One of the best ways to improve your health as well as manage your stress is through positive thinking. It may seem a little far-fetched as a concept, but mind over matter can work, especially when you are trying to overcome negative self-talk.
Many studies show that there is a direct relationship between areas of your health and wellbeing and whether you are optimistic or a pessimistic. To put it into simple terms, positive thinking that is common with optimistic outlooks is crucial for stress management. Thinking positive will help you to overcome stress. Effective stress management helps you in many aspects of your life. Even if you are pessimistic, there are certain traits you can learn to build on your positive thinking skills.
Understanding Positive Thinking
Positive thinking is not ignoring unpleasant situations. Positive thinking means you should approach them with a positive reaction, or at least a favorable view. Being positive will help you to see the good in things instead of the bad. If you generally have negative thoughts running through your head, you may consider yourself a pessimist. If your thoughts are mostly positive ones, then you are more likely to consider yourself an optimist. Why is it so important to know this? Because optimistic people are more successful and generally healthier, both mentally and physically.
The Health Benefits Of Positive Thinking
There is an extraordinary amount of research being done that links a positive mindset to physical and mental health. The benefits that have come out of this research include lower rates of depression, increased lifespan, higher resistance to illnesses like the common cold, lower distress levels, reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and better cardiovascular health in general, as well as better coping skills during highly stressful situations and a better overall psychological well-being.
Although the reasoning is not 100% clear why this is the case, the results are there. One theory is that having a positive mindset allows you to cope better in stressful situations, lowering the harmful health effects stress causes. Optimistic and confident people are also thought to live healthier lifestyles, including more exercise, and a healthier diet, which also aids in the above benefits.
Identifying Negative Thinking
There are four key traits or forms of negative thinking. If you magnify the negative aspects of any given situation, you may also be filtering out the positive aspects. This is called filtering and is a habit that needs to be broken to change your mind-set.
Personalizing is another trait that you need to get rid of to change to a positive mindset. Personalizing is when you assume that people do things because they don’t want to be around you or with you. This can come in the form of something as simple as canceling a coffee date, or something worse. The problem may not be anything to do with you, but your brain tells you it is.
Catastrophizing is the third type of negative thinking that you need to eliminate. This is where you automatically think things are going to turn bad when something small goes wrong.
Polarizing is the fourth negative thought pattern that only allows you to see either positive or negative, good or bad. There is no in-between with polarizing, which leads you to believe you are a failure if you don’t achieve perfection.
Turn Negative Thinking into positive thinking
It is possible to learn to turn your negative thinking around into a positive mindset. It is a simple process but takes dedication and time to achieve. It’s all about creating new habits.
- Identify the areas you need or want to change.
- Check yourself as you go about your daily routine, and ensure you are changing the way you think.
- Allow yourself to smile, or even laugh.
- Begin a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eat healthier, and everything will begin to change.
- Be around positive people. This might mean ending a relationship or finding new friends, but the results will be worth it. Other people can drag you into a negative space, and when you are trying to get out of that space yourself, you need to create distance between you and those relationships.
- Practice positive self-talk every day.
When your mind is positive, everything else in your life will eventually become positive. It all depends on how you think. Mind over matter is an old saying, but it directly relates to the subject of positive thinking.