"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be" -Abraham Lincoln
September 13th every year is Positive Thinking Day. Looking at the current situation, our lives right now, there might be questions about keeping thoughts, actions positive. Keeping our frame of mind positive, hopeful is a constant effort. It may not come that easily.
Positive thinking is about seeing, understanding ,accepting any given situation, any bumps on the road, for what it is BUT seeing the good in it, that the situation is happening FOR you and not TO you. You try to work out a solution out of it and instead of being stuck in the sadness and frustration of “why me”. That is also part of having emotional intelligence.
Positive thinking leads to many benefits. Some physical benefits may include:
- longer life span
- lowers the risk of heart attacks
- better all around physical health
- higher body immunity, builds resistance to illness such as the common cold
- lowers blood pressure
- lead better stress management because you are in a much better mindset
- better pain tolerance
The mental benefits of positive thinking may include:
- better mood
- clearer thinking
- greater problem-solving skills and productivity
- more creativity
- less depression
What positive thinking is not, is Toxic Positivity where you have to be “positive” all the time, negative feelings or thoughts, pushed so far down and not acknowledged at all in the name of “being positive. When you start telling yourself it is not OK to feel bad, sad, frustrated, angry, whatever it may be. When you disregard your very own , physical, emotional and mental experiences, that is toxic.
Feel all of those feelings and thoughts, acknowledge they exist, just do not be stuck in them for a long period of time. That is when it becomes an issue.
How can you practice positive thinking?
First and foremost, start every day on a good note.
Create a ritual in which you start off each day with something uplifting and positive. Here are a few ideas:
- A little prayer or meditation. Taking several deep breaths before anything else and saying thank you for another day, might be something to consider.
- Instead of rushing out of bed, consider just an extra minute or two to sit on your bed, close your eyes and take several deep breaths, follow the rhythm of your breath and end with THANK YOU . You woke up to a brand new day. You have another opportunity to make things better.
- Do tell yourself that it’s going to be a great day or any other positive affirmation.
- Remember that you are responsible for your own joy and happiness, not others.
- Listen to a happy and positive song or playlist.
- Share some positivity by giving a compliment or doing something nice for someone.
Practicing gratitude has been shown to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and foster resilience even in very difficult times. Focusing on people, moments, or things that bring you some kind of comfort or happiness. Try to express your gratitude at least once a day. This can be thanking a coworker for helping with a project, a loved one for washing the dishes, or your dog for the unconditional love they give you. Focus on what that is going right rather than what that went wrong. This does help reprogram your brain into thinking positively.
Keep a gratitude journal
Studies have found that writing down the things you’re grateful for can improve your optimism and sense of well-being. You can do this by writing in a gratitude journal at the end of every day, or jotting down a list of things you’re grateful for those days you’re having a hard time. It might be one. might be five things that you are grateful for that day. Be specific about it when you write. It really forces your thoughts to change perspective.
Spend time with positive people.
Be aware of your surroundings and the energy that you project and that you encourage to surround you. Surround yourself with people who acknowledge and lifts you up and helps you see the bright side.
Practice positive self-talk
We tend to be our own worst critic. Over time, this can cause you to form a negative opinion of yourself that can be hard to shake. To stop this, you’ll need to be mindful of the voice in your head and respond with positive messages, also known as positive self-talk.
Research shows that even a small shift in the way you talk to yourself can influence your ability to regulate your feelings, thoughts, and behavior under stress.
An example of positive self-talk is this: Instead of thinking “I really screwed that up” say “Let me try another way”
Positive thinking really is not being a Pollyanna and denying things are upsetting you. It takes strength and courage, being vulnerable but in the middle of the chaos, you are putting the pieces together, building, figuring someway out in a positive manner. It takes a lot and helps further build higher emotional intelligence. That is also as the saying goes " What that does not break you, makes you stronger". You just have to choose and believe in it.
We at CreaTee, would love to hear your thoughts are on positive thinking and being positive. Please do write and comment in the section down below.