A positive mindset can add real value to your entire life, helping you to become happier and healthier, whilst giving you useful tools to use when dealing with challenges. Here Julie Clements explains how to harness the power of positive thinking.
The power of positive thinking is a topic that is discussed and debated in a thousand different ways as we all look to become the very best versions of ourselves. However, as we navigate these uncertain times there has never been a more important moment for us to embrace positive thinking with open arms, and believe it can help us through these challenges.
I understand there may be some questions:
Is it really true? Can more positivity really make you feel better? Categorically, yes! You can feel better about any situation if you have a positive perspective on it. Fortunately, this does not mean that the naturally negative thinkers among us are doomed to a life of misery; learning to think more positively at any age can enhance your outlook on life, boosting your mental wellbeing.
How does it work? Quite simply. It is easier than you might think to teach yourself to think more positively, even in the hardest of situations. In doing so, you will naturally feel more relaxed and empowered.
To help you on your journey, I have outlined four tips.
1. Understand the Link Between Your Thoughts, Feelings, Actions and Reactions
There is a natural, direct and intrinsic link between the three points of our thoughts, feelings, actions (and reactions). If we experience something negative, then we are likely to feel negative in some way. Whether that’s expressed as worry, anger, disappointment, sadness or fear, our subsequent emotions can lead to a stream of negative thoughts instantly flooding through our minds. Whilst uncomfortable, this is an entirely natural process and response to negativity because, as sentient beings, we are all programmed to ‘feel’ our way through life.
Contrastingly, if something positive happens to us, then we are likely to instantly think about positive things, feeling positive as a result. From relief to excitement, happiness or jubilation, our reactions to these feelings will of course be positive. Again, this is a completely normal process. This natural cycle of thoughts, feelings and actions/reaction is what makes the world go round.
It is through this cycle of thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions that different perceptions of events, different cultural and societal beliefs and our different individual realities are formed. By simply understanding this and recognising the impact of negative thoughts on your mind, wellbeing and in your life, you will automatically begin to replace negative thinking with more positive habits. As a result, your very own reality will become more positive, uplifting and relaxed.
2. Know that You Are in Control
The natural connection between thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions means that we have three major points of control at our disposal; thoughts, feelings and actions. These three elements are inter-related and simultaneously affect each other. We can therefore ‘interrupt’ the cycle of negativity at any time by focusing on any one specific area and doing something different, or choosing to think something different.
It is more difficult to focus on feeling something different without first changing our thoughts or doing something physically different. For example, we all know that if we are feeling down in the dumps, then picking ourselves up and finding the time to chat with a friend will leave us feeling instantly lifted. Or, if we are waiting for an important phone call and feel anxious about it, how easily our mood can be shifted by a reassuring text or a phone call which delivers the information we needed to hear.
Choosing to physically do something different and more positive will help to shift negative feelings, naturally leaving us thinking differently. However, the bottom line is that we hold the greatest power to support or change our feelings when we think differently first. Our thoughts are our most powerful point of change. If we change our thinking, then we will almost certainly change how we feel, creating a natural transformation that will drive us to act differently and react more positively in any situation.
3. Recognise the Importance and Power of Personal Choice
It is important that we understand how powerful personal choice is. In order to ‘teach’ ourselves to think more positively, even if we are naturally quite negative, we must remember that the decision to choose to think differently is the most powerful skill that we can practice throughout our life.
If you decide and choose to think positively then you are more likely to achieve your goals. This change of focus will refresh your entire outlook, giving you the necessary positive focus and confidence to pursue your dreams.
4. Practice Positive Mantras
To help you ‘tone up’ your positive thinking, exercise your mind with positive mantras. For example, you can say the following three sentences together, or focus on them separately:
…‘I now choose to think more positively’, …‘I now choose to feel more positive about my life or this situation’, …‘I now choose to act and react more positively in challenging situations’.
Remember, when trying to change your feelings it is your thinking that is the most powerful point of control. A new thought can bring great change in all situations and areas of your life.