THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF GOOD THOUGHTS
I am a huge fan of listing benefits of something. I do it all the time when I have to make a decision. Instead of thinking about what could go wrong, I list all the things that I would profit from with a certain decision.
And today I want you to know the profits of having a positive attitude. Because most people only write about one single benefit. For example: Positive thinking makes you more stress resistant. Or: Positive thinking improves your health.
But I actually want you to read this list and be so blown away you suddenly want to learn everything there is to know about the art of positive thinking. So how about 12 BENEFITS OF GOOD THOUGHTS?
1. BETTER SLEEP
It's kind of obvious, right? If you think positively, you are less worried, and the less worried you are, the better your sleep.
TRY THIS: Let go of negativity by going through the situations of the day that didn't go that well. Instead of only remembering what went wrong, visualize the best outcome of that situation. Maybe you received a disappointing message that day? Imagine what it would feel like if that message would have been good. Or maybe you are worried about a meeting taking place the next morning? Go through the best version of that meeting in your head over and over again. How would you feel if it went well? Imagine every little detail. Would you go to lunch someplace special to celebrate? Dream it as if it already happened!
2. MORE LAUGHING
You might think it's the other way around, that people that laugh more often are more positive. And you are absolutely right. But it also goes the other way around of course. People who's minds are thinking good things on a regular basis are also more likely to laugh. It's quite a simple logic, right?
TRY THIS: For one week, only watch funny movies, comedians, series or whatever makes you laugh. DON'T watch anything else. No news, no Games Of Thrones, no zombies, no detectives solving murders, you get where I'm going, right? If you have a job where you really NEED to be informed about what is going on in the world, instead of reading or watching news yourself, tell your spouse to give you the information as neutral as possible. Believe me, news get a whole lot more informative if you skip the drama around them.
3. IMPROVED HEALTH
If you know me a little you might have noticed already that I am a fan of science. I love science. And I love scientific proof. I am a believer, too, there's no doubt. But if something is scientifically proven, even better! And there is plenty of scientific proof out there that thinking good thoughts is beneficial to your health. In the long run, thinking positive boosts your immune system and gives you more resources to fight all kinds of diseases, from a normal cold to fricking cancer!
TRY THIS: Next time you are sick and lying in bed, imagine yourself healthy again. If it's a cold or the flu, imagine yourself breathing easily again. If you are having back pain, imagine yourself getting out of bed with NO pain, going to the gym or for a walk or whatever it is you like.
Please let me take a moment to tell you that this is NO woo-woo I am talking about. I am talking about scientific facts. By imagining yourself healthy, you are helping your body getting there. You are activating all the necessary bio-chemical reactions for your body to heal itself. Our body is designed to DO SO. From a scratch on the skin, to a broken bone. With the proper fuel (meaning nutrition and water) PLUS the proper mindset, we can help our body heal almost anything!
4. LONGER LIFE
Which brings me automatically to this point. Better health means a longer life. I mean, duh! It has been proven that people with a positive mindset live longer statistically!
There was an experiment made with nuns of the SAME convent (to make sure they had similar living conditions). I don't want to get into details here, but scientists analysed letters those nuns had been asked to write by the time they entered the convent, kind of a little essay on the reasons they wanted to become a nun, what their thoughts on life and faith were, and so on. Let's say a very rudimentary form of a psychological evaluation.
Then the scientists compared that data with the death certificates of those nuns. Statistically speaking, the nuns that had written about positive approaches on life and health and mental states, had lived longer!
If you're interested in more in-depth information: www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp805804.pdf
5. LESS PAIN
People who expect pain, are more likely to feel it. And vice versa. People who don't expect something to hurt, are likely to feel LESS pain. SAY WHAT?!
Yes, you heard right. I know I might sound like an echo, but I just love science. And scientific research has shown that the less pain you expect, the less pain you feel.
Here's a great article, if you want to dive into this topic a little more: www.spine-health.com/blog/how-stop-your-pain-your-mind
TRY THIS: At dentist appointments, I used to be the first one begging for anesthesia! I have always been a believer in science, but I once had a bad experience with a dentist appointment when I was a child, and so the second I sat in that chair I was just too scared to believe in the science of lessening pain by lessening the expectation of it.
Then one day I decided to start breathing and meditating on it one hour before the appointment started. It took me a few approaches, but what can I say: no more shaky hands, no more being soaked in sweat, and most importantly no anesthesia and still NO PAIN!
Just to be clear: I am not talking about having a root canal therapy without anesthesia – that would just be ridiculous! I am talking about small cavities being fixed or some other lighter treatments!!
6. MORE CONFIDENCE
What's the basic principle of confidence? Knowing that whatever comes your way, you can deal with it. That even though you'll make mistakes, those are going to build your character. That failing is nothing more than a step towards success. Knowing that you are WORTH it, with all your goods and bads and positives and negatives.
Well this is exactly what you will train your mind to think once you go to the positive thinking approach!
TRY THIS: Next time you are in a situation where you need confidence (let's say you need to present something to your boss), 5 minutes earlier, go someplace where you can be calm for a minute (and yes, rest room's just fine! haha), then just close your eyes, and visualize yourself using that pressure to ROCK that meeting.
Imagine yourself coming out of that meeting or event successfully.
Imagine yourself answering any questions smartly and elegantly.
Then repeat the following positive affirmations (if you are an affirmations kind of person – it's not for everyone):
I am enough! I am worthy! I am enough! I am worthy!
