The Power of Positive Thinking for Personal Growth
Does mindset really matter when it comes to your health and personal growth?
Yes, it does!
Your thoughts can be a powerful influence on many aspects of your life from mood and physical health to personal success.
Positive thinking is a tool that’s often overlooked. Growing research indicates a connection between a positive outlook and overall health. Choosing helpful thoughts can also encourage you to make better choices, leading to better health.
Health Benefits Linked to Positive Thinking:
- Improved mood
- Resilience when encountering challenges
- Lower risk of developing serious, long-term health problems
- Lower levels of distress and pain
- Healthier weight
All emotions are natural and normal. Even negative emotions are important for our survival under appropriate circumstances. The key is to move through the negative emotions and not hold on to them.
Dr. Daniel Amen calls these habitual negative thinking patterns ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts). They can leave you feeling bad and hinder your ability to reach your goals.
Focusing on positive thinking doesn’t mean that you’re ignoring life’s problems and challenges, it means that you’re approaching them in a more helpful and productive way.
Positive Thinking and Personal Growth
When pursuing a goal, large or small, the way you think about your goal and think about yourself can have a huge effect on the outcome. Believing in yourself and being kind to yourself when you face challenges along the way will not only help you feel happier but will help you persist and be more likely to succeed.
This is good news! Cultivating a more positive outlook is worthwhile and highly doable.
6 Simple Ways to Increase Positive Thinking Daily
Affirmations are short mantras that can help you focus your thinking. You can write them down, repeat them silently, or simply say them out loud to yourself.
Affirmations for a quick boost:
I am enough.
I am full of energy.
I am strong.
I am grateful.
I am getting better and better every day.
I am living with abundance.
I am kind to myself.
I am optimistic about the future.
I choose to be happy.
I attract all good things.
Try turning your negative thoughts around when they pop up. Our minds sometimes want to give us absolutes, meaning they’re 100% true all the time. This is rarely the case, and often an exaggeration.
Instead of thinking, “I never make healthy food choices.”
Try, “In the past, I haven’t always made the best food choices. Now, I am working on making better food choices.”
Or, instead of thinking, “I am never going to succeed.”
Try, “If I keep trying, I can figure this out.”
3. Smile More
Simply smiling more, even fake smiling, can help you feel more peaceful. This is where that idea of “fake it ‘till you make it” comes in. You can look for humor in even difficult situations.
Give it a try, and you might find that not only your smiles will be contagious, but your increased positivity and optimism are contagious too.
Keeping a journal can be a good place to write down affirmations that you want to practice. It also can be helpful to write down the things that you’re grateful for.
Expressing gratitude can increase your optimism, reduce stress, and make you more resilient in trying times.
Who isn’t happy when they’re having fun? Playing isn’t just for kids, it’s for everyone in all seasons of life. It’s easy to get caught up in all the things on your to-do list, that you neglect getting involved in hobbies and taking time to play.
Remember that sometimes you don’t need to do less, you just need to do more of what you love. Playing is an important form of self-care.
When we spend more time doing things we love, we will naturally experience a more positive outlook on life. Fill your life with things that bring joy and peace into your day.
6. Spend Time in Nature
Being outside in nature can help you clear your mind and broaden your perspective.
How Do You Speak to Yourself?
You can choose the way that you talk to yourself! You really can. We all talk to ourselves – sometimes it’s good, and other times it isn’t so good. The next time negative self-talk enters your mind, give yourself permission to dismiss it.
Negative self-talk can dampen your mood, ignite stress, and hold you back from achieving your dreams.
Positive self-talk examples you can try:
It’s too hard
No one listens to me
I’ll never figure this out
I can’t do this
I believe in my ability to figure this out
I need time to rest
I’m capable of expressing myself
With persistence, I can find the answers I need
I can do anything I set my mind to
Keep it simple by following this rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t be comfortable saying to a friend.
Could You Be Putting Your Happiness on Hold?
It’s common to believe the thought, “When I achieve this certain thing, I will be happy.” Or, “when this thing happens, then I can have joy.”
Try living like you’ve already reached those milestones or goals and let yourself be happy today. Allowing yourself to be happy now can increase positive thoughts and feelings and actually help you be more successful as you work towards personal growth.
If you’ve gotten used to negative thinking, it may take some time to change your thinking patterns, but it is possible! When you notice those ANT’s creeping in, practice some of the ideas and techniques you’ve learned here.
Paying attention to your thoughts can help you unlock the power of positive thinking for personal growth.
You’ve got this!
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