Your Guide To Positive Thinking

We all know at least one of those people who seem to appear much younger than they are. More often than not, they’re the sort to wear a smile on their face at all times and rarely call in sick — if they ever do at all. But it’s more than just in the aura that they project to others. Positive thinkers almost always look a lot younger than they are because they are far more likely to care for themselves, both physically and mentally. Hence, compared to their pessimistic peers, they’re more inclined to pay attention to the food that they’re consuming, bounce back from criticism and setbacks, as well as engage in regular physical exercise. The power of positivity is truly so profound that studies indicate that positive thinkers even tend to live longer as a result, too. It’s an attitude that comes with such an abundance of health benefits, including reduced stress, that more of us need to turn into believers. Here’s how you, too, can become one of them.


Surround Yourself With Positivity

Adopting a more positive mindset is easier when you surround yourself with positivity. Every single one of us is so influenced by even the little things around us, and it’s the little things that count. From the colours in our bedroom to the environment that we surround ourselves in, everything affects the way we feel and respond. Hence, it’s important to begin by taking stock of the environment around you. Are you living in a home that is prone to clutter? Cancel every other plan you may have already planned this weekend and get rid of every single belonging you neither need nor care for anymore. Studies indicate that even the mere sight of disorder can lead to spikes in stress hormone levels in your bloodstream. Who knew there was a good reason why our parents nagged at us whenever the mess in our bedrooms got way out of hand?

Even the company that we keep matters. Being around positive people is one of the best ways to help you maintain a positive outlook. By direct contrast, negative people can have a toxic influence on others, which is the complete opposite of what you’re trying to achieve. If this is someone whose friendship you treasure, you could try being honest and tell them how you feel about the way their negativity affects you.


Positivity Through Physical Activity

Exercise is more than just about maintaining the perfect figure; it can even do wonders for your mood. This is thanks to the intense boost of happy hormones that you may get whenever you engage in physical activity. These hormones — usually serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins — can significantly lower stress levels in your body, which can, in turn, help reduce pain, both physical and mental. Hence, be sure to schedule in a few sessions of exercise per week and stick to it. Don’t force yourself to jump into anything way too intense if you haven’t been exercising in ages, though. Ease yourself into it with short five minute sessions until your body gets used it, and gradually increase either duration or intensity in small increments. It’s even more effective if you select something that you actually enjoy, so do take your time to figure out which sort of exercises are more of your speed.


Change The Way You Respond To Criticism

No one likes being the subject of criticism; being placed in any kind of negative spotlight is not at all a pleasant feeling. Knowing that something that you’ve put some measure of effort into isn’t good enough can truly sting and it’s worse yet if it’s something about yourself as a person. But unless you’re safely ensconced in the solitude of a cave, away from every other human being, criticism is nigh unavoidable. That’s why it’s incredibly important to learn healthy ways of responding to criticism.

The first thing you should do whenever you’re upset or angry about the criticism is not to respond immediately, where possible, so as to avoid emotional outbursts that you may regret later. Focus on your breathing and try not to walk away if the conversation isn’t over. At the same time, don’t dismiss anything that they’re saying, even if you don’t believe that you deserve it, or if it’s particularly difficult to swallow. Keep an open mind and consider if there might be something that you can learn from here. You should also remember that sometimes, the criticism, unconstructive as they may be, isn’t exactly personal. The person on the other end could simply be having a bad day. Just let it go.


Adopt The Mindset Of A Realist

The most important, and possibly the most overlooked, aspect of adopting a positive mindset involves approaching it as a realist would. Commonly confused with pessimism, being realistic is about recognising two undeniable facts: all of us are bound to make mistakes, and life is always going to throw curveballs our way. Healthy positive thinking is about remembering to pick yourself up whenever you fall, not expecting everything to go according to plan. That’s why it’s important to forgive yourself whenever you do slip up at any point of your journey — it’s all part of the process. Positivity isn’t something that you can immediately live and breathe overnight. It’s a lifestyle change that requires a whole lifetime of persistence. Take your time with it!