Thoughts are powerful. They are the beginning of every action and the power behind habits and goals. But just how powerful are thoughts? And does it really matter if they are positive or negative?
Research has taught us just how valuable our thoughts can be in our everyday life and for our overall level of happiness. Upgrading your thoughts to a higher, more positive level, could help you live a happier, fulfilled and longer life.
The Benefits of Positive Thinking
The healthiest people are often positive thinkers and it isn’t a coincidence. Thinking optimistically sets expectations for a great life and believing life is good now and in the future, not just the past.
Being positive decreases negative emotions like stress, which is associated with all kinds of health problems. Practicing positive thinking has been associated with increased friendship development, marital satisfaction, higher incomes, and better physical health. Those who are optimistic often have stronger relationships and may take more of a proactive approach to protect one’s health.
How to Make Thoughts More Positive
Knowing the power of positive thoughts is one thing but putting it into action is another. Here are three simple tips to switching the quality of your thoughts.
1.Change your Self-Talk
The way we talk to and about ourselves is a great place to start positive thinking. If you make a mistake, it’s important you don’t put yourself down. Phrases like “I am so stupid” can be hurtful to your own feelings. Instead, try giving yourself some encouragement like “that wasn’t the best choice, what could I have done better?”
Saying positive self-affirmations to yourself each day like “I do not need to rely on others judgement for acceptance” or “my body is amazing just the way it is and I accept myself this way” have been shown to lead to increased physical activity and to decrease health deteriorating stress by affecting certain brain processes.
2. Practice Gratitude
A common reason people can feel unhappy is a lack of focus on the right things. Practicing daily gratitude helps to develop a more positive outlook on life.
By listing 3-5 things you are grateful for each day, you can create the habit of noticing the good and positive things that occur in your daily life rather than getting caught up in your frustrations. Having a great attitude starts with having reasons for feeling happy.
3. Manage Expectations
Give yourself permission to hope and dream for the future. Don’t always assume the worst will happen. Increase your expectations for your life and take a few risks, believing it will turn out well.
As you work toward “SMART” goals (Specific, Measureable, Realistic, Achievable and Time-bound) and do something each day to get there, find happiness in those things instead of waiting to be happy once you have the promotion, hit a number on the scale, or live in a certain area. Putting your positive thoughts into action could help to improve your life.
Live Your Best Life
Once you harness the power of positive thinking, it can improve the quality of life you live, and increase your overall happiness. These positive steps are just the beginning of your road to a more positive thinking pattern which has been associated with healthy ageing.
The best part about positivity is that it spreads to those around you and happiness is something that the world could use a little more of.