Thinking negative thoughts is not fun and can accompany anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Furthermore, along with the feelings that go with it, negative thinking can increase the risk of disease and even shorten lifespan. There are some things that you can do to contribute to a change towards positivity. However, if you are suffering from mental health concerns that are impacting your wellbeing, you should check out BetterHelp.com.
One way that you can increase positivity is through self-talk which is the dialogue in your mind. Self-talk can be positive or negative. It can motivate and encourage you to do things that are healthy or provide you with self-defeating dialogue.
Positive thinking can provide a person with optimism that can help them manage their stress and anxiety levels. It can help you improve your wellbeing and provide a sense of satisfaction with life. It can even provide some physical health benefits in addition to the benefits to mental health and wellbeing.
One study found that there was a lower risk of death from several different issues including heart disease and cancer. Positive thinking was also associated with more energy, fewer colds, improved stress management, and lower rates of depression.
How Does Positive Self-Talk Work?
It is not fully understood why these benefits occur in those people that have more positive self-talk, but the research indicates that it may be because the positive self-talk correlates with better problem solving and thinking ability as well as the ability to deal with challenges.
Negative self-talk is divided into several different categories. The first is called personalizing which is associated with self-blaming activity. Magnifying is when a person focuses more on the negative aspects of a situation or event while ignoring all of the positive aspects. Catastrophizing is expecting the worst out of a situation even though it is not logical to think in that way. Finally, polarizing is seeing the world as good or bad while disregarding any middle ground between the two.
When a person identifies these types of negative thinking, they can work towards changing them to positive thinking. It does require a lot of time and practice, but it can also improve your mood, outlook, and general wellbeing.
How to Think Positively
Positive thinking may take time and practice, but it is generally easy to begin positive self-talk when you know how. It may sound obvious but is good to focus on the good things. You will always come across obstacles and challenges in life, but if you focus on the good things then you can stay more optimistic. Even if the positives are not numerous or seem insignificant, it can be beneficial to focus on them instead of the negative aspects.
Gratitude is a big part of positive thinking as well. Practicing gratitude can improve your wellbeing and reduce your stress levels. Thinking about the places, experiences, and people that make you happy often and try to be grateful at least once each day. Be thankful for the kindness of others and show it by thanking them for their help or love.
A lot of people find comfort with keeping a journal. You can write down the positive things that happen each day or write something that you are grateful for before going to bed. This can help you foster positive thinking and improve your optimism. It can also put your life into perspective that shows that there are plenty of positive things to look at and reasons to be thankful.
Humor is an important aspect of positivity. In fact, research indicates that laughter can lower stress levels and improve symptoms related to anxiety and depression. It may even help you improve your stress management and coping skills and provide you with a boost in mood. Try to see the humor in things, especially when you are feeling down. Just laughing a little may help, even if the laughter is forced.
You should also surround yourself with positive people as much as possible. Both negativity and positivity can be contagious. Think about who you spend time with and whether they are improving your mood or bringing you down. You can also try to be positive to people more often yourself.
You can also try to identify the aspects of your self-talk that are negative and try to change them gradually over time. Respond to the negative thoughts with positive ones when you can. You may even find that writing down the negative thoughts and how to look at them in a positive light. This may help you identify patterns in your thought process as well that can make the process a little easier.
Final Thought on Positivity
Nobody is positive all the time, but there are things that you can do to increase your positive thoughts or to replace your negative thoughts with more positive ones. Just being aware of your thought process and the times that you begin to think negatively can go a long way. Then, you can change those thought patterns in a way that fosters improved mood, reduced stress, and better mental health.