According to the Mayo Clinic online, “Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health.” In this article written by Mayo Clinic staff, positive thinking is described as much more than ignoring difficult times or situations, but rather choosing to take a more positive approach to the overall situation.
In my opinion, positive thinking is a decision to be made several times throughout each and every day. I believe this mind-set is a conscious habit to be thoroughly practiced.
The Mayo Clinic’s article lists several health benefits of positive thinking which includes: increased life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of distress, better psychological and physical well-being, and better coping skills during times of distress.
Positive thinking requires individual self-talk in which the person must re-phrase and re-organize negative thoughts into positives thoughts. This can and often should be a very subtle change. Rather than catastrophizing situations or filtering negative thoughts, choose to see the positive. For example when you complete a workout choose congratulate yourself. Regardless of whether or not you met your goals for the day, you should remain positive and proud that you are moving in the right direction! It’s still important to have those goals and see opportunities for improvement and that’s exactly how you should approach your upcoming workouts. Smile and enjoy the journey!
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” -Mahatma Gandhi
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” -Winston Churchill
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as thought you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” -Harriet Beecher Stowe
Try RNCentral.com’s 100 Positive-Thinking Exercises. Some of my favorite exercises listed are:
- Use only positive words when talking
- Don’t dwell
- Look for opportunity
- Don’t be your worst critic
- Understand that the situation is not forever
- Choose joy
- Believe you deserve good things
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Photo Credit: Soggy Dan