The Power of Positivity

Positive Thinking Share if you dare:                    

Positivity. Is it a learned response from our environment, education, and experience? Is it a learned attitude, mindset or outlook? Is it genetic? Is there a tree of positivity where we can pick the fruit? Well, the easy answer: Yes. All the above can have an effect on our overall positivity towards life (I’m still looking for the tree).

Do any of these prevent me from reaching my ideal level of happiness? No.

Regardless of our current attitude or happiness level, we all have the ability to create or define our own positive outlook on life. The recipe: a conscious decision, constant awareness of our negative thoughts, the motivation and faith you will succeed, and the longevity to see it through. This road usually is not a short one, but the benefits are endless.

Sometimes, we don’t realize our negative thoughts are having a negative impact on our lives (or other’s lives). Perhaps it’s easier to think negatively of a situation because it allows us an easy way out and to give up. Perhaps we think negatively about a person because it’s easier not to talk or be friends with, or perhaps we hold an ulterior emotion towards them, such as jealousy. Perhaps we think negatively towards our own life and situation because it allows us to be the victim (read The Joys of Being the Victim). Or perhaps, we enjoy these thoughts because they validate a held belief such as why you are unable give up unhealthy habits.

 

For me, to change an area of my life, I need ample reason to do so, do you? Sometimes it’s difficult to find repercussions to our current habits because we tend to rationalize everything. And this is all fine and good until problems arise or we wake up and realize a better way to do something. Perhaps you are able to stop drinking because you’ve found it to be harmful to your health or family. You can stop eating fast food because you notice your pants are stretching to their ripping point. You can stop watching so much television because you’d rather have time for more productive and stimulating activities. All of these changes require an initial reason to initiate the change, in short: we need to realize the potential gains of changing, or the potential losses from NOT changing before we can have effective motivation to drive us forward.

The positive reasons for Positivity (aka Being an Optimist):

  • Health – Positive people are more able to deal with the stresses of life. And as you know, stress is a major cause for big health issues including heart attacks, high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, digestive problems, autoimmune diseases, and more!When negative emotions and stress are not expressed, rationalized or eliminated, they will take on a physical form… in the form of a pain. Be mindful of your thoughts young padawan.
  • Energy – Positive people tend to have more energy. They get excited for the day and don’t allow themselves to get emotionally bogged down by the little things. They also tend to burn off all the energy during the day and sleep better at night. Have problems sleeping?
  • Relationships – Positivity is contagious and everyone loves to be around a person that brings them UP, not down. Be a positive mood changer and you can have a positive effect on those around you. Sure, some people express too much positivity (that may not be real) and it can be excessive. But sincere optimism is seen and felt.
  • Thoughts – Ghandi once said “A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes.” Do you believe this?Here is another popular quote that bares much truth:

    “Watch your thoughts, for they become words.

    Watch your words, for they become actions.

    Watch your actions, for they become habits.

    Watch your habits, for they become character.

    Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

  • Your Future – Optimists are usually successful… or will be successful. They believe in themselves, and are positive they are going to succeed. They don’t see problems, only challengesto conquer. They don’t give in to roadblocks, don’t believe in dead ends, and see opportunities around every corner. Think of people who have had obstacles much bigger than your own, and did they hit a few bumps and quit? Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Bill Gates.The list is endless.
  • Problem Solving – Negative thoughts focus on the problem, positive thoughts focus on the solution. Staying positive allows your thoughts to search openly for solutions without being thought-blocked by a negative attitude. When dealing in groups, the most difficult person to work with is the person who doesn’t act and only complains.
  • Self-Esteem – Stop bashing yourself with negative thoughts because it is very easy to start believing the lies of not being good enough, not talented enough, or not attractive enough. Optimists do their best not to compare themselves to others who are more fortunate. They focus on their own situation and try to improve upon it allthewhile being happy with who they are. Self confidence is built around positive thinking and belief in oneself. To build your self-esteem, read more about positive affirmations.

I could go on. Positive thinking is a vessel to so many opportunities in life and the results are seen only after they are truly felt after making a conscious effort.

