We all have those days when we feel sad, anxious, or just unhappy. In todays fast paced world of non- stop work, and worry, it’s no wonder that depression is so prevalent in todays society. There’s a new term out there now I came across, toxic positivity. Toxic? I just don’t buy that.
I can tell you from firsthand experience, that once I started to realize the true power of positive thinking, my day to day life completely changed. My health improved, my mood, even my sleep. I went from just feeling blah to completely grateful for each day. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments that aren’t the most positive, but compared to how I used to feel, it’s a complete 180.
You don’t need to spend money on fancy seminars, you just need to be mindful and aware of where our thoughts actually come from. Here I want to share with you what works for me, and what I like to call the ultimate guide to positive thinking.
Health Impact Of Negative Thinking
I want to first take a look at the impact that negative thoughts have on our health. Not only does it keep us in a downward spiral of negativity, but it has adverse side effects that some mistake for actual illness. Negativity breeds more negativity. Ever hear the term misery loves company? Have you ever needed someone to complain to that would validate your reasons for having a bad day? I’m pretty sure we have all done that.
The truth is negative attitudes and feelings of hopelessness could upset the bodies’ hormone balance creating chronic stress depleting the brain chemicals needed for happiness. Our immune system is also affected, therefore decreasing our life span. Low self-esteem is another aspect of negative thoughts.
Low self-esteem can cause people to have trouble in their jobs, relationships, performance in work or school, which then increases their feelings of depression and loneliness. This is dangerous because it could also cause drug or alcohol issues. Our bodies’ react to stress so we need to find out how to lower everyday stresses. This is what this guide will help you with.
Top Ways To Stay Positive
I’m not a psychologist or doctor, but I have battled with feelings of hopelessness and negativity for a majority of my life. I want to share with you a little of what I have gone through and how I learned to stop the negativity. I have struggled with low self-esteem for years. I was a chubby kid in early childhood, which of course got me picked on.
My household was a negative one, and a couple of my family members could never see past their negativity. As a young child I guess I learned this is just how everyone and everything was so I looked for validation in the wrong places. Hanging around not so savory acquaintances, just wanting people to like me.
What I didn’t know at the time is that I was looking outside of myself for something that was inside me the whole time, no one taught me this so I had to learn the hard way. Fast forward to my 20s and things didn’t change much. I was so depressed and anxious and I didn’t know how to overcome these feelings. It took me almost 20 years to figure this out. I learned the only way I was going to be happy was if I taught myself and took time alone researching and learning. What I know now, is that our thoughts, moment by moment, are just that, only thoughts.
They come and go but you can’t dwell on them. Stop the worrying about things you can’t control or the future, the only thing that matters is now. When you worry too much, you create a problem that wasn’t there in the first place. Every day, I wake up and every night before I go to sleep, I count the things I am grateful for.
My life has become meaningful again. Meditation also is a big help. Before going to bed every night, I listen to guided meditations that have positive affirmations, and I fall asleep to these. Check out my article on meditation here. I am mindful now of the thoughts I choose to think. Take a step back, a deep breath and realize the reality of any situation. I have been helping my boyfriend on some of this as well. If something isn’t going right, is it really that serious to stress about the little things? Everyone is so busy and take for granted what they truly have. It is not easy, but with practice and patience, it can be done.
Health Benefits Of Positive Thinking
- Lower depression
- Lower stress levels
- Increased life span
- Better physical and psychological well being
- Stronger immune system
- Better heart health and lower risk of heart disease
- Better relationships
- Increased intimacy
- Lower rate of drug and alcohol abuse
Affirmations are an important part of staying positive. Positive affirmations are positive statements that can help you to overcome negative thought patterns. When you believe in them, repeat them often and have them somewhere that you can see them throughout the day, this will help to totally change your thoughts about yourself and life in general. Write them down and hang them up where you can see them, and in your mind repeat them during the day. You can also repeat them during meditation, whatever works for you. Here I have compiled a list to help get you started, you can customize these to fit into your life:
- I am richly blessed
- I am truly loved
- I am successful in whatever I do
- I am healthy
- I am prosperous
- I plan my work and I work my plan
- I am living life abundantly
- I will make the most out of any opportunity
- I speak with confidence and calm assurance
- I am happy and filled with joy
- My mind is calm
- The universe provides my every need and want
- I matter and I have value
- I am amazing
- I am beautiful inside and out
- I feel alive
- I am amazing
- I can do anything
As you can see, there are many ways to teach your mind to be positive. I know it may be hard when we have negative people in our life, such as family or co-workers, they may be hard to get away from. But you can always choose to counter anything negative they say with a positive. You don’t even have to do it out loud, you can just say it to yourself.
Meditation, gratitude, and affirmations are my top 3 ways to stay positive in this world. We may not be able to completely stop all bad thoughts, but we do have a choice whether to let it affect us or not. This takes time, patience, and practice. It won’t happen overnight.
Make time for the things you love and take some time to yourself, get out in nature, or maybe a hobby you used to do but haven’t done in a while, listening to your favorite music. We are stuck here whether we like it or not, and not every day will be all roses and sunshine, but it doesn’t have to be terrible or depressing. I hope that this post reaches someone who needed a lift in their spirits. I would love to hear any thoughts or questions so please comment below. Is there something you do to help you stay positive? Thanks for reading!
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