Do you consider yourself an optimistic person? Is the glass usually half empty, or half full? Have you embraced the power of positive thinking?
I have struggled for a long time with a habit of negative thinking. It invaded every aspect of my life. I was constantly barraged by thoughts of self-doubt and shame.
- Why can’t my marriage be better?
- Why does my body look a certain way?
- I wish I had more friends
- Why can’t I get my emotions under control?
- Why am I such a bad mom?
Raise your hand if you can identify with that and let me know in the comments. It is amazing to see how many people find themselves trapped in a life filled with negativity.
The benefits of positive thinking
According to MayoClinic, there are numerous benefits to leading a more positive lifestyle. Besides the emotional benefits, it actually has an impact on your physical health!
- Increased life span. This is so amazing! You can literally live longer by thinking more positive thoughts on a daily basis.
- Lower rates of depression. Raising my hand over here. This is something I have found so true for myself. So I can definitely vouch for this being true.
- Lower levels of distress. Your body systems will thank you. Do you ever notice how when you are mired in the negativity that you get frequent stomach aches? Think more positively, and feel better physically!
- Greater resistance to the common cold. This is super important going into the winter months. If positivity helps your immune system, then it might also be able to make you more resistant to flu bugs. Can’t hurt to try, right?
- Better psychological and physical well-being. I find that when I am thinking more positively, my motivation is higher, and I am more likely to exercise and eat right. There is a massive link between our mental and physical selves.
- Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease. The cardiovascular disease leads to many deaths, so this is an easy way to help combat that.
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress. I find that when I am in a positive state, I am able to think more clearly. This clear thinking helps me better strategize in different areas of life that I’m having issues in.
I recommend making it a daily habit to practice positive affirmations. There is more and more science surrounding the power of positivity. Like I said earlier, it doesn’t hurt to try. There is literally no downside to trying to think more positively.
This is all you need to do. Step 1: Make a list of all the negative things you think on a daily basis. I’ll give you some examples.
- I am a bad mom
- Nobody likes me
- I wish I was thinner
- I will never find love
- Why am I so ugly?
I guarantee everyone reading has thought something similar in the past. This brings us to step 2: Change these statements into something positive.
Now, make a second list, just like this:
- I love my children, and they love me. I show love for them every day.
- Every day, I am loved, and liked, by so many people.
- Every day, I am working on my health, and my body thanks me.
- I feel love all around me, and return it to the universe.
- I am beautiful inside and out, in everything that I do.
Do you see how much more powerful the second set of statements can be for your emotional wellbeing? Step 3: Print out the list, or write it on a piece of paper in your favourite coloured ink, and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Repeat them to yourself every morning and each night before you go to bed.
Journaling for positive thinking
I recommend journaling to anyone struggling with negativity. Every time you find yourself thinking a negative thought, write it down. Then, brainstorm ways you can turn it into a positive statement, just like we did in the steps above.
Here are some great journaling life hacks:
- Pick out a journal with a beautiful design. This way every time you open it, you will feel inspired.
- Write in a colour that you love. I don’t recommend writing in blue because I think there are a lot of subconscious suggestions surrounding it. (Ex. “having the blues.”)
- Set aside time every day. Start with 5 minutes a day. You can always work your way up from there.
- Start each entry with something you are grateful for that day. A gratitude mindset is so crucial for your emotional health.
Not sure what to write about? Here are 10 journaling prompts you can use today:
- If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be…
- In 5 years, I see myself…
- My best friend in the world is…
- The top three qualities I want in a partner are…
- My favourite movie is… (and why)
- A song that always inspires me is…
- If I could eat something every day for the rest of my life it would be…
- My favourite colour is… (and why)
- My dream vacation is…
- If I was at my highest potential that would look like…
Start thinking more positively today!
I know, it seems hard. There are days where it seems like the hardest thing in the world. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve had days where I am so consumed by my depression that the last thing I want to do is try to be positive.
Do you know what I’ve learned over the years? It starts with a single step. It starts with you deciding that you are fed up. With you deciding that this negative lifestyle is no way to live.
So do yourself a favour. Take that first step. You will be amazed at how your life changes.