The idea that positive thinking can boost your physical, mental, and emotional health is backed by both scientific studies[1, 2, 3, 4] and anecdotal evidence from millions of people who have helped themselves with the power of positivity.
Be careful how you interpret the sentiment of positivity. Positive thinking is not about tricking yourself out of sadness, or convincing yourself that life is always good and easy. Positive thinking, in this case, is about learning to cultivate a mindset that supports you by minimizing stress and anxiety, increasing confidence, and building a mindful, positive lifestyle.
Toxic positivity, whereby you gaslight yourself into believing there should be no bad days, and that your negative thoughts are wrong, can have an overall negative effect on your self-esteem and will do nothing to enhance your health.
Here, we’ll focus on learning to think positively without invalidating our feelings to create a life of balance and mindfulness, no matter what life throws at us.
Benefits of Positive Thinking & Optimism
Living optimistically and looking at the bright side of life is proven to help you live longer, feel better, and have more fun. People who think positively don’t experience less hardship, but instead are equipped with the self-confidence and mindfulness to heal, and move forward after a negative experience.
While positivity cannot cure a disease or change the course of a condition, it can help to reduce your overall stress, lower blood pressure, and help you manage the symptoms of a condition more easily. For example, reducing stress through positive thinking can help to put less stress on your heart, thereby reducing your chances of having a major cardiovascular event. The positivity won’t improve the condition of your heart, but it can help to take pressure off of it.
Tips for Cultivating Positivity
Remember, living with a positive mindset isn’t about convincing yourself that everything is good all the time. Positive thinking is about practicing intentional positive self-talk, mindfulness, and behaviors that reduce your stress, are enjoyable or make you feel generally happy. Here are just a few of the things you can do to help yourself build a more positive mindset.
Learning To Trust Yourself
Being positive isn’t about telling yourself that your negative emotions are wrong, quite the opposite, in fact. To live a truly positive life, you have to learn to trust yourself and your feelings. If something feels bad, or you feel hurt by someone, you need to acknowledge and honor your own feelings in order to move ahead and continue living a positive life.
Your intuition and your thoughts are valid, and you can trust yourself to be the compass of your own emotions. When you learn to trust your instincts, you can also learn to more quickly overcome your negative thoughts, and increase the time you spend focusing on the positive.
It is so easy to lose sight of the good things in life when you feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” truly applies, and many of us end up completely overlooking the blessings in our lives when faced with negativity.
If you can intentionally take some time each day to practice gratitude by going through the good things going on in your life, you’ll begin to recognize them more in everyday life. You can do this mentally, verbally with someone in your life you trust, or in a gratitude journal.
By drawing your own attention to grateful thoughts, you’ll put yourself in the mindset to more readily turn to gratitude rather than irritation or negativity.
Mindfulness & Meditation
Balance takes time, and feeling confident, positive, and optimistic about life rarely comes naturally. Mindfulness and meditation practices can give your mind the time they need to reset, find equilibrium, and settle into your emotions. Meditation not only helps you to connect more fully to your emotional state and intuition but can also stimulate feelings of deep spirituality and enlightenment.
The third eye chakra, associated with mental health, mood, and intuition, can be cultivated through both mindfulness and meditation. While you’ll need to work with all of your chakras to enjoy the full benefits of an open third eye chakra, these practices are a great way to start building your connection and perception.
Having Fun Every Day
Positivity doesn’t always have to come from within– sometimes, what you really need is a little bit of fun. Doing something that you enjoy every single day is self-care, and so important for giving yourself the right foundation for a positive, confident mindset. Fun can be simple: watch your favorite tv show, visit a local ice cream shop, buy a new book, or play with your dog!
Need a little positivity reminder to help you get through the day? Grab one of our mindfulness mugs and enjoy your daily tea or coffee with some words of inspiration.