habits (even the ones that aren't fun at the time), and don’t be harsh with yourself if you’re not the positive person you want to be right away.
3. Accept Negative Thoughts and Emotions
Some people believe that positive thinking is doing everything in your power not to have any negative thoughts and emotions. That it’s best to ignore any troubling thoughts that pop into the mind or drown them out with a positive slogan. But allowing yourself to feel a wide range of both positive and negative emotions helps you to find meaning in life and grow as a human being amid adversities. It makes your mind more flexible, and most importantly, more resilient for when bad things happen.
So the best way to deal with negative thoughts and emotions is to let them arise. Take a moment to sit with them. And if they’re overwhelming or too frequent counter them with optimistic and gentle self-talk. Don’t drown out the negatives in your mind with your positive thinking, answer them with your positive thoughts.
Hopefully, these brief tips on how to get the positivity flowing in your life will be of some help. And please tell us in the comments below the techniques you’ve found helpful to build up optimism and happiness in your life.
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