The Power of Positive Thinking
What is Positive Thinking?
Positive thinking is a state of mind. It's a focus on the positive aspects of a given or expected situation. The power of positive thinking allows you to anticipate likely outcomes and helps you prepare better for oncoming situations.
I am not suggesting for one minute that you should ignore problems, bury your head in the sand and pretend that everything will work out fine. Looking at the world through rose tinted spectacles won't help you overcome problems. In truth, they are likely to be compounded if you ignore them.
There are some who don't believe in the power of positive thinking and will automatically dismiss it. That's a personal choice. However, for me, the mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work unless it´s open.
I choose to think positive, as experience has shown me there are associated benefits in looking for the good in situations and having the faith and belief that with the right thinking and actions, the likelihood of achieving a favourable outcome increases significantly.
With all that said, positive thinking without positive action just means that you'll be positively happy while not getting results. You must take action.
Positive thinking + Positive action = Positive Results
A Contagious Mindest
Our way of thinking can be contagious, for good or for bad. One way or another we take on the thoughts, expressions, attitudes and outlooks of those people that we associate with. This can be the best thing that has ever happened to you or the worst thing but ultimately it's your choice.
We are a product of the people that we associate with most.
Is it little wonder that positive people, on the whole tend to associate with positive people?
Through conscious or subconscious decisions, like attracts like. People have a tendency to lean towards positive people and repel themselves from those who spread doom and gloom.
I have cut out the negative influences from my life and replaced them with positive forward thinking people. Listening to someone tell you that things cannot be done or that your ideas are pointless, only leads to frustration and disappointment. Please don't take that as arrogance. I love to listen and learn about different options and perspectives. However, I won't do is listen to people who just say “no” without sound reason.
Finding someone who shares your vision and encourages you, gives you a zest for life. After all life is to be lived. Suddenly, all those things that you were told were impossible start to become a realisation. As the negative influences subside from your life and the positive thoughts and actions take over, you find a reason and purpose to pursue your goals.
Positive Thinking and Reducing Stress
There are numerous theories and schools of thought as to why people who think positively tend to have better health but overall, people who think positively tend to manage stressful situations better. Those people that manage stressful situations better are more likely to sleep better, exercise more, eat healthier and are far less likely to turn to excessive alcohol consumption or substance abuse.
The Benefits of Reducing Stress
This is not an exhaustive list but the benefits include:
- Increased physical fitness
- Lower rates of depression
- Less likely to suffer from heart problems
- Increased life span
Could positive thinking really help you live longer?
I´m not qualified to say so but I´m not taking any chances either. I have too much that I need to do and want to do with my life and so I´m sticking with having a positive outlook.
Positive Thinking and the Law of Attraction
In a recent article, I mentioned that when you're having a bad day, we tend to react to situations and the negative things are compounded. When you're having a good day, we tend to respond in a positive way and the things are compounded in a positive way.
From my own business experience, I can testify that when I am thinking positive and motivated about teaching or delivering a new training initiative, the results in terms of learning outcomes increase tenfold.
On a personal level, we attract like-minded people into our lives who want to share dreams, visions and experiences, when we project a positive image.
This happens all too often for it to be a coincidence.
There is something about thinking positive that helps you focus on your end goal and increases your confidence. In general, but certainly during times of uncertainty, people want to associate with confident people who have a clear vision and focus.
Positive Thinking in Practice
I will be the first to admit that this isn´t an exact science and many people will dismiss it. But for me the benefits of putting positive thinking into practice, seriously outweigh the negative impact of ignoring it. If you do seriously want to change the way you look at things, there are a few things below that are worth serious consideration.
Associate with positive people.
Positive people will pull you up when you're having an off day. Everyone needs a lift up from time to time.
Help someone else.
When you are in a position to help someone, and are asking nothing in return, there is a huge feel good factor. It's hard to feel negative when you have just made a positive difference in someone's life.
Understand it´s okay to make mistakes.
Just because you are practicing positive thinking doesn't mean that everything will go according to plan. You will make mistakes and there will be setbacks. Remember, you have a choice to react or respond.
Make a list.
Write down all the things in your life that you are thankful for. Your significant other, family, friends, good health, source of income or a roof over your head. Take a look at your list and count your blessings.
Make yourself feel good.
Step out of your comfort zone and learn something new. Sing like nobody's listening, dance like nobody's looking or go for a walk. Call someone just to tell them you love them
There are many more things that you could do to practice positive thinking but these five are good start for anyone.
Some Final Thoughts
Practicing positive thinking goes far and beyond posting a motivational quote (although I do love them). It´s a choice and a decision to take responsibility for your own actions and outcomes. It's a commitment to see it through, even on the darkest days. It´s an understanding that you can no longer play the victim and blame others for your failures. You must only look at what you have learned from the situation and move onwards and upwards towards your goal.
It´s not always easy but it's most definitely worth it.
It doesn't mean that you can't ask for help. It doesn't mean that you won't have bad days and need to speak with someone to get yourself back on track. But it does mean that you are now in control of your thinking and ultimately the direction that your life is going in.
There is not a day that goes by that I don´t give thanks and count my blessings for my family and friends, who gave me reason and purpose when even with all my efforts to think and stay positive, I thought reason and purpose had evaded me.
Thank you for reading this article
If you have any comments or suggestions on the topic please feel free to add them.
If you do choose to put some of these principles into practice I would be delighted to hear your feedback.