“Positive thinking” is a term that is often easy to dismiss. However, positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build long-lasting skills. If you’ve been feeling stuck or unproductive lately, take a look at how you frame your thoughts and see if they lean more positive or negative. Like any habit, it takes practice to change, but there are many benefits that make this simple change worth the time and effort. Read on to learn a few of the core benefits of positive thinking:
It Improves Your Health
Did you know that positive thinking has a real impact on your health? The health benefits of positive thinking include lower rates of depression, increases in our lifespan, greater resistance to illnesses, and more. Positive thinking enables you to handle stressful situations easier and develop a plan of action or ask for help rather than simply dwelling on the problem and feeling stuck. This allows your body to cope easier and reduces the harmful health effects of stress.
It Changes Your Brain
Not only does positive thinking have an impact on health, it also has the ability to change our brain chemistry and actions. “Every thought releases some type of chemical,” says Dr. Whitaker, a Neuro-Education Consultant. “When positive thoughts are generated, when you’re feeling 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.”
It Boosts Your Creativity
Positive thoughts and emotions can also improve the brain’s executive function. People who practice positive thinking are better at processing complicated information and often have a longer attention span, which are key attributes needed to be creative. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to be creative, try shifting your thoughts in a more positive direction to get that extra spark of inspiration.
It Helps You Reach Your Goals
One of the best ways to reach your goals is to utilize positive thinking. Negative internal dialog can stop your progress, while positive thinking can encourage you to keep going despite any setbacks you might face. To combat negative thinking, consider reframing pessimistic thoughts to something more positive. Instead of saying phrases like, “I shouldn’t have done it that way,” try saying, “Now I have the information for next time this happens.” Persistence and determination is easier when we keep our thoughts positive and focus on the larger goal.
In addition to all of the great benefits listed above, exerting positive thoughts and energy also makes your work environment more pleasant for you and your teammates. By improving your mental and physical health, boosting creativity, and helping you meet your goals, the power of positive thinking can help you reach your full potential.