If you’ve had someone make a comment that sounded like “you’re so negative” or “you’re such a pessimist,” then it is perhaps an indication that you’re having a hard time thinking positively.
What does come out of your mouth is a reflection of the types of thoughts you have. Being stuck in that wave of thinking is scientifically bad for you. It is time to consider adopting positive thinking. Why?
The benefits of positive thinking
If you think positively, you do live longer and generally feel better as compared to those who don’t. That is not merely a claim; it is scientifically proven. Plenty of studies are available showing the immediate effects of negative thinking.
When you’re in that state, your muscles are tense, and your mind is on overdrive so you cannot sleep, you’re anxious or depressed, you have issues with digestion and tend to make less healthy choices, among other things. The best way to indeed get your health back is to change your thought patterns.
It reduces your blood pressure
Another area closely associated with how we think is our blood pressure. Those who are negative thinkers tend to suffer from high blood pressure.
That is typical because they have higher stress levels and suffer from anxiety, both of which contribute to high blood pressure. If you do already suffer from it, then it is time to make a drastic shift in your thought life. For maximum results, follow-through by adopting a healthier lifestyle.
You have increased immunity
Another aspect of positive thinking that researchers found is that our thoughts and attitude have a strong influence on our immune system.
In one of these studies, they found that when the areas in the brain associated with negative emotions got activated, a person’s immune system would have a weak response to a flu vaccine. Overall, those with a positive outlook in various areas of their lives showed to have a stronger immune system.’
Your pain tolerance increases
If you’ve interacted with a cancer patient that is still able to crack a smile and be an all-round bundle of joy, it’s an indication that they are positive thinkers. It is not that they don’t feel pain; they do.
What happens instead is that such persons can take pain much better, and there’s ample research to support that. When you experience pain and discomfort in your life, use that opportunity to practice positive thinking and witness the transformation.
Your relationships are better
Being around someone who’s always talking negatively about one thing or another is quite draining. It is for that reason people tend to avoid such a person. Being this person means that you have fewer friends, if any, and your family would equally keep their distance for the sake of their emotional and mental health.
Positive thinkers tend to have a lot more friends, given they are more social and do invest in their relationships. In general, those thinking positively do attract people who are the same. If you want to be a lovely person to be around, then you’re better of changing your thinking.
You can deal with stress better
Positive thinkers tend to be solution-oriented, which is not something negative thinkers do well. When stressed, someone with a gloomy mindset tends to think about and dwell on the problem instead of finding ways to deal or cope with it.
If you’ve had a pity party, then you get the idea of what camp you’re on. The more you focus on a negative thought, the more unlikely you are to have the mental bandwidth to redirect your thoughts to come up with solutions, even when things are bad.
You’re more focused
Positive thinkers see a world full of possibilities. They are also motivated to dream, set goals, and work toward them. The same is the opposite of the negative thinker. If you’ve ever thought “why bother” and given up on something, it is maybe time that you changed how you feel if you’re going to get things done.
When you’re confident that whatever you set your mind to will work, concentrating and pushing through is more natural. Even if things go south, you can make the right call in any difficult situation.
You’re more confident
Positive thinking trickles down to all aspects of our life, and our self-esteem is no different. Those who think positively of themselves tend to be more confident and typically comfortable in their own body.
The negative thinker who is “sure” that there is a lot wrong with them won’t have the courage when it comes to relationships, work, education, and other facets of their life. As a result, these areas suffer. If you feel unsure about yourself as a person, analyze the thoughts you have in your mind.
You love and care for yourself
Thinking positively has a ripple effect as no area is left untouched. If you feel good things about yourself, you’ll be more inclined to take better care of your body. You will want to do something to make sure that you live a longer and more enjoyable life.
You will find yourself making small changes that bring about significant results in the future. Aspects such as discipline will not be a problem because it’s indeed a reflection of self-love.
How to identify negative thinking
After reading the benefits of positive thinking, it’s only natural to want to take the next steps to shift your thinking. However, how do you know if you have negative thinking patterns and self-talk? Let’s look at the common signs.
Personalizing: You’re quick to blame yourself when something wrong happens, whether or not it has anything to do with you. If someone cancels plans with you, you automatically think you’re the problem, and the person doesn’t want to be around you.
Filtering: You only see the bad in any situation even though there are good aspects. A surprise birthday party can be going well, but suddenly, the whole affair turns negative because they spent your name wrong on the cake.
Polarizing: Things are either good or bad. For the negative thinker, there is no middle ground, and so you’re either doing a great job, or you feel that you’re failing at everything.
Catastrophizing: You only ever think the worst in any situation. If your boss gives you feedback about something you missed on a project, you automatically assume that you’ll be fired.
Look at the areas that need changing and tackle each. If you start on one area, the others will become easier as you’d have developed the muscles to remain positive. While that sounds easy enough, we get to be quite involved in our lives that we forget to check in with our thoughts.
Do so periodically during the day for a few seconds and change any negative to positive- the best time to do this is when you feel that your mood has changed and taken a dark turn.
Turning negative thoughts into positive ones does take time, practice, and patience- there is no shortcut.