The Power of Positive Thought
At face value, the term ‘positive thinking’ has intrinsic appeal. The name alone has innate sanguinity, and society widely accepts that a smile, a spring in your step and an upbeat attitude are all beneficial. Yet despite its importance, positive thinking can also be dismissed as a ‘soft’ or ‘fluffy’ term that fails to carry the same real word weight as attributes like ‘creativity,’ ‘persistence’ or ‘innovation.’
This is a calamitous mistake. Positive thinking is powerful beyond measure, with new research beginning to prove that optimism is so much more than waltzing through life with a positive attitude. Positive thoughts can bring tangible value to your life, and help manifest goals that far outlive the sparkle of a single smile.
But unfortunately, even the most positive of mindsets can be burdened with a subconscious that directs thoughts otherwise. That’s why an in-depth understanding of the power of positive thinking is crucial.
Positive vs negative thoughts
Let’s start with a quick overview of the difference between positive and negative thoughts. Obviously, one shines bright and the other is destructive. But what about how they affect the brain? In a keynote study carried out by renowned positive psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson, it was found that images of joy and contentment broaden a person’s sense of possibility, and open the mind up to more options. In comparison, negative thoughts narrow the mind, shut off the outside world and limit possibilities, even if they do exist.
Turning beliefs into behaviour
During the journey to subconscious positive thinking many people become frustrated at their innate tendency to stray from the path. After all, it’s often easier to indulge the mind with negative thoughts than fight pessimism with positivity. But it’s important to endure, as the end goal is to train your subconscious to use positivity as its default mode. This way, you’ll be fundamentally programmed into ‘glass half full’ mode. In turn, this will direct your behaviour towards the positive spectrum, without you even having to think about it.
Tips on positive thinking
The concept of ‘positive thinking’ is easy enough to comprehend, yet putting it into practice is a whole other story. So how can you train your mind to stay positive?
· Write it down – In the same way that list making makes goals more attainable, writing down your positive thoughts helps to crystallise your optimistic outlook.
· Adopt a mantra – When negative thoughts start to creep in, fight them off with a personal mantra of positivity. Whether repeated in your head or out loud, chants of positivity help to combat unconstructive thoughts.
· Dissect your negative thoughts – Yes, it’s important to remove negative thoughts from your mindset, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss them altogether. Take the time to analyse what you’re feeling and accept that these negative emotions do exist. You’ll then be armed with the insight to genuinely banish them for good, as opposed to simply sweeping them under the rug.
There’s no denying the power of positive affirmations. The real challenge is training the mind to become innately positive, and manifesting this optimism into life changing behaviour.