Why Think Positively?
There are so many benefits to positive thinking. But, why should we focus on thinking more positively?
The way we think ultimately affects the way we feel. Negative thoughts lead to negative feelings and, the more negative thoughts we have, the worse we feel. We end up in a warren hole and we can no longer see the way out. This again makes us feel worse still.
If we can find ways to think more positively, we feel more positive. Positivity created momentum and direction which leads to action. This was we begin to realise the benefits of positive thinking.
What Causes Negative Thinking?
No doubt you’ve been there before. Something doesn’t go your way or you don’t get the result you want. You get that niggling feeling that something should have gone better and you find yourself focusing on it. That focus turns into more disappointment and that begins to turn into an emotional feeling.
So, what caused it? Was it the fact that you didn’t get the result and therefore that’s to blame? No! What caused this was the decision you made about how to respond to it. That decision was probably unconscious and before you know it, you feel terrible.
Negative thinking is mainly caused by unconscious decision making that’s based on a lifetime of other decisions that are hardwired into our brain. The more you think negatively, the more the brain sees this as its go-to place when responding to situations.
If we want to think more positively, we need to make more conscious decisions when responding to situations to make new neuro-connections in the brain so that we begin to respond more positively in future. In other words, rewiring your brain to act differently.
As you can see in the image above, our thoughts create beliefs. Our beliefs impact our feelings. Our feelings influence our actions and our actions cement our thoughts.
- Thoughts – the things we think about in our head (our response)
- Beliefs – known as belief systems. The things we tell ourselves that we begin to believe (for example, I’m never good enough)
- Feelings – an emotional state that we physically feel in our body (for example anger, upset, frustration, happiness etc)
- Actions – the things we do
Positive thinking comes from sending positivity around this cycle. To realise the benefits of positive thinking, we need to choose to respond positively and this comes from making a conscious decision.
Benefits of Positive Thinking
Here are 8 benefits of positive thinking:
- We get more done – if we are in a positive frame of mind, we take action. Action leads to results and those results make us feel great. It means we are more likely to do more to get that same feeling
- We feel healthier – a lot has been written about mental health recently. When we don’t feel mentally good our health can suffer as a result. The body creates the stress hormone cortisol which needs to be removed from the system. The body needs the energy to do this so it steals it from the immune system. This makes us more open to infection, especially if you have a constant flow of cortisol in your body
- We sleep better – lower levels of stress and anxiety leads to better sleep. The more rested we are through quality sleep, the better we generally feel about ourselves
- We have more energy – when we feel good the body created dopamine and serotonin, positive hormones you may know as endorphins. These hormones make us feel great and energetic meaning we are likely to get more done
- We are better at dealing with negativity – more commonly known as being more resilient and means we find it easier to deal with negative situations and actually respond more positively to them
- We lower our risk of sickness – having more energy tends to mean we move more. This means we get more exercise and we all know the benefits of this
- We create better relationships – we tend to avoid negative people and give them names such as ‘mood hoovers’ or ‘fun sponge’. If we are seen to be more positive, others are more likely to connect with us
- Better career prospects – if getting on in your career is based on results, you get better results when you realise all of the benefits above
How to Think More Positively
All of this sounds great, but how do we think more positively. You read our post How to Be More Positive to learn more about how you can make those conscious decisions that lead to more positive thoughts and lead to the benefits of positive thinking above.
Another tip is to understand more about mindset. You can read the article What is Mindset.
Positive Thinking Training Course
You can learn more about the benefits of positive thinking and how to think more positively by attending our Building Resilience training course. See the Building Resilience course page for more details.