What we think determines what we believe! Rewiring our brain and thought process can positively transform our life. Let’s explore how.
Mastering your own emotions unlocks the ability to positively influence your current & future actions to live a more productive & healthier lifestyle. We can’t control every negative event; however we can control how we react.
Positive thinking vs negative thinking is an interesting comparison as it forces us to evaluate our own mindset, find meaningful reasons to move forward and re-focus our daily intentions.
The reality is, happiness in your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.
How Does Positivity Affect the Brain?
So, what is positive thinking & how does it affect our brain? Our brain is primarily built for survival. However, when we think positively, we feel good about situations, life and ourselves, this in turn allows our bodies to release hormones like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins.
Every thought we think of impacts the release chemicals in the brain. For example, when positive thoughts are generated i.e. when you feel happy or optimistic, cortisol decreases and the brain produces serotonin, creating a feeling of well-being.
When serotonin levels are normal, one feels happy, calmer, less anxious, more focused and more emotionally stable.
Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward system and pleasure centre.
The Power of Positive Thinking
You hold an incredible power to truly change your life. Here is the process to think more positive and to be mindful in your approach.
If you change the way you think, you will change the way you feel.
If you change how you feel you will change your behaviour.
If your behaviour changes, so do your actions!
If you change your actions, you change your outcome!
Difference Between Happiness and Optimism
Before we explore the difference between positive thinking vs side effects of negative thinking, lets explain the difference between happiness and optimism.
Happiness is an emotion or can be described as a feeling, Optimism is a strong belief about the future and how we perceive.
Good news, if you’re generally a half empty glass type of person, you can change your mindset and learn positive thinking skills. Research suggests our brain has the capability to form neural pathways just by thinking differently!
Positive Thoughts vs Negative Thoughts
5 Examples of Negative Thoughts
This always happens to me.
I never get the jobs I apply for.
I can’t lose weight.
I could never do that.
I will not go running today – it’s raining. I never have time!
5 Examples Positive Thoughts
What have I learned from this experience?
What could I do differently to get a better outcome?
I can do anything I put my mind to.
I will try something different and see if there is a difference.
Pushing my comfort zone will be exciting.
I look forward to new challenges.
Health Benefits of Positive Thinking
There are many health benefits of positive thinking in the workplace and in life, let’s explore how they affect you in more detail.
1. Increases Your Life Span
Living a long & peaceful life is something we can all benefit from.
As mentioned above in the Power of Positivity Infographic, a positive outlook on our life can influence our mood and how we react to other people and situations.
2. Supercharges Your Energy
Negative emotions can feel like mental gymnastics without you even noticing it and impact your energy levels for worse. Positive people feel less supressed by negative thoughts that weigh heavy on their mind.
Why does feeling positive increase your energy levels? A positive outlook channels your thoughts into a ‘can do mentality’ to help achieve your goals.
3. Feel More Confident
How you feel internally can impact how you project yourself to others in a major way.
Remember, our thoughts determine how we feel about ourselves which impact our feelings which affect our behaviour and how we act.
Positive people often come across confidently due to having strong self-belief. Choosing to be more optimistic will help improve your confidence levels.
4. Improve Your Quality of Sleep
Sleeping patterns often become unpredictable when negativity becomes the dominant thought.
Become more grateful can help reduce work-life stress and improve your quality of sleep. Each morning, wake up and get into the habit of self-talk, remind yourself of 3 things you are truly grateful for to help re-wire your brain to think more positively.
5. Lower’s Depression Levels
Why does a positive person experience less depression? We are wired to defend against threat and loss in life, we often prioritise bad over good.
While this is a tidy survival mechanism for someone who needs to stay alive and aware in a dangerous environment, the truth is that for most of us, this “negativity bias” is counter productive.
Focussing on what you can do rather than worrying about what has happened can dramatically change your life for the better.
Depression can form due to the mind wondering, overthinking and allowing your mind to drift can be toxic. Create a habit of focussing on the solution rather than the problem and you will improve your life starting from today.
6. Become More Resilient
Positive emotions often lead to emotional resilience.
The purpose of positive emotions is to help the body recover from the ill effects of persistent negative emotions and adversity. Building positivity over time can help us become more resilient to help us bounce back for difficult moments in life.
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