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Positive Thinking – is it science fiction or science fact?

You wouldn’t tell a child that they were stupid or ugly or no good, would you?

Of course not!  Not if you’re any kind of decent human being that is.  We all know that children grow up believing what they are told.

So why do so many of us say the same horrible things about ourselves?

  • I’m too fat to start an exercise program.
  • This guy is way too stupid to go back to school.
  • I’m not pretty enough to find the love of my life.
  • No way I’m never going to find a good job at my age.
  • I’m too young and inexperienced to ask for that promotion.

These are just a few of the ridiculous things that we tell ourselves, things that are keeping us from being the completely awesome individuals that we were meant to be; that we really are!

There is a scene in the movie The Notebook where one of the characters tells herself “I am a stupid woman”… and it just makes. me. sad!

I’m not sure if she was raised by people who believed that women are stupid, or if her husband told her she was stupid all the time, or if Nicholas Sparks just put it in the book to make me sad.  But I do know that every time she says that, she believes it a little more.

The Power of Negative Thinking

Leverage the power of positive thinking to set yourself up for success. As a man thinketh, so is he.I’ve heard many doubters say that there is no way that using positive thinking can make a difference.  To those people, I ask “would you tell yourself every day that you have a serious illness?”

The answer is always a resounding “No!”.

No surprise there.  We tend to believe that we can make bad things happen by thinking about them, but too often don’t believe we can make positive changes the same way.

But positive thinking can lead to positive results.  We believe the things we say to ourselves whether they are positive or negative.

This is supported by a plethora of studies including one outlined in Prevention Magazine.  The article states “if being stressed weren’t bad enough, thinking you’re stressed might also cause serious problems“.

Stress is related to a greater risk of coronary heart disease, and it doesn’t even matter if you’re really stressed, it matters how much you think you’re stressed.

It works the other way too!

The Power of Positive Thinking

As supported by the Mayo Clinic, “positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health.”

Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you try fooling yourself or don’t pay attention to what is actually going on in the world around you.  Positive thinking starts with self-talk.

Some negative thinking may come from experience or reason, but most of it comes from misconceptions or fear.

According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking can lead to:

nobody believes you more than you do. use positive thinking to turn your life around

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease

“Right thinking begins with the words we say to ourselves.” ~ James Allen

Daily Affirmations

This is the easiest way to start because all you have to do is read a little.

  • Jot down some positive affirmations on a sticky note and stick them to your monitor, mirror or backsplash.
  • Put a few positive affirmation quotes on your phone, computer or tablet and scroll through them first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
  • Place a photo with your positive affirmation(s) as your phone, computer or tablet background.
  • Watch the video at the end of this article every day!

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Start focusing on good things and good things will focus on you!  Take a few minutes every day to write down at least 3 things you are grateful for.

Studies have traced a wide array of benefits to the simple act of writing down things for which we are grateful.  Better sleep, fewer illnesses, and more happiness are just a few.

Turn Your Thoughts Around

Pay attention to what you say to yourself, and ask those near you to help out.  When you start saying something negative, turn it around into a positive.

  • I’m too fat to start an exercise program.
    • I accept myself the way I am and know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
  • This guy is way too stupid to go back to school.
    • I look forward to learning new things and applying what I learn to make my future brighter.
  • I’m not pretty enough to find the love of my life.
    • I am a beautiful person and deserve to be with someone who sees how amazing I am.
  • No way I’m never going to find a good job at my age.
    • I have a great deal of experience and look forward to using my skills in my new position.
  • I’m too young and inexperienced to ask for that promotion.
    • My energy and ambition make me a valuable asset and my contributions deserve recognition.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

We all have moments of self-doubt.  Everybody has regrets.  We all do stupid things and mess up once in a while.

Let yourself be human. Learn to laugh at yourself and your mistakes.  And when you can’t laugh realize that you can’t change the past, let it go, and move on.

Will it work?

I’m Positive!
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Often referred to as “that long-haired computer guy”, Dee Hathaway is a government technology leader with a passion for helping people do things better and a goal of always having the newest cell phone available. His first book Here's What Let's Do: Stop Being Average and Start Being Awesome was an Amazon #1 bestseller.
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