(Photo Credit: Mikhail Nilov)
Did you know the simple fact of smiling, tricks your mind into a positive mood? Smiling has the real power to make you feel better. The simple act of moving your facial muscles to form a smile - even if you fake it - generates positive emotions and can instantly uplift your mood. This is only one example of how we can impact our own state of mind and adopt more positive thinking in our daily lives. In this article, we debunk for you the importance of nurturing positive thinking and how to maintain healthy habits to help stay positive in any situation.
PUT ON A HAPPY FACE AND SMILE
A recent study has demonstrated that simply activating a smile, whether you mean it or not, contributes to activating a positive neurological reaction. When participants of the study forced a smile, it stimulated the emotional brain centre - called the amygdala - which in turn released neurotransmitters to trigger an emotionally positive state.
IDENTIFY NEGATIVE SELF-TALK
Are you one of these people that is often more in their heads rather than in the here and now and in their bodies? Then you must be familiar with “self-talk’, the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. This is a natural mechanism but it does not mean we should identify with any thought we have, especially if the thought is negative. Positive thinking is about being able to filter and pick in this stream of random thoughts what is positive rather than negative. It is being able to dissociate yourself from automatic thoughts that can be negative and might come from misconceptions or lack of information.
Humour is a powerful way to nurture positive thinking. Allow yourself to laugh. Sometimes using humour can de-dramatise an issue or help lighten a very difficult situation. Seek humour in everyday life and you will feel less stressed.
STOP MAKING IT ALL ABOUT YOU
Being human, we tend to think the world turns around us and us only. When something bad occurs we can be prone to think it is our fault. Instead of falsely assuming we caused or created this bad thing to happen, we can choose to flip our mindset and understand not everything has to do with us. And even if you did cause something bad or someone to say something bad, you can choose to think positively about it. For example, instead of blaming yourself, you can accept that what is done is done, you can only try to do better next time or say to yourself “I cannot control how this person feels but I can choose not to be affected by what this person says”.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE
Make sure the people around you also have a positive mindset and have a positive influence on you. Negative people tend to spread gloom. Their negative and pessimistic thinking might cause you to feel stressed and negative too - so try to avoid surrounding yourself with people that make you feel this way.
START PRACTICING POSITIVE SELF-TALK
The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself. Eventually, the way you talk to yourself will determine how you approach situations and encounters in your life. Start being gentle and encouraging with yourself. Think about the things you’re thankful for in your life, regularly check on yourself and acknowledge your own achievements.
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