The influence of optimistic thought is universal. Everybody wants to learn to think positively; manifesting, vision boards, and sayings like "No bad days" are all the rage.
But what does it mean to have a positive outlook, anyway? Can having a good attitude be enough to make your goals a reality?
It's accurate to say that what you think about most influences what you do. The results you get in your profession, your personal life, and other areas of your life are directly proportional to the choices you make.
The quality of your personal connections and your perspective on the world are both shaped by your thinking and the values and beliefs you hold.
We must be careful not to let our optimistic outlook blind us. You can sit in your mental garden and tell yourself there are no weeds, but if you want to create a truly satisfying life, you have to stop trying to hide the weeds with positive thinking and start pulling them out.
The key to moving on is developing a resilient attitude that can accept and even work with negative feelings. So, let's start at the beginning.
What exactly is positive thinking?
When you adopt a positive mental and emotional attitude, you are more likely to see the good in situations and anticipate a positive outcome.
The key is to prepare for good times, health, and success rather than brace for the worst. Invoking the power of the law of attraction, this way of thinking generates a spiral of increasing good fortune.
Then, what does positive thinking not entail? There is no magic bullet that will make you happy and pleased once you take it. For example, it won't help you overcome your fear of failing or your fear of succeeding, which are both common limiting beliefs.
And it's not the same as assuring yourself you're OK while doing nothing. More than just an optimistic outlook will help you realize your goals. It's time to take action.
How to use positive thinking
Achieving happiness in life is all about learning to control your feelings, good and bad. While optimism is helpful, it's only one tool among many. Here are six strategies for tapping into the maximum potential of your mind and body.
Promote your own self-worth first and foremost
As hard as you tried, you just couldn't get that promotion. There has been a termination of your employment. Your boyfriend or girlfriend dumped you. You are hampered by persistent health problems.
All of these are challenging circumstances that most of us will have to deal with at some point. The true inquiry is, "How will you react to them?"
When awful things occur, do you put the blame on other people? Or do you try to find answers within yourself? To have an internal locus of control means to accept personal responsibility for one's thoughts, actions, and emotions; this is a defining characteristic of high achievers.
With this way of thinking, you may have faith in yourself and a positive outlook that will help you get back up when you fall. Once you have that in place, the rest of your life will start to make sense.
Always keep in mind that the only person or thing you have any real say over in life is yourself. You can't manage the world around you, but you can manage your response to it.
The only time you're ready to harness the full potential of positive thinking is when you've given yourself the tools to alter the one variable over which you have complete control: yourself.
Take control of yourself
Have you ever noticed how your body language changes when you're having a bad day? When you're nervous, you cross your arms over your chest, slouch in your chair, and avoid making eye contact with other people.
Instead of keeping yourself in check, you give in to your surroundings and let them dictate your actions. Not a very convincing argument. When you're uncomfortable, angry, or depressed, your body sends signals to those around you that they should give you space.
Because of this, your poor posture will feed right back into your negative frame of mind, creating a self-perpetuating cycle.
The benefits of positive thinking extend beyond the mental realm and into the physical one. Manage your physical self-presentation with confidence. You may send a strong, optimistic, and receptive message to those around you by working on your posture.
Quit doing nervous things like twirling your hair or fidgeting with your hands. This method calls for self-awareness; if you notice yourself giving in to a nervous tic or slouching, immediately correct the behavior. A more confident frame of mind will come as you strike a strong physical position.
The people around you will respond favorably to the positive physiological cues you are giving. Optimism breeds positivity; the more people perceive you as upbeat, the simpler it is to adopt that frame of mind.
You'll be in a better place to put other people first and do things like asking yourself these three questions to discover where you have the most impact.
Change your frame of mind
However, adjusting your body alone isn't enough; you must also recognize the other negative trigger as soon as it begins to take hold in order to prevent it from becoming a full-blown crisis.
Your frame of mind controls the kinds of mental processes you engage in and the emotions and behaviors you exhibit in response to them. Everything will look worse if your frame of mind is negative.
Imagine you're at the airport and you're held up in line for security checks longer than necessary. Then, the airline employee that checks you in is impolite. A coworker overhears, feels bad, and upgrades your flight to business class.
