Positive Thinking is the act of thinking good or affirmative thoughts. Many people engage in positive thinking to rid themselves of depressing, unhealthy, negative thoughts. Positive thinking is a way to use your mind to reverse the damaging effects of negative thinking.
Positive thinking is a discipline that trains the human mind to change a perceived reality by repeatedly making positive mental statements. A person practices positive thinking when they derive a positive sense of well being, optimism, belonging, meaning and/or purpose from being part of and contributing back to something larger and more permanent than themselves. Positive thinking is a process of choosing positive emotions from stimuli in the environment and applying them to perceptions and beliefs. The objective is to create an outlook that translates into a new or better chosen reality.
POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDES:
A positive mental attitude is the belief that one can increase achievement through optimistic thought processes. A positive attitude comes from observational learning in the environment and is partially achieved when a vision of good natured change in the mind is applied toward people, circumstances, events, or behaviors (Wikipedia). Since it is difficult to quantify (measure) the effects of a positive mental attitude, it can be considered a philosophy and a way to approach life.
UNDERSTANDING POSITIVE THINKING AND SELF TALK:
Positive thinking doesn't mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.
Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.
If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF POSITIVE THINKING:
Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:
Increased life span
Lower rates of depression
Lower levels of distress
Greater resistance to the common cold
Better psychological and physical well-being
Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
It's unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body. It's also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don't smoke or drink alcohol in excess.
The aspiration to obtain material wealth demands for a great degree of will power and self-discipline. People who want to gain wealth should try to eliminate all inhibitions that will prevent them from acquiring their desired prosperity.
For instance, if you are a life insurance agent in order for you to increase your sales you should remove all negative attitudes such as insecurities, shyness, laziness and others that hinder you from closing deals.
By developing positive thinking you will be able to gain the confidence that you need to approach even those high profile personalities. And of course, that is where you start making big money and eventually realizing the prosperous life that you dreamed of.
USE OF AFFIRMATIVE THINKING TO FACILITATE A POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE:
The technique of writing and repeating affirmations has been said to institute a positive mental attitude resulting in measurable change. An affirmation is a positive, present day statement that assumes what one declares is real and present. The more an affirmation is practiced, the mind has a greater the level of acceptance of that thought. Positive thinking experts, such as Louise Hay, Michael Beckwith, James Arthur Ray, Catherine Ponder, Norman Vincent Peale, Napoleon Hill, and John Randolph Price advocated the use of affirmations to both reprogram the brain by repetition and maintaining present moment centeredness. The desired result is to manifest new and positive circumstances.
Since an affirmation declares one’s state of mind and expectation, it acknowledges to the mind and body a present-day reality. An example of an affirmation is the following: “I am filled with wonder and I now manifest prosperity and abundance in every aspect of my life. I use the creative genius of the universe in all I do. I am successful, healthy, and live life well. This day I have the power to change myself.”
Affirmations are a spiritual idea, and non-quantitative. They are based upon “as within, so without, as above so below” which is an idea, or universal presented in many religious works, including the Bible. If thought attracts, or resonates, with like energies, than any individual practicing positive thinking can eventually see results externally in the form of a better job, more loving relationships, or even satisfying experiences
Positive thinking is basically employed to develop not only the attitude but also the mental capabilities of people. Positive thinking has the power to change and provide people with a purpose in life especially in their most depressing moments.
Positive thinking gives people the strength to go on and to become hopeful of the future. It helps people to see the bright side even when things are in their darkest. And this is exactly the goal of positive thinking, to develop a mental attitude that will help people cope with whatever situations that life may present them.
ACHIEVING SOCIAL GOALS BY MEANS OF POSITIVE THINKING:
Shyness or inferiority complex is one the reasons why people tend to be socially aloof. This is not a good attitude to develop since it prevents personality development plus it hinders all opportunities of a person to obtain future success. Aside from that, we need to socialize in order to enhance our experience and knowledge will help us later as we go along with our lives.
Positive thinking can help remove social barriers that are basically products of a negative conception of one’s personality. You see its not that people don’t like you but it’s more of your negative attitude towards others that makes them shun you.
