Learning the power of positive thinking can help us to reduce stress and add years to our lives. Becoming adept at neutralizing negative “self-talk” similarly can improve our lives. Let’s look at both of these techniques and see that, while they take some time and discipline, the mental and physical improvements they’ll give us will make them well worth learning.
When we wake up in the morning, our first thought may be that it’s a brand-new day. Or we can wake up in the morning and grumble about everything under the sun.
Which type of person are you? Do you begin each day as an optimist or a pessimist? If you wake up in the morning grumbling and not happy, then this is the time to make a change for the better. We all want to have a positive outlook on life, but sometimes that’s not easy. We want to be happy and to reduce our stress. Now is the time to make the change to a healthier life with positive thinking!
What is positive thinking?
“Positive thinking” doesn’t mean just going about life ignoring anything that may be a problem. Positive thinking means taking the problem at hand and dealing with it in a more productive and pleasant way. When thinking positive, we believe that the outcome will be good instead of the worst that can happen, and we usually do get that good outcome!
Self-talk and positive thinking.
We have “self-talk” going on from the time we wake up until the time we fall asleep. Self-talk is the unspoken ideas and thoughts that cross our mind. These thoughts that run through our heads can be negative or positive and can even switch between the two.
Incorporating positive thinking into our self-talk may take time. For some, learning this new technique may only take a few weeks. For others it can take a couple of months.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Most of the time, the answer is because we have anxiety about our future or guilt from our past. The problem with not thinking positive is that it can stop the seeds growing for self-improvement.
Every action we take is first inspired by our thoughts. If we aren’t sure of taking action on a particular issue, the action itself is overshadowed by indecision. But with positive thinking, we’ll take an action with the idea in mind that the action will work out as planned, and so we won’t hesitate, and we’ll feel inspired.
Below are a few tips on how to overcome those negative thoughts and replace them with positive thinking.
1. Become intimate with our thoughts.
We have internal chatter taking place during all of our waking hours. But problems occur when this internal mind chatter is negative. We must first understand how to change the thought patterns to positive thoughts. Many people have negative thoughts but have no idea where they come from.
With self-awareness and a bit of self-study, we can usually discover where these feelings come from. The feelings may come from something that happened in past years. Knowing where negative feelings come from will help us figure out these feelings. Just remember, it took years for the negative self-talk to become ingrained, so it won’t go away overnight.
2. Handle each “I can’t” thought.
One of the most common forms of negative self-talk is the infamous “I can’t.” Unfortunately, when this happens, we’re keeping ourselves from achieving things or tasks we know are possible. The next time we catch ourselves with an “I can’t,” let’s ask ourselves why we can’t. Yes, we may come up with a few reasons, but they usually won’t be good ones. The thing with challenging ourselves is that we’ll be in a better position to take the task head on.
3. Handle negative thoughts.
When we find ourselves amid negative thoughts, there’s the option to tell ourselves to stop. We have the ability to change our thought process. Having the knowledge to stop the negative thoughts will teach us how to turn the thoughts into something more positive.
4. Stay positive.
Instead of letting the negative thoughts creep in, get ahead of the thoughts. Let’s have a “movie script” in our head of a specific friendly, happy scene, and whenever we sense negative thoughts creeping in, begin thinking of that scene. As the positive thoughts continue, build on them. The more we practice this technique, the easier it gets.
5. Avoid negative people.
Negative people won’t keep our positive thinking in line. The negativity that we’re around will only hinder any progress we’re making with positive thinking. Negativity breeds negativity. Surround ourselves with thoughts and friends that will enable positive thinking.
6. Confront our fears.
We all have fears; this is normal. What isn’t normal is when the fears stop us from growing and enriching our lives. Confronting fears is a big challenge, but we’ll be so much better off when the fears aren’t ruling our lives. The sense of empowerment is nothing less than amazing when we conquer a fear!
7. Don’t let goals overwhelm us.
Yes, setting and achieving goals isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. But worrying about not achieving those goals isn’t great for positive thinking. When we begin to worry, we need to stop ourselves and ask whether there’s anything we can do at that particular moment. If there’s something we can do, then act on it. If there isn’t, then there is no need to worry about it.
Positive thinking and better health.
Positive thinking does so many great things for our health! It can help do all of the following, plus more:
• Lower blood pressure
• Lower stress hormones in the bloodstream
• Recover from surgery faster
• Improve overall health
Positive thinking can also help us in the face of a serious disease or illness. Those who have battled cancer and survived see each new day as a way to celebrate battling cancer and winning. Those who have lost their jobs due to serious illness now welcome the time to take a class or to do the things they have always wanted to but never had the time.
Whether our glasses are half empty or half full, we all experience the world differently. We can choose to be happy or pessimistic. Learning to think with positive thoughts will take that weight off of our shoulders and put a bit of a spring in our step!
Remember, we own our thoughts; we’re in charge of them. When those bad thoughts creep in, we have control over them. We choose how we want to live our lives. Choose positive thinking, and succeed!
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