“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.”
Cheers to 2020! 🥂
Struggling with setting your list of goals and resolutions for the new year? Why not try something a little different...a new year's challenge! Your challenge - make 2020 the year you push negative thoughts out of your head and focus on the power of positive thinking.
It's normal to have a tendency towards negative thinking. In fact, studies show that the average person has anywhere from 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day, and a whopping 85% of those thoughts are of the negative variety. You’ve probably heard, “what you focus on, you attract”. Worry and fear, pull your mind into negative thinking rather than focusing on the positive things you’d like in your life. So how do you eliminate this negative thinking? The first steps are to recognize the importance of shifting your perspective from negative to positive. If you’ve read this far, you’re already on your way!
According to MindTools, “Affirmations are positive statements that can help you challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts. When you repeat them often, and believe in them, you can start to make (and see) positive changes.”
There’s even science behind it! Not to get overly sciency but studies have shown just how powerful affirmations can be in shifting negative thinking. MRI evidence suggests certain neural pathways are increased when people practice self affirmation tasks. When participants reflect on personal core values and rewarding experiences, the pathways engage neural mechanisms associated with reward and positive valuation.
Top benefits of self-affirmations for your body and mind*
- Research suggests, it can boost your ability to problem solve under pressure
- Studies also suggest, it can boost academic grade-point averages in underperforming students
- Affirmations have been effective in eliminating the negative effects of chronic stress
- Optimistic people tend to have better cardiovascular health
- Daily affirmations make you more aware of your thought process which can lead to enhanced self-knowledge, making you better at knowing what you want in life
- Positive affirmations reconnect the feelings of gratitude and enhance your perspective on the good things in life which can boost your happiness
So you’re starting to see the power of affirmations but not sure where to start? It’s pretty easy and can be done almost anywhere!*
- Take 3 deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling to a count of ten
- Say an affirmation or list of positive affirmations slowly and clearly. This can be out loud or in your head
- Repeat the affirmation(s) 3 - 5 times, trying to focus on the meaning of each word
- Take another 3 deep breaths, allowing your body to absorb the positive feeling of the affirmation(s)
Here’s a list of common affirmations*
- I can do anything I put my mind to
- I am successful in all that I do
- I am worthy
- I choose to be happy
- Nobody but me decides how I feel
- I accept and love myself, thoroughly and completely
Repeat these during your commute, as you’re walking, or when you feel negative thoughts creeping in and watch how your mood changes!
THE POWER OF “YET”
Have your list of resolutions yet? Taking the first step can be intimidating, it can feel like you’re never going to get there. However, just because you aren’t there doesn’t mean you never will be. The way to get there? Try the “yet” thought process. For instance, if your resolution is to meet your fitness goals and later in the year you think, “I haven’t reached my fitness goals,” you may feel discouraged and beat yourself up. However, if you add “yet” to the end of your sentence, it changes the heaviness of how it feels and into a more positive statement. “I haven’t reached my fitness goals yet.” Even better? Add on another positive thought like, “I haven’t reached my fitness goals yet but I am going to!”
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVITY
To really start living that “positive lifestyle”, you need to put in the work but it also helps to have a supportive environment. Outside factors are extremely influential on your overall mindset and mood. We can’t always control who’s around us. So how do we deal with negative people then? There’s a few things you can do.
- Don’t buy into their negativity
- Carve out time and give yourself a little break. It’s okay to take some time and distance from the negative people and just be with yourself
- Careful what you say. It’s easy to get angry or frustrated with toxic people but responding angrily only feeds their negativity
- Try to have compassion for the people around you and take responsibility for your own happiness despite other people’s negativity
- Be the light! Strive to personify positivity. Doing nice things for others will not only make you feel good and confirm your positive mindset, but it may just rub off on them too
Gratitude is a powerful way to reinforce positive thinking. We can think of gratitude as thankful appreciation for what we receive, whether tangible or intangible. Being grateful, can be one of the most powerful keys to happiness and success. By thinking of what you are grateful for, you are focusing on what you already have, not what you lack.
According to Psychology Today, research has shown that focusing on what we are grateful for is a universally rewarding way to feel happier and more fulfilled. They have also found that scientific studies show gratitude is associated with:
- Greater happiness
- More optimism and positive emotions
- New and lasting relationships
- Better health
- More progress toward personal goals
- Fewer aches and pains
- More alertness and determination
- Increased generosity and empathy
- Better sleep
- Improved self-esteem
While maintaining a positive attitude is a healthy way to approach your day to day life, know it’s okay to have down days too. It’s natural to have moments of grief and sadness. Don’t push those feelings away and bury them. Sometimes grief and sadness need to be felt. Numbing sadness can also numb happiness. To have a full life, it’s important to process and experience your feelings, it’s essential for valuing the good moments!
So take a tip from us and flip the script. Be grateful for what you have and you’ll be surprised at how things start heading in the right direction! You'll feel better, have a healthier outlook and increase your overall wellness.
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