It is common knowledge that positive thinking can result in positive outcomes in many aspects of life. Although for some, positive thinking may not come naturally. The good news is the more you strive to be positive the more successful you can achieve being positive. That does not mean that every situation in life should ignore harmful experiences, especially when serious circumstances are involved. However, if serious circumstances are not involved, when you find the good in most situations it can be helpful to persevere with the potential to result in a happier you. There are many benefits to maintaining a positive mindset, such as living longer, thinking more clearly, effectively managing stress by incorporating better coping techniques, and even achieving better health outcomes. Below are three strategies to begin incorporating a positive mindset:
1. When you receive bad news or something happens that is not ideal, take a moment to pause and breathe. It can be helpful to take a deep breath in through your nose for 5 seconds and slowly exhale through your mouth for 10 seconds. Repeat these breaths 3-5 times until you feel calm and centered. If possible, wait to react or speak. If time allows, practice waiting for at least 24 hours before you respond or react. By waiting 24 hours it allows you to critically think about the news or the situation before making a decision that may affect you or your loved ones.
2. Reframe your thinking. This may be challenging at first, but with enough intent and practice it can be achieved. If you are naturally inclined to react negatively, be aware of this trait. When you begin to think a negative thought, stop it in its tracks. Then reframe your thinking to something positive. For example, if you are overlooked for a promotion and were just recently informed, find a positive such as you may spend more time with your family and not have to work as many long hours.
3. Make a list of things you are grateful for and review that list each day. If it is unrealistic for you to view a gratitude journal each day, write down what you are grateful for on multiple post-it notes and place them in locations throughout your home, like the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. If you are struggling to find something you are grateful for and feel like nothing is going right, challenge yourself to find at least one thing in life that is going well. Then each day build upon the things you are grateful for and by the end of the month you will be amazed by things you did not initially focus on. When you write down the things you are grateful for in life, you are more likely to focus on those things.
Positive thinking can result in positive outcomes. Begin incorporating a positive mindset today by taking a pause, reframing your thinking, and make a list of things you are grateful for. For more information on identifying negative thinking and focusing on positive thinking, view this article from Mayo Clinic. For more information on developing healthier habits, view this Cecelia Health blog.