 

Tools for Positive Thinking:

  • Expect Good Things – This is the definition of positivity. The constant expectation and anticipation of happiness, health, love, and success in every activity of your life. Expect good things to happen and don’t allow little issues in the day to disrupt this attitude. The brain likes to be right and if it has faith that good things are coming, then it will seek out and find it!
  • Laugh at Yourself – I consider this of utmost importance. Your own ability to laugh at yourself when you do something ridiculous. Don’t get embarrassed and don’t get angry, laugh at yourself and it can be a game changer. I remember those days when I would hit my head on the shower door first thing in the morning, and it would set my entire morning off in negative light. After this, I would usually proceed to spill the milk, forget needed paperwork, stub my toe, or have a bad meeting. It was a vicious cycle.When you learn to laugh at yourself for your own clumsiness or stupidity, it’s easy to shrug off and let you live through the day consciously without interference from earlier mishaps.
  • Recognition (the rubber band technique) – I don’t use this method but have heard it works for some people that need a little zinger to really remind themselves of their current train of thought. The idea is simple: wear a rubber band around your wrist like a bracelet, when unproductive negative thoughts come into your mind, you pull back that band as far as you need to and release. Nothing like a little sting (or punishment) to shake you out of that bad habit or line of thought.
  • Positive Affirmations – These are expressions of positivity that you run through your head throughout the day. They are reminders to live consciously and positively, as well as giving thanks for all your blessings. Some people have said that talking to yourself just sounds weird. But think about it, don’t you do it when you get angry at yourself, scold yourself, or question yourself when you have feelings of inadequacy when something isn’t going right? Why can’t I figure this out? Come on, that shot was easy, why I am playing so poorly? I’m so stupid, I failed my exam again.Positive affirmations are exactly the same thing, but turned around. This is a tough problem, but I KNOW I’ll figure it out. Man, I’m off today, but my shot is going to come back. It’s going to be another great day. I can’t believe I’m so lucky to have a house, food on the table, and a family that loves me. I’m smart, beautiful, independent, and successful…It may feel weird to say all these positive statements to yourself if you are not use to them. But staying positive requires constant attention of your thoughts, and filling them with positive affirmations is an effective strategy. You are not fooling yourself, you are reminding yourself of truths you may have once forgot or that will soon be realized.
  • Surround yourself with positive people – Positivity is contagious, but so is negativity. Surrounding yourself with positive people is motivating, inspiring, and it’s much easier to be positive when no one is fighting to bring you down. Positive people are proactive and motivated, and inspire those around them.If you want to be more positive, learn from those you know to be strong optimists!
  • Always Make Goals (and write them down) – Positive thinkers always expect good things to happen. One way to plan on good things happening is to set goals. There is nothing like good, well-thought out goals that inspire you to be more. Write them down, share them with friends so you have accountability and make them good ones!
  • Have Fun – Schedule that don’t allow room for fun are schedules that needs to be changed. Every day, set aside time to do something you really enjoy! And I mean every day, even if it starts with only 15 minutes a day. Learn something new, play music, take your kids out for ice cream, exercise, star gaze, read a book, etc. Even short durations of fun are enough to send positive feelings through your brain giving you more energy and with a more positive mindset. Do it for yourself and have a good time.
  • Get enough sleep – When our brains are tired, our ‘executive functions’ of the brain are not working effectively and it allows the emotions of the brain and body to govern more control. Usually this does not lead to positive thinking and makes it increasingly difficult to change your thought pattern as lack of sleep continues. Even optimists can be big babies when they don’t get their proper sleep.When you wake up in the morning, make a positive affirmation and tell your brain to expect a wonderful day. What the brain expects, the brain typically gets.
  • Read the book: The Power of Positive Thinkingaltby Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.This book is filled with sage advice and gives you a deeper understanding of what Positive Thinking and its effects are all about.

Positive thinking is an old subject, but has been a hot topic over the years and has even inspired newer fields of study such as the science of positivity or positive psychology. Neuroscientists are searching for the happiness part of the brain and trying to discover why we can’t be happy all the time. It is very intriguing, but until they find it, I suggest working on your own happiness and starting with a new positive mindset!

Positivity is contagious, so do everyone a favor and pass it on!

This post was written by

Greg has written 69 articles on Student of Me.

Greg is the creator and primary writer for Student of Me. He probably spends way too much time on the computer writing, researching, programming, and working on his photography. He loves escaping from screen-time to travel, ride his motorcycle, experience the outdoors and spend time with loved ones. You can contact him at greg (at) studentofme.com!

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One thought on “The Power of Positivity”

  1. Debi says:

    Like that quote alot!!! Watch your thoughts…..for they become words…etc..Need to print that out as a reminder for sure!!!

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