Positivity is power. It is the power to choose every day to not let negative thoughts overwhelm us. The power to see goodness in everyone. The power to make waves of change. The power to influence the world.
Did you know that studies have shown that negativity can adversely affect our health? Consuming negative media and dwelling on negative thoughts can lead to chronic stress, which in turn damages the immune system. It can also lead us into a downward spiral of damaging thoughts, projecting a negative lens on the world around us. The more negativity we take in, the more negativity we see, and the more negativity we project.
On the other hand, positive thinking has emotional and physical benefits. According to scientist Barbara Fredrickson, who has studied the benefits of positivity for years, positive thinking can lead to less illness, better sleep, faster recovery, and a greater sense of happiness. This is great news!
Unfortunately, our brains are hardwired to focus on the negative. It’s an evolutionary thing. And in a world where negativity dominates the media and even our thoughts, it can sometimes be difficult to shift our focus.
On the plus side, because we’re aware of this, we can do something about it.
The attitudes we use to feed our souls are like the foods we eat to feed our bodies. Positive media, news, opinions, and thoughts are the essential nutrients, vegetables, and proteins that keep us healthy. The more of these we consume, the better we feel! Conversely, the negativity we let into our hearts is junk food. The more junk we consume, the worse we feel, and the unhealthier we become. While junk food—or, in this case, negative thinking—is okay in small doses, it shouldn’t make up the majority of our diets.
The healthier our spirits are, the more we can use our energies to improve ourselves and the lives of those around us.
So, what can we do to practice positive thinking? So much! We can:
- View positive, constructive, and inspirational media
- Savor the positive moments
- Stay physically active
- Compliment others
- Look for silver linings
- Provide service to those in need
- Smile at strangers
- Keep a gratitude journal
- …and the list goes on!
All of these things can help transform the way we think.
When we’re stressed, our thoughts focus inward, toward ourselves and our personal struggles. When we’re relaxed and positive, we are instead able to shift our thoughts outward, to what we can do for others. This is how positive thinking can foster incredible change in us and around the globe.
That is the power of positivity!