Positive thinking is defined as an emotional and mental attitude that focuses on the good and expects good and favorable results. A popular misconception about positive thinking is that people who practice it keep their heads in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. That’s not the case.
Positive thinking means that you respond to uncomfortable or unpleasant situations in a more positive and optimistic way. It is a shift of focus; replacing the negative thoughts and negative self-talk with positivity. But pretending there aren't weeds in the garden won't get rid of the weeds. Positive thinking doesn't mean pretending that everything is great when it isn't. However, it is about stopping yourself from catastrophizing.
It is more than just being happy or having an upbeat attitude. Positive thinking helps you build skills that last way longer than a smile.
Studies have found that positive thinking has both psychological and physical health benefits, as it reduces stress and the effects of stress on the body. Less likelihoods of heart disease, the common cold etc.
But the most life-changing effect of positive thinking has to do with the law of attraction. This is the idea that what you focus on, you attract. This means that the more positive you are, the more you pull positive people, opportunities and choices into your orbit. Positive thinking will book you more success professionally and privately; people will gravitate towards you.
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.” - Hellen Keller
Now how do you practice positive thinking, you might ask.
Positive thinking starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Important in the journey to a positive mindset is recognizing when you’re engaging in negative self-talk, and then taking the effort to reform those thoughts into positive self-talk.
Here are some more quick integratable tips to get underway with positive thinking:
1. Start your day with a positive affirmation.
Positive affirmations are like exercise for a positive brain. It’s a proven method of self-improvement, studies have found that they raise the level of feel-good hormones. So starting your day with a positive affirmation like “I am going book success today” is a promising step towards a more positive mindset.
2. Turn failures into lessons.
We all make mistakes in life, experience rejection or failure in one form or another; but we don’t have to let it encourage us. You can’t change what happens to you but you can choose how you react to it. When you don’t get a job you really wanted, instead of seeing it as a failure, think of ways you can improve your CV
and try again while you learn from the experience. Don’t give up: a better fitting opportunity will come along if you believe in it.
3. Spend time with positive people.
Positivity/Negativity is contagious. Spending time around positivity and positive people increases the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.
4. Focus on the good things, however small.
There are always things to enjoy around you, even when facing massive obstacles on a day. For example, when you get stuck in traffic, think about how it gives you time to listen to a nice podcast or some good music. There are always positives to find around you even during a bad day, you just have to look for them.
Want to learn more about positive thinking and be guided in integrating it into your life? Getting Ahead offers a positive thinking course which you can sign up for here.