You are going to be much more calm and at ease, which will allow you to USE the pressure more wisely. Do NOT fight the pressure. It is there to help you. Use the energy to focus, to be centered!
PS: If you want to know more about visualization, this blog post might be interesting for you: Visualizing 101 - 5 ways of visualizing plus one way we are not even considering!
7. HIGHER SELF-ESTEEM
A low self-esteem comes from the feeling of not being good enough, not being worth it, and of not respecting yourself. You could change the words to "higher self-respect". It's kind of the same thing.
And those not-being-worth-it-feelings come from…? You got it: negative thoughts!
These negative thoughts are the toughest to turn around, because they often have their origin in the family bonds in our childhood. So maybe you have spent years unconsciously telling yourself that you are not worthy and not good enough because that is what you felt or have been told as a child. You don't even notice it anymore, it has almost become part of your DNA.
TRY THIS: You have to find the courage to tell yourself how unique you are, how much you have to give to others and how much you deserve to love and to be loved!
Forgive yourself for what you THINK you have done wrong.
Try remembering when you were a kid and you accepted yourself for who you were. Try remembering how much you loved yourself. Nothing has changed. You still are that child...inside. You just have learned to behave the way others' want you tu. And you may have learned a few other things on the way. You even have made a few mistakes. THAT'S OK!
8. LESS FEAR
Where does fear originate? In negative thinking of course! Your mind goes through all of the bad scenarios imagining ALL the things that could go wrong!
"How many ways are there to fail?"
"How many things could go wrong?"
"What will others think of me if I don't succeed?"
Your mind has them all!
But there are two ways to shake the fear off a little:
1. Think of all the things that could go RIGHT for a change!
2. Also, stop fearing fear! Fear can be a powerful companion on your way to success, as long as you don't let it get you scared stiff! Use the energy to push forward!
TRY THIS: Next time you need to make a decision, instead of letting your mind go on a rant against any courageous idea, try actively guiding your thoughts in a positive direction. Visualize yourself having already succeeded. Imagine how you would feel once you reached your goal. Try visualizing the BEST case scenario.
The best moments to do this are in the morning just after waking up, and in the evening just before going to sleep. Lie in your bed and actively give your mind a gentle nudge in a positive direction instead of passively letting it go where it usually goes. The more often you do this, the easier it will get.
AND TRY THIS AS WELL: You might want to consider NOT SEEING fear as an enemy. Because it's only bad if you let it STOP you. You could also take all the pressure and tension and use the energy to your advantage! Did you know that when we feel fear adrenalin is released into our blood circuit? This is called the body's fight-or-flight-response. You can run faster, focus better AAAND decide quicker and better. See the benefits? ;)
9. BETTER STRESS-RESPONSE
This brings me to another benefit of this positive approach. Stress and fear are very closely related. Both release adrenalin into our blood. And by fueling these with positive thoughts, you can guide them into the direction you want them to go.
The reason why stress has become a widespread disease, is because we FEAR it and it's consequences. Everyone tells us, stress is a pathogenic aspect of our modern lifestyle. But it only is when we pair it with negative thoughts.
If you see it as your accomplice, you might be surprised about what it can actually do for you!
TRY THIS: There is an amazing TED Talk by Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal you SHOULD DEFINITELY watch! I loved it, and it actually took a lot of the stress I had been having with stress… ;)
10. MORE FOCUS
Why exactly do people lack focus? Well, it's because they have ALL of the "BUT"s in their heads.
"But what if this other option is better and I don't notice it in time?"
"But what if this idea fails and I have spent so much time working on it?"
"But what if someone else has the same idea and is faster than me in the end?"
The positive thinkers know one thing:
There is no failure, just a learning curve. (WHOA!! TWEETABLE!!)
And so they focus on what they need to do to accomplish their goals. They DO think about the worst case scenario – but only ONCE! They weigh the risks, then make a decision.
And once they have decided, they don't look back every other day fearing what might happen if this project goes wrong. They just roll with their decision.
TRY THIS: Next time you decide to pursue a project, stop thinking about the worst case scenarios. Stand behind your decision completely. You definitely should make yourself quarterly reminders to REVISE the project and see if it's still worth your time and effort. But other than that: just KEEP GOING.
11. MORE SUCCESS
Once you stop bombarding yourself with thoughts about what other options you could have, or what could go wrong, you will be as focused as ever in whatever you do.
And that, my friend, is going to make you more successful than you have ever been.
12. BETTER STATE OF MIND
The moment you realize how much power you have over your life and your well-being, that moment you will be FREE!
You will recognize that your life no longer depends on what fate throws your way.
It depends on how you react to life. You have the possibility to transform your life through good thoughts!
Imagine that. No money, no special course, no special previous knowledge needed! Imagine that. You could live longer, have less pain, be more successful and more self-confident! Just through positive thinking! Focussing on good thoughts instead of bad thoughts. I mean, WOW, RIGHT?!
So, did I give you a tiny impression on what's possible for you through good thoughts? I think I did...
And keep this in mind: These are just a FEW examples. There is so much more you can do once you get a handle on it.
I have a few workbooks in my resource library where you can get started on working a little more in-depth.
Interested? Then just sign in and get access to 15+ free resources for happiness seekers and go-getters!
And now one last question:
Which one of these approaches are you going to try FIRST? I would be thrilled to hear about that in the comments below!