Sometimes it seems like we are surrounded by negativity. It’s all around us. We turn on the TV and hear politicians insulting each other; open up social media and see hateful posts and comments; drive down the road and deal with hostile drivers; it seems even magazine covers are designed to upset and inflame us more than entertain. The world can seemingly be a more and more negative place, and every day we are affected by that negativity whether we realize it or not. The power of negative thought can influence our mood, our relationships and our health. Negative thoughts like fear and worry, guilt and regret, jealousy, and sadness cause stress and stress can wreak havoc on both our physical and mental health.
But this trend can be reversed. The only thing more powerful than the power of negative thought is the power of positivity, the power of happiness.
Studies show that people who are generally happier and more optimistic tend to be healthier and more successful.
Based on many psychological tests, happy people seem to have a special quality that enables them to live a better life than the average. Can you guess what it is? It is the quality of optimism and positive thinking! The best news about optimism is that it is a learnable quality. You can learn to be a more confident and optimistic person and have a more positive attitude by thinking the way optimists do.
By the law of cause and effect, if you do and say what other healthy, happy people do and say, you will soon feel the same way, get the same results, and enjoy the same positive attitude and experiences that they do.
Think about what you want
Can you guess what the most successful and happy people think about all day long? The answer is simple. Healthy, happy people think about what they want, and how to get it, most of the time. The power of positive thinking and developing a positive attitude are two of the most important qualities a person can have to change their life.
When you think and talk about what you want and how to get it, you feel happier and in greater control of your life. When you are thinking about something that makes you happy, your brain actually releases endorphins, which give you a generalized feeling of well-being. As a result, you develop a positive attitude.
Happy and positive people are kind to others. Kindness to others is good for your health. Studies show that even "micro-moments" of connection with others, like sharing a smile or expressing concern, improve emotional resilience, boost the immune system, and reduce susceptibility to depression and anxiety. Moments of uplifting positive emotions function like nutrients for creativity, growth and health.
Stop the negativity
We all talk to ourselves without realizing it. There’s a little voice inside our head which runs an ongoing commentary on everything we’re doing. It becomes the backing tape to our lives. But, if you’re constantly saying negative things to yourself, guess what? You’ll feel bad.
So change the tape to something more helpful. Be your own best friend, inner coach and guru by saying the kind of positive encouraging things you would say to a very good friend. This will help you think positive, feel positive and act positive.
Begin each day by making a list of three things that you are thankful for, or three specific good things that happened the day before and reflect on what caused them to happen. The good things could be anything — bumping into an old friend, a positive remark from someone at work, a pretty sunset. Celebrating small wins also has a proven effect of powering motivation and igniting joy. As you record your good things daily, you will begin to feel happier and more positive every day.
In the end, it seems it’s all about perception. Like life, it depends on how you choose to view it. If you start making positive changes to your daily habit and personal ‘system’ for living well, you will soon notice a definite upturn in your happiness and wellbeing. Repetition is the key to success, forming new neural pathways and patterns of response in the brain.
It’s good to know science now seems to confirm, you can quite literally ‘rewire your brain for optimum happiness.’
I am making this a personal challenge.
For the month of November, I will start each day by listing three things I am thankful for.
Won't you join me?
We have the power to change our minds and change the world.