One of the many possibilities of ways to improve ourselves, our well-being and our outlook on life is to stop the negative thinking that often pervades a large proportion of our daily thoughts
But we can’t just turn off the negative thoughts. They need to be replaced with an air of optimism leading to Positive Thinking. Studies have determined that optimism or pessimism can affect our health in respectively positive and negative ways. We all know people who we regard as ‘glass half full’ and others who are ‘glass half empty’. Which type would you prefer to be? Isn’t there a brightness and energy about the ‘fullers’ and a sense of misery and hangdog’ about the empties?
Categorise yourself honestly and face up to it if you are more to the pessimistic side of things. But, don’t worry, there are ways to improve your positive thinking and they are worth doing if you consider these possible benefits:
- Longer life
- Enhanced immune system
- Reduce Depression
- Reduced Stress
- Improved heart health
- Increased happiness
- Improved ability to cope with the ups & downs of life
- Better relationships
- Emotionally stronger and more stable
It takes time, effort and practice but you can change. First, become an observer sitting metaphorically on your own shoulder. Watch out for these common examples of negativity:
- Polarising: Seeing everything as black or white. If it isn’t perfect, it’s bad
- Personalising: Assuming anything that is ‘bad’ is your fault
- Catastrophising: Assuming that the worst will happen
- Filtering: Filtering out the positives and magnifying the negatives
If you are honest with yourself, you will soon get an idea where your efforts should be aimed. How do you start to change? Without being too dramatic, remember the old saying of ‘fake it and you will make it’. This means that, by acting as you would like to be, you actually start to change until you are not acting anymore. Here are some things that you can do:
- Try to stay among positive people – identify with them
- Smile more
- Listen to that observer on your shoulder
- Exercise and healthy living encourage a positive energy
- Identify areas in your life where you are exposed to negativity – avoid, or approach with a positive perspective
- Practice this every day
Permanent changes will not come overnight but you will soon see the advantages of living life on the bright side of the street. Just remember not to be negative when you catch yourself still occasionally slipping to the dark side.
By Liz McCaughey©Copyright 2019 aMindset.HK
About Liz McCaughey
If you are unable to travel to Liz’s practice, there is an online portal where Skype appointments can be arranged.
Liz has recently opened her new business aMindset in Hong Kong. aMindset is a comprehensive mental health resource that incorporates Psychotherapy, Counselling, Mentoring and Workshops. Liz originally founded the company “Kumara“ in Perth, Western Australia in 2003. This company is affiliated with aMindset and you can read more about Kumara in the website KumaraHub.