It is natural for our brain to go in an overdrive with negative thoughts when the going gets tough. But, all that does is compound our troubles and push us further away from success and happiness. That is where positive thinking comes to play.
Positivity is not something your brain can conjure up from thin air. Positive thinking requires constant practice and optimism needs to be nurtured tenderly. The task seems challenging but not quite impossible.
Our brain is wired to recognize threats and this was extremely useful for early humans in order to survive. Today however, this exudes pessimism and negativity because of our mind’s proclivity to scan for threats. Given that if the threat is in fact real, this mechanism is useful to address difficult situations. However, if threats are constantly imagined or anticipated, you are left with an altered reality that spells chaos in your life.
Positivity has a plethora of benefits on your health and productivity. Several studies have shown that optimists have better immunity, are less vulnerable to cardiovascular disease and live longer than pessimists. It has also been proven that positive-thinking people perform better at work, sell more and achieve goals faster.
It is estimated that a human brain has 70,000 thoughts in a day. These thoughts are free flowing and constantly wandering and if you are not conscious enough, you will begin to dwell on negative thoughts and start limiting yourselves. Positivity can be cultivated by making a conscious effort and simple changes to the way you think. We have put together a list of things you can do to train your brain to think positively.
Be aware of your thoughts
Observe your thoughts as they come and go. Put a stop to negative thoughts as they enter your mind. It is important to realize that negative thoughts are just thoughts, they are not facts. Trouble begins when you begin to believe the negative thoughts you are thinking. The best way to avoid this is to jot down all your negative thoughts and evaluate if they are factual. Most often, your brain is just magnifying your negative thoughts, thereby causing anxiety, stress and unrest.
Reinforce positivity through positive self-talk
Indulge in positive self-talk to attract positivity in your life. Try to use affirmative sentences such as “I will do it”, “I am confident,” etc. Repeat these statements first thing after you wake up and before you get to bed. Although this may not come naturally to you at first, it will turn into a habit if you do it regularly.
The best way to go about positive self-talk is by being aware of your thoughts, the kind of thoughts that come to you and start picking the positive ones. You can end your day by listing out three positive things that happened to you. By focusing on the little things that brought you joy, you can motivate yourself.
Redirect negative thoughts
To be able to do this, you need to have an awareness of your thoughts, an understanding of them and the consciousness to identify negative thoughts. Then you need the ability to redirect those negative thoughts and focus on the positives instead. But how can you redirect negative thoughts? It is simple. Just think about the opposite of the negative thought you are having.
Challenge yourself to see the brighter side of things and adopt a positive perspective towards life. You can also envision a positive outcome in order to reinforce positivity and drive out the negativity. By repeating positive thoughts, you empower yourselves and transform setbacks into opportunities. Instead of spending your time thinking about the negatives and getting anxious, use creativity to redirect pessimistic thoughts and focus on the alternatives.
Treat your body well
There have been umpteen studies that have proven that what we eat and drink, our sleep patterns and fitness activities have an impact on our emotional state. If you want to be a positive thinker, it is vital that you critically look at how you are treating your body and work towards improving those areas you are lacking in.
Make sure your body is receiving all the vital minerals and nutrients. Scientific studies have shown that a lack there of, can cause issues like anxiety and depression. Lack of sleep also increases negative thoughts and anger. The more you start caring for your body, the easier it will be to think positively.
Do more of what you love
Indulge yourself in activities that you love and make you happy. The best way to train your brain to think positively is to increase your interaction with people and activities that makes you happy. This will not only reinforce positivity, but also boosts your confidence and instill a sense of pride.
Never let your busy schedule to stop you from pursuing your passions. Find a way to fit them in to your routine and observe the positive changes yourself.
Make others feel good
We tend to experience a burst of happiness when we perform an act of kindness or do something that brings joy to others. Engaging in positive acts like these is an effective way to stop negativity in its tracks.
The moment you start feeling stressed or anxious about something and start dwelling on negative thoughts, do a favor for someone. Doing something compassionate for another human being can give you the boost you need to channel positive thoughts.