The power of positive thinking has been studied for a long time. One key thing that’s been found is that a positive attitude is linked to better health. According to Dr. Martin Seligman, director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, “Optimism and pessimism affect health almost as clearly as do physical factors.”
That’s because optimists generally have positive future expectations. Because they expect good things to happen, they tend to work toward those things. This is what the power of positive thinking is all about.
In contrast to optimists, “A pessimist habitually views setbacks as permanent, unchangeable, and pervasive,” says Dr. Seligman. Pessimists often feel helpless when things go wrong and tend to believe that bad luck repeats itself. Such an attitude can increase stress and contribute to depression, which often leads to physical ailments.
The good news is that pessimists can be reformed into optimists and can harness the power of positive thinking. The key is learning to recognize thought patterns (self-talk).
Your self-talk impacts you as follows:
- Your self-talk affects your feelings. In other words, what you think (what you say to yourself) has a direct impact on how you feel. First comes the thinking, followed by the feeling.
- Your feelings then affect your behavior. If you feel like the world is out to get you or that things never work out for you, you will (consciously or nonconsciously) behave in ways that reflect that belief.
- Finally, behavior creates your reality. What you choose to do, say, and focus on shapes the world you live in. Every behavior your exhibit impacts your reality in some way.
If your thoughts are constantly in the “glass is half-empty camp,” it’s not too late to change and experience the power of positive thinking. You will become happier and more effective when you choose thoughts that empower, rather than those that weaken or constrict. Most important, optimism is its own reward. After all, who wouldn’t prefer to wake up on the right side of the bed every morning?
Have you experienced the power of positive thinking in your own life? Please share your experience on the Without Stress Tips Facebook page.