Is your mind preoccupied with the problems you had at the airport, or are you enjoying the roomy seat and complimentary drink you were given?
What are your thoughts on the delay? Do you see it as time lost, or as a chance to regroup and relax? How often do negative thoughts take over, or do you find yourself quickly returning to the power of positive thinking?
You have the choice to dwell on the negatives or the positives of this situation (and any situation), but if you dwell on the disadvantages, they will eventually become the dominant factor in your life.
And when you walk about with a permanent frown on your face and an unfriendly attitude, bad things seem to happen to you.
Your relationships may suffer as you exact revenge on your partner or other people for failing to meet your lofty standards. An optimistic outlook may seem unattainable, and you will forget that you have the power to overcome any challenge.
By thinking positively, you can avoid feeling angry or frustrated, and instead focus on the present moment. Focusing on the good things in your life will help you develop an abundance attitude that is thankful and open rather than pessimistic and shut off.
Analyze your habits and create new ones
Without self-awareness, it is impossible to alter negative thought patterns and develop more helpful ones. Is there anything that causes you to begin questioning your own abilities? Do you respond to things openly or do you put up barriers? If so, please describe them.
You can feel anxious whenever you give serious consideration to advancing in your current position. You start thinking negatively and abandon any hope for the future.
The longer you've been with the company, the more you wonder why you haven't been promoted yet. Is there something your superiors know that you don't? Maybe they have doubts about your ability to accomplish the job.
You start to doubt your abilities and worry that advancement opportunities in your field will never come your way. One possibility is that you will give up.
Stop and consider how much time you're wasting on this destructive routine. Fear, especially of failing, is the core cause of most cases of self-doubt.
The thought of trying and failing is too painful to handle, so your mind creates all kinds of excuses to keep you from trying. The worst possible outcome is stagnation, which is more likely if you give in to these pessimistic beliefs.
Even if you fail, you will get valuable experience. You won't get anywhere by staying put.
What if, instead of letting yourself get sucked into a black hole of pessimism, you redirected your attention and started doing things that made you feel good?
Negative thinking can spin out of control, so blotting it out will help. If you can interrupt a negative thought pattern before it becomes destructive, you can redirect your attention to more uplifting memories.
Training yourself to replace negative ideas with good ones is an effective method for gradually eliminating them from your consciousness. You can stop letting worry control you. And that, my friend, is the result of the power of optimistic thinking.
Pick your words carefully
Changing the words you use on a regular basis is a great way to start thinking more positively. How you talk to yourself and others has a significant effect on your outlook.
Positive self-talk has been shown to promote mental health, aid in mood regulation, and more by a number of different studies. Your words have an impact on how people react to you, generating a good or negative feedback loop.
The first step in changing your word choice is becoming aware of the words you're currently employing. Pay attention to the words you use to describe things, especially your own feelings.
Is it more accurate to say that you're nervous about giving that presentation at work than it is to say that you're "terrified?" Is your "anger" directed towards your partner, or at one of their annoying habits?
Using simpler, less emotionally charged language can help you adjust your brain into a more optimistic frame of mind.
One technique that has been found to be useful is keeping a journal of all the negative words one uses in a day. If you write a bad term, you must also put a good one next to it.
Be sure to remember the options for the next time you need them. Have a hard time dealing with the magnitude of this facet of an optimistic outlook?
Focus on a single source of stress, such as your job or your romantic relationships, to begin changing your outlook. Remember those good times and use them as a springboard for more success.
Recognize your role models
Try to recall a person who has made a significant impact on your life. It could be someone you know well, such as a friend or family member, or it could be a famous person you've never met, such as an athlete or business guru.
What guiding principles do they abide by? Is it true that their positive outlook has unlocked tremendous opportunities for them? You can achieve the same level of success as them by adopting a similarly optimistic mindset.
When you start to feel negative thoughts creep in and you just can't seem to shake them, it can be helpful to read a quote by someone you admire.
Get familiar with it and figure out how to incorporate its values into your life. Put it in writing and keep it where you'll be reminded of it frequently, like the fridge or the computer screen.