What is positive thinking? Positive thinking is an umbrella term for a range of ideas and techniques associated with the psychology of achievement. It is the main idea that lies behind the self-help movement that originated in the United States and has since become very influential worldwide.
More and more people, including doctors and scientists, are turning to positive thinking because it is a powerful tool for transforming your inner self into a remarkable health-generating and self-healing entity. Optimistic people have discovered that the human mind has the power to turn wishes into reality through positive thinking and developing a positive mindset.
We are in control – we just don’t know it
All of our feelings, beliefs and knowledge are based on our internal thoughts, both conscious and subconscious, and we are in control of these processes. We can choose to be positive or negative, enthusiastic or dull, active or passive. These choices influence our feelings and behaviour, and they can also impact on our physical health.
Such choices are habits, developed over a lifetime and shaped by the feedback of parents, friends, teachers and colleagues, and also by our own self-talk. They are maintained by the inner conversations we have with ourselves, both consciously and subconsciously.
The first step in developing a positive mindset is to change our inner conversations. If we can learn to think more optimistically about events and situations, we are more likely to be happy and achieve success.
Professor Martin Seligman
One of the most prominent advocates of positive thinking is Professor Martin Seligman – an American psychologist famous for his work on learned optimism. His work emphasises happiness rather than success and he believes that optimism is one of the most important factors.
Seligman’s extensive research across a number of sectors and industries shows that people who have an optimistic mindset are much more able to overcome barriers to learning and persevere until learning outcomes are achieved. Pessimistic learners, by contrast, internalise failure and usually stop trying.
We can learn to be optimistic and to change the nature of our internal dialogue so that we react positively to events, regardless of whether they are good or bad. By changing our habitual vocabulary, we can change the way we think and feel and consequently achieve more positive outcomes.
The use of positive language is an integral part of learned optimism programmes.
Seligman believes that optimistic self-talk (internal dialogue) is the key to developing persistence – the ability not to give up in the face of failure – in order to achieve success. If you have been exhibiting a negative attitude and expecting failure and difficulties, it is now time to change the way you think.
It is time to get rid of negative thoughts and behaviour, and start leading a happier and more successful life. If you tried to do so in the past and failed, it only means that you have not tried enough. Perseverance is key and worthwhile.
The Benefits of Positive Thinking
A positive attitude manifests in the following ways:
- Positive thinking
- Constructive thinking
- Creative thinking
- Motivation and energy to do things and accomplish goals
- An attitude of happiness
A positive frame of mind can help you in many ways, such as:
- Helping you to expect success and not failure
- Making you feel inspired
- Giving you the strength not to give up if you encounter obstacles on your way
- Making you look at failure and problems as blessings in disguise
- Believing in yourself and in your abilities
- Enabling you to show self-esteem and confidence
- Making you look for solutions, instead of dwelling on problems
- Making you see and recognise opportunities
- Helping you achieve goals and attain success
- Bringing more happiness into your life
- Helping you to produce more energy
- Increasing your faith in your abilities and brings hope for a brighter future
- Giving you the ability to inspire and motivate yourself and others
- Encountering fewer obstacles and difficulties in your daily life
- Getting more respect and love from people.
Health benefits of positive thinking include:
- Lowering stress levels
- Improving your body’s immune system
- Making you more resilient and to develop the ability to overcome life’s difficulties
- Bringing more happiness and respect from other people
- Increasing your life span
- Creating greater inner power and strength to inspire and motivate yourself and others
- Reducing depression
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln
Thoughts for the week:
- How do you speak to yourself when you are under pressure?
- What percentage of your self-talk is positive on average per day?
- This week make it your mission to observe what you are saying to yourself and make a note of how positive or negative your self-talk is.
- Focus on increasing your positive self-talk and optimism and watch what starts to happen.
That’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and be kind to yourself.