The real focus of positive thinking is to gain better results in our lives through our minds. What we focus on, will be what defines us. It is much more than having a right attitude or being happy all the time. Positive thoughts can bring more to our lives and help us build skills and relationships that will be stronger than any old smile. To start things off, let us look at this from the opposite side:
Negative Thoughts, How It Harms Us
Negative thoughts or emotions narrow your mind and thoughts. Here’s an example, imagine you’re at a bank one day making your routine deposits. Along come a group of robbers with guns saying “Everybody get down and be quiet!’ how will you react?
Let’s break this down. The majority would do as they’re told, stay down and keep quiet while fearing for their lives. Then there’s a smaller group who would be so scared they start crying. Finally, there will be a rare individual who would try to help the rest by trying to talk sense into the robbers and calm everyone down.
Human Nature – How We React To Negative Thoughts
It’s just how we respond. You can already see that when something big happens, we tend to be stuck in a tunnel and find it hard to focus on other things. Don’t get me wrong, it is a useful and essential instinct which we as humans use to survive. But, how often does a scenario like this happen? As an instinct, we tend to let it control our lives and respond negatively to most situations.
Example In Today’s World
A real-world example of this would be when you’re stressed out, and you can’t focus on anything else, especially getting work done. It almost feels like you’re paralysed! Or maybe you’re stuck in traffic, and when a car cuts you off, you get so angry, even when you know you will arrive at the same time!
You know that feeling. Every time this happens, your mind shuts down from reasoning and starts focusing on the negative things like fear, stress and anger. So why did I start a positive thinking post with negativity? Simple, to get your attention and end on a high note! So now that you know how negative thoughts can affect your life, let’s move ahead to more greener pastures.
Effects Of Positive Thinking
I’m going to use a case study to explain this. Barbara Fredrickson, a professor at the University of North Carolina experimented to test how positive thinking impacts our brains. The experiment started by having 5 groups and showing them different film clips. This is what they were shown:
In group 1, a positive image that creates the feeling of joy was shown. And group 2, a positive image that creates the sense of contentment. Followed by group 3, neutral images with no emotions. Group 4 is where the negative images start and they were shown images that created the feeling of fear. Lastly, group 5 were given images that created the sense of anger.
What Happened Then?
After this, the participants were told to imagine themselves in this situation and write down what they would do. The results? As you would have expected. Those who saw the images of fear and anger wrote very little in their response while those who had the more positive images wrote significantly more. From the little experiment, we can conclude that negative thoughts limit our thinking while positive ones open our minds up and increase creativity!
Positive Thinking Builds You Up
The effects of positive thinking don’t just disappear after a few minutes of feeling good. It also has lasting effects that develop and will be useful in the future.
I’ll use another example here. When we were kids, we used to want to play all the time. And whenever we had the chance, we just wanted to play with friends. Thats when we learn some fundamental skills. Skills like socialising, physical skills from running and creative thinking to name a few. These skills come as a result of positive emotions.
“Every thought we think is creating the future” – Louise Hay
They last longer than the emotion itself. From thinking positively, we created a foundation for our future to grow on. These skills we developed, moulded us into who we are today. We use these in our jobs, businesses, relationships and everything else we do. The same goes for negative thoughts. So try to make a conscious effort when you think.
Think Positive More Often
So we know that anyone with a sane mind will want to think positively all the time. How do we do that? I’ll give a few clear recommendations on how you can continually stay positive:
- Have Fun – I know work and life can be stressful. And that’s why we need to have some fun! Life is not just about working and making money. Take some time out and do something that puts a smile on your face! Give yourself a treat. Besides, de-stressing is always an excellent way to be more productive at work.
- Meditation – This is an excellent way to fill your mind up with positive vibes consciously. There are many forms of meditation that you can try. To keep it simple, you can sit in a quiet room by yourself, relax and think of positive thoughts.
- Expressing yourself – One of the best ways to express yourself is to write. You’ll be able to clear your mind and dig into your brain like never before. Remember to write or express yourself in a positive manner.
- Look for sites or blogs that can be a community to you.
Choosing Between Happiness Or Success
Do you think that with success comes happiness? It so often does. Who wouldn’t be happy when they get a promotion? Or achieve something big in life? There’s just so many ways you can be successful, but does it make you happy? It’s a common misconception in our world today.
Do you ever think that if you just got _____ then life would be great! Or if only you had X amount of money, then you can be happy? We’re all guilty of this. But we already know that happiness is both the precursor to success and the result of it. In fact, there’s a compounding effect when you put the two together. Being happy leads to more success and more success leads to more happiness, and it repeats.
Where To Go From Here?
Yes, it’s great to think positively and be happy all the time. As a result, we will develop lifelong skills that will bring us success. It is more than just being happy and de-stressing for a while. That’s why you need to do things you enjoy and express yourself like in the examples above. So keep that in mind and you’ll be on your way to a great life ahead!
Here’s one final quote:
“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop here a positive vision.” – the Dalai Lama
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