Whilst researching a number of ideas for this blog post I happened upon that famous line ‘The power of positive thinking’. First made famous by author Norman Vincent Peale, this has long been a topic of discussion.
I wanted to break this down a little and talk about my thoughts on the power of positive thinking. I feel like this year, 2017 has meant a major life shift for me. Mindsets have changed and thought patterns shifted.
What is positive thinking? Simply it’s replacing that negative thought ‘I would be hopeless at rock climbing’ to ‘I’m going to give it a go and I bet I will be awesome’. I feel positive thinking is speaking good stuff over your life before it’s even happened.
Professor Barbara Fredrickson a psychologist from the University of North Carolina, USA suggests that positivity is a mindset and helps to produce emotions such as amusement, joy, happiness, well-being, inspiration and gratitude.
You and I both know that negative emotions can lead to all sorts of things…ulcers, inadvertent weight gain or loss and anxiety. Professor Fredrickson says ‘I think of positive emotions as nutrients. In the same way that we need to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to be healthy, we need a variety of positive emotions in our daily experience to help us become more resourceful versions of ourselves’.
Training our minds to focus on positive thoughts and not let yourself be drowned out by negativity can be tough. This requires discipline and a constant replacing that negative thought and in its place putting a positive one. I often tell my children that sometimes you need to ‘fake it till you make it’. The same is true for positive thinking. The mind is fickle and can be lazy too! The more you keep replacing those negative thoughts with positive ones, the more natural this process becomes. It may be a lot of effort to start but keep going it gets easier!
The Mayo Clinic reports some of the benefits of positive thinking may provide an increased life span, lower rates of depression and stress, being able to withstand the common cold even! Better heart health and coping skills in times of worry and pressure. These are huge benefits!
Positive thinking is definitely something I want to work better at. I suggest a couple of resources to start you on this process of a positive lifestyle. Grab a copy of ‘The Power of Positive thinking’ by Norman Vincent Peale and even a gratitude journal, which will help you to focus on the good things in your life. Just because we are almost into March doesn’t mean you can’t make this your best year yet!