Have you ever focused on the nature of your thoughts? What kind of thoughts occupy your mind?
Thoughts hold immense power over us and our lives. Our thoughts affect our mood and subsequently our behaviors. If you are thinking- I don’t feel like my life is interesting anymore- you will feel bored and sad and it will negatively affect your behavior. On the other hand, if you think to yourself- I think I am headed toward the life that I wanted- it will make you happy and change your behavior positively. According to research, happy thoughts make a person open to new opportunities and even increase helping behaviors.
Positive thinking and attitude hold the potential to change the trajectory of your life (for good). With the help of your thoughts, you can create success or failure, happiness or unhappiness, opportunities or obstacles. This depends on your mindset.
The thoughts that pass through your mind are responsible for almost everything that happens in your life. Not all thoughts are crucial but your predominant thoughts, the ones you repeat often, influence your behavior and attitude, affect your actions and reactions, and shape your reality. In this blog, we will talk about optimism and positive thinking and how it holds the power to impact our lives. Towards the end, we will talk about the benefits of a positive attitude and thoughts and the steps we can take to think positively.
Optimism is the quality of being full of hope, and emphasizing the good parts of a situation.
Optimists believe that good things will happen, whilst pessimists believe that bad things will happen. Optimistic attitudes have a lot of advantages. According to research, heredity accounts for roughly 25% of your optimism, and external factors beyond your control, such as your socioeconomic standing, also play a role. However, this does not rule out the possibility of actively improving your attitude.
All of us are wired naturally in a way that affects our orientation towards ourselves and the world. Optimism is a personality trait that we are born with. Optimists are oriented to view the world favorably. Regardless of whether you are a natural optimist, pessimist, or realist, you have a choice in how you think. Positive thinking is an attitude that you can choose regardless of your underlying nature.
Optimism focuses on how things will work out while positive thinking focuses on "How will I respond?" Optimism assumes the external world that everything will turn out fine and will work out. On the other hand, positive thinking makes no assumptions about how the external world will be. In some cases, optimism is even considered a blind spot.
Positive thinking, often known as an optimistic mindset, is the act of concentrating on the positive aspects of a situation. It has a significant impact on your physical and mental well-being. Positive thinking does not imply that you disregard the unpleasant aspects of life. Positive thinking simply means approaching unpleasant situations more positively and productively. You expect the best, not the worse, to happen. Self-talk is a common starting point for positive thinking.
Steps towards optimism and positive thinking
Optimism and positive thinking are not exactly something an individual is born with. One can take the following steps to develop a positive outlook:
- Reframe your situation: Instead of being irritated when something horrible happens that is beyond your control, try to enjoy the positive aspects of the circumstance. Instead of being concerned about a traffic delay, consider how easy it is to have a car.
Keep a gratitude journal: Writing down the things you're grateful for each day or week forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. People who kept gratitude notebooks felt happier, more positive, and more enthusiastic about the future.
- Picture your best possible future: Think in detail about a bright vision for your future - career, relationships, health, and hobbies -- and write them down in detail. When you imagine your life going well, research suggests, you’ll be happier in the present.
- Focus on your strengths: Consider one of your characteristics, such as kindness, organization, discipline, or creativity, every day for a week. Make a list of how you intend to apply that strength in new ways that day. Then take action.
- Identify negative thinking: Look out for negative thought patterns and negative self-talk where you might be balming, personalizing, magnifying, or catastrophizing things.
Benefits of optimism and positive thinking
The effect of optimism and optimistic thinking on mental and physical health has been studied extensively. It's not always evident whether the mentality or the rewards arrive first. Keeping a positive attitude, on the other hand, has no drawbacks. Some physical benefits may include:
- Longer life span
- Lower chance of having a heart attack
- Better physical health
- Greater resistance to illness such as the common cold
- Lower blood pressure
- Better stress management
- Better pain tolerance
The mental benefits may include:
- More creativity
- Greater problem-solving skill
- Clearer thinking
- Better mood
- Better coping skills
- Less depressive symptoms
People with a positive outlook were less likely to get sick and reported fewer symptoms when they were exposed to the flu and common cold in one study. According to research, people over the age of 50 who had more positive ideas about aging lived longer. They also showed decreased stress-related inflammation, indicating that their thoughts and health may be linked.
A WORD FROM SOCIALLY SOULED
Positive thinking and optimism are essential aspects of positive psychology that helps a person live a satisfied and fulfilling life. People who think positively have a healthy lifestyle because they are optimistic about the future. When you think and believe in good and positive, your life will upgrade to a higher level. It can be developed using a few steps and has a myriad of benefits.