What is positive thinking?
Positive thinking which could also be referred to as an optimistic attitude is mental and emotional attitudes that focus on the bright side/good side of life and life’s circumstances and expect positive results. A Positive person is more confident about life and believes he or she can overcome any difficulty and obstacle.
A lot of people believe in positive thinking and the good effect it can have on them while others do not accept this thinking method. They describe it as ignoring reality or taking problems lightly. But this isn’t true. Positive thinking implies that you approach life with the expectation that things will work together for your good no matter how terrible the situation may seem to appear.
UNDERSTANDING POSITIVE THINKING
Like I said earlier, some people see positive thinking as ignoring reality and life’s less pleasant situation. Positive thinking means you approach life’s unpleasantness with positivity, always expecting something positive and good.
Positive thinking always originates from your thought. The bible says in proverbs 23:7 that – As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. The unspoken thought that runs through your mind could be positive or negative. If they are mostly negative thoughts, you are likely to always have a pessimistic approach to life.
BENEFITS OF POSITIVE THINKING
Research has been able to reveal that positive thinking is much more than just being happy or portraying an optimistic attitude. Positive thinking can create real-life value and help people discover so many potentials they never knew they had.
Positive thinking has been proven to provide health, physical and mental benefits.
Physical/Health benefits of positive thinking
- Increases life span
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers the level of distress
- Boosts resistance to cold
- Improves physical and mental well being
- Boost coping skills during hardship and times of stress
- Boost Self-confidence
Mental benefits of positive thinking
- Better mood
- Increases Creativity
- Clearer thinking
- Greater problem solving skills
Positive thinking requires you to look out for any form of negative thought and suppress it. Some of these negative thought forms include:
- Personalizing: The thought always sounds like this “My team failed because of me, my performance was the least or they couldn’t make it to my birthday because they find me boring”. Stop blaming yourself for bad things that occur around you. Don’t always think luck is never on your side.
- Filtering: Don’t always magnify the negative aspects of a situation. For example; you passed a test with 72 points which is a distinction, but the person with the highest performance on the same test scored 80. You begin to grumble and get mad at yourself for not being the person with the highest score. You don’t even take some time to appreciate yourself first for a job well done. Motivating yourself to do better without appreciating yourself for how great you did doesn’t sit right.
- Catastrophizing: In this case, you face one set back and automatically begin to expect the worse from that situation. For example; Your alarm clock for some technical reasons didn’t ring and you woke up late, on getting to the bus stop, you re being told your bus just left like a minute ago. You then conclude that the day is a bad day for you, meaning your labeling the rest of your day as being ruined.
- Perfection: Things are either black or white, good or bad, 100% or 0%, no inn between. If things are not perfect, they are automatically bad. If you don’t come out the best, you are a total failure.
These thoughts sometimes pop us in our heads. Learn to suppress them and move your focus to positive thoughts. They won’t go away at once. It Will take some time and a lot of practice but as you keep moving, you will begin to experience some of the benefits.
HOW TO PRACTICE POSITIVE THINKING
- Evaluate yourself: It is important you evaluate your thinking to find out what thoughts often come to your mind. If they are negative thoughts, change them to positive thoughts.
- Smile and laugh more often: Research has shown that people who smile and laugh often are more attractive and beautiful. Seek humor in life’s circumstances. Laugh and smile when often no matter the situation of things. It makes you feel more light and less stressed.
- Surround yourself with optimistic people: Positivity has been proven to stay away from people who are always pessimistic. Surround yourself with people who have a positive approach towards life and can always provide helpful advice and encourage you. Negative people will always discourage you and make you doubt your abilities.
- Always affirm positive words to yourself: The words you say to yourself should always be soft and encouraging. Always acknowledge your effort and performance. Be gentle and patient with yourself. If a negative thought comes into your mind about yourself, evaluate it, and respond with the affirmation of what is good about you.
For example; instead of saying
- I am terrible at this, I would never be able to do this, say I can do this, I will focus more and give it another shot.
When you begin to practice positive thinking, it becomes a part of you and you begin to experience all the benefits that come with it.