The Benefits of Being Positive

Do you see the glass as half-full or half-empty? Your answer to this question about positive thinking may determine the way you look at life and yourself. It can tell if you’re an optimistic or pessimistic person. Did you know the way you think can even affect your health?

According to a study by Johns Hopkins, positive thinking can save your life. People with a family history of heart disease are 13% less likely to suffer from a heart attack if they think positively. This happens because scientists believe that optimistic people make better long-term life decisions like making healthier choices, etc.

People with a positive mindset also handle stress better. Effective stress management comes with tons of health benefits. This article highlights some of the benefits of being positive.

Benefits of Being Positive

Researchers are continuing their study on the effects of positive thinking on health. Some health benefits of being positive include:

  • Longer life span
  • Lower rates depression
  • Greater resistance to illnesses
  • Better mental, emotional, and physical well-being
  • Better cardiovascular health and less risk of dying from heart diseases and stroke
  • Lower risk of dying from cancer, respiratory conditions and infections
  • Coping better in stressful situations.

How to be More Positive

If you’re wondering how to be positive, it’s easy. However, it takes time and practice so have some patience. After all, you’re creating a new habit. Here are a few tips to follow as you begin your journey on how to think positive thoughts only.

Identify Areas to Change

The first thing to do is to identify areas of your life that you think negatively about. This can be work, relationships, life changes, etc. Start small and choose one area to approach with more positivity. When you feel a negative thought coming on from that area, try to think of something positive to replace it.

Focus on the Good in your Life

Challenges and obstacles are all part of life. When you find yourself in a difficult or stressful situation, focus on one good thing in your life. It doesn’t matter how small or insignificant it seems. Focusing on the good can help you find the silver lining no matter how horrible the situation is.

For example, if your friends cancel on you, think about how you now have some free time to enjoy some time for yourself.

Practice Gratitude

Practicing gratitude has a multitude of benefits. These include the ability to reduce stress, improve self-esteem and foster resilience in tough times. Think of the people, moments or things that you are grateful for at least once a day.

You can thank a co-worker for help on a project, or your spouse for helping with household chores. You can even thank your pet for all the love they give you.

Start a Gratitude Journal

Several studies state that writing down the things you’re grateful for helps to improve your outlook on life. Start writing in a gratitude journal every day. List the things you’re grateful for on those especially hard days when it feels like nothing is going your way.

Be Open to Humor

According to a few studies, laughter is indeed the best medicine. It lowers stress, anxiety and depression while improving coping skills, mood and self-esteem.

Always be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh especially if you’re having a hard time. Try to find humor in every situation as laughing at life can lighten the mood and lower stress.

Spend Time with Positive People

Positivity and negativity are both contagious. Consider the people around you and the people you spend the most time with. Someone in a bad mood can bring down everyone in the room. On the other hand, a positive person can do the exact opposite.

Be sure to spend time with positive people. Surround yourself with supportive people who can lift you up and help you see the bright side of things.

Practice Positive Self Talk

Humans tend to be hard on themselves and be their own worst enemy. This can have some serious effects in the long run. You can form a negative opinion about yourself that can be hard to get rid of.

It is time to change the narrative and the way you talk to yourself. Be mindful of the voice in your head and talk to yourself with kindness. Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to others.

Research shows that even a small change in the way you talk to yourself can have a huge impact. It can make you feel, think and behave differently. Instead of saying “It’s too hard” try saying “I’ll try to do it again using a different approach.”

Start Every Day on a Positive Note

If you have a negative outlook on life, you won’t become optimistic overnight. However, if you practice starting every day on a positive note, you’’’ become less critical of the world. When your state of mind improves and you become optimistic, you can handle stress better.

You can create a ritual to put into practice to start your day. Try to include something uplifting and positive. A few ideas you can incorporate include:

  • Telling yourself that it’s going to be a wonderful day or some other positive affirmation
  • Playing your favorite happy and uplifting song or playlist
  • Doing something nice for yourself or someone

How to Stay Positive

Trying to stay positive can be difficult, especially in times of grief or difficult situations. During these periods, It is important to not be hard on yourself to find the silver lining. This is where the people you surround yourself with come in handy. They will be there to support and guide you through the tough times.

Positive thinking is all about disregarding negative thoughts or emotions you experience. The lowest points in life may be the ones to motivate you to move forward and make positive changes.

If you’re going through a difficult time, try to view the situation as a good friend looking in. What would you do if a friend was going through the same situation? You’ll most likely acknowledge their feelings and remind them that their feelings are valid. You’d then offer support and remind them that things will get better.

Side Effects of Negative Thinking

Negative thinking and other feelings that come with it like stress and anger can hurt the body. It can cause several physical symptoms and increase your risk of disease as well as shorten your lifespan.

Stress and negative emotions trigger different processes in the human body. These include stress hormone release, immune and metabolism function, etc. Long periods of stress can increase inflammation in the body. As a result, you’re more prone to illnesses and a general feeling of being unwell.

Some symptoms of stress include:

  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Not sleeping

Stress and anger can lead to a higher risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Dementia

How to Identify Negative Thinking

If you aren’t sure how you talk to yourself, here’s re some forms of negative self-talk:

Filtering

If you focus solely on the negative aspects of a situation and filter out the positives. Let’s say you got compliments for finishing a task quickly at work. If you only focus on the other tasks and forget all about the compliments you got.

Personalizing

If something bad happens and you automatically blame yourself. For example, a friend cancels an evening out. You then assume that their reason for canceling is because they don’t want to be around you.

Catastrophizing

You anticipate the worst without facts regardless of the situation. For instance, your regular coffee shop makes a mistake with your order. You then believe your entire day is going to be a disaster.

Blaming Someone Else

You blame someone else for what you are going through. You do not hold yourself accountable and avoid being responsible for what you’re thinking or feeling.

Blaming Yourself

You think of all the things you can do to remedy a situation but blame yourself for not doing them.

Magnifying

You make a big deal out of the most minor inconveniences

Polarizing

If you only see things one way or the other, meaning things are only good or bad. There’s no middle ground.

Understanding Positive Thinking and Self-Talk

Positive thinking is not about ignoring the unpleasant parts of life. It is all about approaching the unpleasantness of life more positively and productively. You think the best of every situation, not the worst.

The road to a positive mindset starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the unspoken thoughts that constantly run through your head. These thoughts can be negative or positive. Some come from logic and reason. Meanwhile, others arise from misconceptions you create from a lack of expectations.

Building Your Business With Positivity

If you are building your own business then it can be easy to be overcome with negativity at times. There is so much failure that can happen as an entrepreneur in the tech, home services, legal, or local business space.

Some quick tips to improve your small business or startup positivity.

  1. Create a positive culture

Having a culture that supports and rewards positive thinking starts from the top down. If you run your business with optimism and treat your customers with positivity than your employees will as well.

Having a business plan with strong core values that lead to positive thinking and optimism. Follow that up with strong results that will help reinforce that its the right way to run a business.

2. Treat Your Customers Well

Wether you are doing hvac marketing or creating a customer experience with your tech product, its important to always treat your customers well. Look for ways to surprise and delight them at every stage

AND ask for their feedback often.

3. Take Breaks

Its important to look for some balance in your life. Taking mental breaks each day and time off to refuel are important for yourself and your employees.

Don’t burnout.

Conclusion

Having a positive outlook on life comes with a wide range of benefits. These include lengthening your lifespan, lowering your risks of illnesses, etc. It can be hard to undo years of negative thinking overnight. However, practicing how to approach things with a more positive outlook can help you overcome this. As a result, you’ll develop a more positive mindset.

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Joe Martin

Joe Martin

Dad, Husband, and reformed ski bum. VP of Content and Digital Scorpion, Former CMO of CloudApp and Marketing Lead for Adobe.