For centuries experts have debated the validity of positive thinking. Some believed our thoughts had no control over anything and others believed our thoughts controlled everything.
Even today many people continue to discuss this and wonder about it.
The Bible itself has many passages about the power of our thoughts. Two of the most popular ones are, “A happy heart is good medicine, but low spirits sap one’s strength.” (Proverbs 17:21 The Complete Jewish Bible) and, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 The King James Bible)
Fortunately we live in a society where the experts — the scientists, the medical professionals and the psychiatrists, along with other experts — continue to explore this connection between our minds, our bodies and our world.
Positive thinking, also called positive mental attitude, is not the same thing as Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology is a branch of psychology which studies optimism. Positive thinking is a person’s decision to approach life with the determination to overcome life’s challenges in the most positive way possible.
The quote, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” is the perfect analogy for this positive attitude.
Here is a piece of trivia for you: The actual quote reads: “… He picked up the lemons that fate gave him and started a lemonade stand.” It was written by Elbert Hubbard as part of an obituary he wrote for a friend in 1915.
There are countless health benefits to approaching life with a positive attitude. A few are better cardiovascular health, reduced risk of strokes, and improved respiratory health; along with better coping skills.
It is easy to add more positivity into our lives yet it is also critical to identify the source of our negativity and to have the determination to deal with it. One example is how too many well-meaning adults can give children negative labels, which can stick with those children throughout life. For instance, my grandfather told my father he was lazy. My father became over-industrious in his efforts to overcome that label, that childhood negative programming.
Here are six simple ways we can add more positivity into our lives:
Smile often. Research has shown the physical act of smiling tells neurotransmitters to have the brain release positive hormones into the body.
Add more humor. Share jokes with friends, read a funny book or watch a comedy movie.
Create a gratitude journal. Reading over the positive experiences in our lives enables us to confront the hard times with a better attitude.
Improve our lifestyle. Eating healthier, sleeping better and exercising more improves our health, making us feel better.
Associate with more positive people. We all know how exhausting and depressing it is to spend time with negative people. The more positive people we have in our lives, the more positive we will feel about ourselves, which gives us more energy.
Read positive statements to yourself aloud. This exercise allows the brain to both see and hear the positive messages we wish to integrate into our lives.
In what ways do you make your life more positive? Write and share your experiences with us. I personally reply to every email to email@example.com.
Crystal Linn is a multi-published author and an award-winning poet. When not writing, or teaching workshops, she enjoys reading a good mystery, hiking, and sailing with friends and family. See crystallinn.com.