Shyness to you may not seem offensive but to other people such behavior sends out negative impressions since you make them think that you don’t like them when in fact you are just plain timid.
By developing positive thinking you will be able to free yourself from all the negative inhibitions that you have develop for so long. However, you just can’t develop positive thinking overnight you have to repetitively practice self-affirmations until you finally gain the confidence that you need for a socially fulfilling life.
IDENTIFYING NEGATIVE THINKING:
Not sure if your self-talk is positive or negative? Here are some common forms of negative self-talk:
You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, say you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. But you forgot one minor step. That evening, you focus only on your oversight and forget about the compliments you received.
When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled, and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
You automatically anticipate the worst. The drive-through coffee shop gets your order wrong and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad, black or white. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or that you're a total failure.
FOCUSING ON POSITIVE THINKING:
You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you're creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:
**Identify areas to change:
If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it's work, your daily commute or a relationship, for example. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
** Check yourself:
Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you're thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
**Be open to humor:
Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
**Follow a healthy lifestyle:
Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn to manage stress.
**Surround yourself with positive people:
Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
**Practice positive self-talk:
Start by following one simple rule: Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.
Here are some examples of negative self-talk and how you can apply a positive thinking twist to them.
Negative self-talk Positive thinking
I've never done it before. It's an opportunity to learn something new.
It's too complicated. I'll tackle it from a different angle.
I don't have the resources. Necessity is the mother of invention.
I'm too lazy to get this done. I wasn't able to fit it into my schedule but can re-examine some priorities.
There's no way it will work. I can try to make it work.
It's too radical a change. Let's take a chance.
No one bothers to communicate with me. I'll see if I can open the channels of communication.
I'm not going to get any better at this. I'll give it another try.
PRACTICING POSITIVE THINKING EVERYDAY:
If you tend to have a negative outlook, don't expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you. Plus, when you share your positive mood and positive experience, both you and those around you enjoy an emotional boost.
Practicing positive self-talk will improve your outlook. When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you're able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.
10 TIPS TO OVERCOME NEGATIVE THOUGHTS: POSITIVE THINKING MADE EASY
1. Meditate or do yoga.:
One of the first things I did was head to a yoga class. It took my focus away from my thoughts and brought my attention to my breath. Yoga is also very relaxing which helped ease my mind. Yoga helped me stay present to my experience so instead of jumping to what could happen, it brought me back to the now—the only moment, the most important moment.
I didn’t do much of this during the weekend so I literally had to bring myself in front of a mirror and force myself to smile. It really does help change your mood and relieve stress. I also felt lighter because it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.
3. Surround yourself with positive people.:
I called a friend who I knew could give me constructive, yet loving feedback. When you’re stuck in a negative spiral, talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.
4. Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive.:
For example, instead of thinking We are going to have a hard time adjusting to our living situation, replace that with We will face some challenges in our living situation, but we will come up with solutions that we will both be happy with.
5. Don’t play the victim. You create your life—take responsibility.:
The way I was thinking and acting, you would think I was stuck. Even if our living situation becomes unbearable, there is always a way out. I will always have the choice to make change happen, if need be.
6. Help someone.:
Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. I decided to make a tray of food and donate it to the Salvation Army. It took my mind off of things and I felt better for helping someone else.
7. Remember that no one is perfect and let yourself move forward.:
It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes. I felt terrible that I acted this way and that I wasted our weekend. The only thing I can do now is learn from my mistakes and move forward. I definitely don’t want to have a weekend like that again.
I don’t remember lyrics very well and it’s probably the reason that I don’t enjoy singing, but every time I do sing I always feel better . When we sing, we show our feelings and this provides an amazing stress relief.
9. List five things that you are grateful for right now.:
Being grateful helps appreciate what you already have. Here’s my list: My cats, health, a six-week trip to Asia, a new yoga class that I’ll be teaching, and for my mom’s biopsy coming out clean.
10. Read positive quotes.:
I like to place Post-It notes with positive quotes on my computer, fridge door and mirror as reminders to stay positive. Also, I’d like to share with you a quote by an unknown author that was shared in a meditation class that I attended: