Can positive self talk improve your daily goal related progress and the overall quality of your life?
Our thinking changes the way we perceive reality. Looking at the same glass of water, one person will see it half full and another half empty.
In recent times, the positive thinking movement has gained in strength, many people using it to increase their wellbeing and life satisfaction. Using the ideas in this article, you can train yourself to be more optimistic and to find opportunity in life’s problems instead of giving up at the first sign of trouble. You’ll learn to approach problems as an optimist, which will ultimately make you more efficient and productive when dealing with them.
Although there are definite benefits which come from positive self talk and positive affirmations, remember negative ideas and thoughts are still useful. You cannot avoid these natural warning signs, nor should you try to avoid them or think that you can.
The common interpretation of positive thinking as ignoring negative people, situations, thoughts and feelings is false. Instead, what the movement attempts is to combat our natural tendency towards negativity and complaining by proactively focusing on the positive aspects of life.
When a problem occurs, a pessimist will most often blame himself or those around him. When something good happens, a pessimist will most often attribute it to luck or chance. This is neither a realistic view of reality, nor is it mentally healthy.
Positive Self Talk Benefits
We encourage you to try the following positive thinking techniques a bit more often, so you’ll live longer. Yea, repeating positive affirmations and thoughts is directly attributed to a longer lifespan. But why is that?
People with a positive attitude are less depressed, stressed, anxious or sick than their pessimistic peers. Their psychology is well rounded and healthy, and these healthy minds lead to healthy bodies. They deal better with stress and get over traumas and negative events much quicker than their counterparts. Even cardiovascular disease death rates are lower for those who use positive self talk.
According to research, the only negative to this life approach is positive thinkers get taken advantage of more often. They tend to be more naïve than their peers and will quickly forget when someone has wronged them.
But compare this negative with the positives above. Is saving face and protecting your ego worth it?
Remove Negativity from your Thoughts
Most of our thinking is repetitive, automatic and useless, hence why the presence movement is so popular.
The string of automatic repetitive thoughts is rarely activated by a positive event. It is only when a “tragedy” occurs or when someone has wronged you, that you keep thinking about it for days and even weeks on end.
This kind of negative thinking will never solve your problems. What it will do is drain you of energy, negate any positive self talk you might have been practicing, prevent you from seeing the full picture (which also contains some good), stop you from seeing the other person’s point of view, and make it almost impossible to come up with a good / positive solution.
- Worrying about a deadline often leads to stress, a lowering of your energy levels and you procrastinating until the very last moment.
- Arguing with a loved one over which has the better political views may win you the argument, but it will put a strain on your relationship and distance you from your spouse. Which is actually more important: proving you are right or having a healthy / happy relationship with your spouse?
- Not liking / dancing at parties and sitting with your arms crossed in a corner whenever you’re at one is your personal choice. However, you cannot force your spouse to do the same, and since most people like dancing, he / she most likely will do it.
Is standing by this principle and not looking funny, because you don’t know how to dance, worth your lady dancing with some other dude because she can’t do it with you? Is it worth having other women hit on your man whenever there’s a song which encourages it? How can you be so sure this isn’t happening when you’re absent at most parties, and at the ones you do go to, you’re a source of constant frustration? How do you think your spouse will relieve this frustration?
If I’ve made a good enough point, and I hope I have, let’s speak of ways to remedy the situation.
It’s extremely difficult to stop the flow of negative thoughts once they’ve been triggered by a negative event, but you can increase your resistance to such events by being a bit more grateful.
Positive thinking people are always grateful for everything, from their families and health, to their bed and shoes. This is a huge part of their positive self talk.
Because they repeat positive affirmations so often, when tragedy strikes, amidst the negative emotions and feelings, they also remember all the things they are still grateful for. Regardless of how damaging the situation is, at least they still have “…” to be grateful for.
This is one of the most powerful positive thinking techniques. Train your mind by giving thanks whenever you can for whatever you can. There are so many things you take for granted which others would kill for. Be grateful for them. Express it in words. Instead of complaining, use your words to give thanks to all that you have and all that is around you. You’ll be much more resistant to negativity, you’ll develop a more positive attitude, and you’ll have a much happier day.
Laughter is nature’s remedy for negativity.
Pessimists rarely do it. Their standards for what makes a funny joke or situation are so high, they can make stand-up comedian get stage fright.
If you’ve ever found yourself in a room of laughing people while you’re the only one staying serious, perhaps it would be healthier to lower your standards. It’s fun to laugh. It’s pleasant and healthy. The more you do it, the better off you’ll be. So, why insist on having standards for laughter?
Manage your Reactions
Life is chaotic, and you cannot predict or control most of what happens to you. However, you can and must try to control your reactions with positive self talk.
An event or situation is neither good nor bad until you label it as such. The negative emotions you feel when certain events happen are not caused by the event itself, but by your own interpretation of it. Many successful positive thinking techniques revolve around reinterpreting these events.
For example, every time you make a mistake, you can interpret it as a failure and criticize yourself, or you can interpret it as a lesson and be thankful you’ve learnt it now instead of later when it could have caused more damage.
Beware of First Impressions
Regardless if you’ve got a negative or positive attitude, when interpreting an event or a person for the first time, you’re usually wrong. This is simply because you cannot possibly discover everything there is to know about a person or event in a few moments. Therefore, you lack the full picture, your knowledge is limited and you’re likely to make a mistake in your judgment.
So, whenever you make a negative first impression of a situation or person, stop for a second and give him/her/it the benefit of a doubt. See if you can attach some positive affirmations to that person or situation as well. A seemingly rude person on the bus may just be going through a breakup, and you getting fired may lead to the opportunity of your lifetime.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to gather all the information you can about the situation. Until you get the full picture of what is going on, refrain from passing judgment on it. This way, you’ll make fewer mistakes and make better impressions.
A great way to introduce positive self talk into your subconscious is by listening to positive affirmations instead of music. Search for them on YouTube, download as many clips as you can, and listen to them while driving, whenever you have a moment to rest, before sleep or when you’re trying to relax.
Just like constant complaining and negative thoughts lead to pessimism, positive thinking techniques and positive words repeated over and over again lead to the construction of a positive attitude.
Simply put, by listening and stating empowering, happy, or grateful words over and over again, it will eventually become a habit, and habits are the building blocks of personality.
An athletic person is usually an energetic person, and it’s very hard to be full of energy and full of pessimism at the same time. This does not mean there are no pessimistic athletes, but exercise is a proven way to gain some endorphins, increase your oxygen and energy levels, as well as your mental agility.
Positive Thinking Techniques in Practice
Finally, positive self talk is a habit, and like all habits, it is developed and sustained through repetition. The more you do it, the more likely it is that you’ll continue to do it.
So, get started. Pick any of the above and try it. Afterwards, try something else. Each attempt is a building block towards your new positive attitude.
Make a firm commitment to become a positive thinking person. The benefits will speak for themselves.