What Is Positive Thinking And What Can It Do For You?

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Positive thinking has been in mainstream headlines and psychology headlines for a number of years now.

It’s something you are probably well familiar with, but what exactly does it mean and what are the true psychological and well-being ramifications of positive thinking?

So, before we start, what exactly is positive thinking?

One of the first issues here is that you might be tempted to think that positive thinking is looking at the world without any negativity, like looking through rose glasses.

It doesn’t.

It means having a positive outlook in spite of everyday challenges and barriers we all face.

The psychologist Martin Seligman gives an explanatory understanding in illustrating what positive thinking is.

He states that positive thinkers are able to absorb the good things that happen and can see negative outcomes as external to them and as temporary and fixable.

On the other hand, negative out lookers blame themselves for circumstances they can’t control.

They fail to give themselves credit.

They view negative events as lasting and expected, and they view challenges as insurmountable.

So, now we know what positive thinking is and isn’t. What then can we do to adopt more positive thinking and what could this do for our well-being?

In recent years, pop psychology books have made positive thinking popular.

However, positive thinking has real empirical research that shows massive health and well-being benefits.

Benefits such as:

  1. Less stress
  2. Longer life span
  3. Increase resistance to infection
  4. Lower depression rates

So why are there all these benefits from positive thinking?

Well, first of all, its clear that positive thinking is linked to other things that improve our health and well-being.

By thinking more positively, we adopt a tougher protection to things like stress and anxiety, we also tend to live healthier lives in general.

All of this positive thinking stuff sounds great then, but how can YOU develop a life with more positive thinking and gain all these incredible benefits?

Tip #1

Well, the first thing you can do is to be aware of your inner monologue. What is your inner monologue saying to you? Is it positive or negative?

By doing this, we can start to understand the source of our positive and negative thinking patterns.

Dependent on the situation and context, your inner monologue might tell you something really detrimental and negative. Knowing what situation this happens in is the first step to developing a more positive outlook.

Tip #2

Understand and evaluate how you think in difficult situations.

For example, for me when things go wrong, I am quick to think that my situation is unfixable and that the situation is inevitably going to get worse.

What is best for me here is to focus on my successes so far, understand that difficulty is part of what I am doing and that I have made it through similar circumstances before.

By being realistic about my circumstances and the situation I face and knowing that I have faced similar situations before, I develop my positive outlook and my positive thinking patterns.

Tip #3

Understand your own blame game

One of the defining features of negative thinkers is that they are quick to blame themselves, regardless of the circumstance.

This doesn’t mean as a positive thinker you need to blame others.

It means that as a positive thinker you need to be realistic with the blame you dish out.

Understanding what you are capable of improving and working on rather than fixating on what you cant control goes a long way to improving your positive thinking capabilities.

Tip #4

Start small.

Studies have shown that people who try to cultivate new habits and try to change big aspects of their lives all at once, fail more often than not.

Focusing on small steps tend to stick better over time.

So how can you utilise this when trying to think more positively?

Well, perhaps you could try some daily reflections on your negative self-talk.

Or you could find one situation a day that you normally would feel negative about and try and have a more positive outlook on.

Fundamentally, positive thinking can have an incredibly profound and positive impact on your daily lives.

There is no doubt that it is difficult, it can be hard to suddenly change from focussing on negativity to thinking more positively.

However, by adopting these top tips and understanding a little more about positive thinking, you will be well on your way to making that change.

Why not check out my YouTube channel GetPsyched where I took a look at positive thinking in a recent video, just click here to see the video.

 

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