There are way too many posts on the power of positive thinking without veering too far into the realm of annoying, so let’s start with the facts: optimism—even defensive optimism—is beneficial to your physical and mental health.
In general, optimistic thinkers always look on the bright side in the face of adversity or complications. Research shows a correlation between positive thinking (amongst self-reported optimists) and lower mortality rates and cancer as well as better cardiovascular health and immune function. And, amongst elderly populations, those who hold positive outlooks recover better from various ailments than those who are more negative.
The power of the mind can work in strange ways; some researchers feel that positive thinkers simply don’t let stressful or harmful events hold them back in the same way that negative thinkers do (or they attribute less importance to those events). What it adds up to is a connection between positive thinking and getting the career you want, securing a stable relationship, and attracting like-minded positivity.
If you’re having trouble seeing the sun through clouds, we’re not saying that you’re going to have a lonely, painful existence. But a little positivity here and there doesn’t hurt, right? Here are our tips for turning that frown upside down:
1. Find the good in experiences
Fans of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” might remember the budding romance between Bob and Sasha, specifically the scene where Sasha lists everything she hates about the zombie apocalypse, and Bob counters with the good (literally called the ‘good out of the bad’ game). Which, actually, could be a default positive view when something goes wrong: at least the zombie apocalypse isn’t real.
2. Use positive words
How we talk or think about things can influence how we feel about it. Next time you have a presentation at work to give in front of the C-suite, think of it as a challenge and an opportunity instead of as a burden or scary/stressful event.
3. Be grateful
Everyone is subject to green-eyed monster syndrome from time to time. Instead of feeling jealous, think about your good qualities, and the things for which you are grateful. Refocus that outward energy inward.
4. Take action
In general, people feel more optimistic about situations they control. Want a new job but feel underqualified? Create a plan to gain those skills. Want to eat better or work out more? Do it—figure out a schedule or plan that works for you—and remember that the only person who can control these things is…you!
In the above, it’s clear to see how the power of optimism helps other areas of life. It might be a secondary force that assists in improvements to mental and physical health, but positive thinking is clearly beneficial in multiple ways.
How do you inject positivity in your life?