We are always taught to speak to the people around us with dignity, respect, and kindness, so why don’t we speak to ourselves in the same way? Many of us are plagued by a negative sense of self, such as anxiety, self-doubt, low self-esteem, and depression, just to name a few. The law of attraction states that you will attract what you put into the world, meaning positive thinking will bring positive results, while negative thinking will bring negative results.
Studies completed by psychologists and neurologists have proven that something as simple as repeating positive affirmations to yourself (even if you get tired of doing so) actually creates different neural pathways within your brain, and can decrease levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), increase levels of serotonin (the happiness hormone) and improve mental focus. It can also help with coping skills, problem-solving, and overall better mood and wellbeing. On the other hand, studies have shown that repeating negative feelings or thoughts can lead to depression, anxiety, low self-worth, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), reduced levels of serotonin, and in some cases, physical illness.
Thinking positively doesn’t just provide incredible benefits for your brain, though. Positive thinking can have positive results on your physical health too, such as greater resistance to illnesses, better cardiovascular health, reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and a longer life span.
So, how do you begin making these changes in your life? Here are three things you can do to start:
1. Have intention. If you come into this journey with reservation, doubt, or fear, you are clouding your mind with negative “what if’s” that will ultimately stop the positives from being able to enter your life.
2. Surround yourself with like-minded people. It is no secret that the people you come into consistent contact with can affect the way you think, act, or speak, so it is extremely important to create room in your life for positive people rather than negative people.
3. Start small! It may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you habitually focus on the negatives or pessimistic views. Try repeating a few daily affirmations to yourself when you feel negative thoughts rising. Instead of saying,
a. “This is too much, I can’t do it,” try saying, “This may take some time and effort, but I can do it!”
b. “I’m not good at ___” try saying, “I need some extra practice with ___” (It’s okay to ask for help, too!!)
c. “I don’t deserve to be loved” try saying, “Everybody deserves to be loved, and I deserve to be loved just the way I am.”
d. Or say "Yes, I love and approve of myself just how I am."
Including positive thinking rituals into your life is not as silly as it seems. Positive affirmations will make you happier and help improve your overall mood. It has mental and physical benefits, will improve relationships, and can help you succeed in aspects of your life beyond what would’ve been possible with negative self-talk. If you are finding it hard to get started on this new path, I can help! Why not add positive thinking for a happier and healthier life?
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I'm a life coach in California. Contact me if you have any questions.