Research supports that responding to life’s stresses in a positive way can have a powerful impact on your health. Indeed, it has been shown to increase lifespan, lower depression and stress, boost your immune system, and improve psychological well-being overall.
So how do you make positive thinking a habit, even when life is stressful? The first step is to identify what negative thinking really is and how your brain responds to the situations in your life. When something happens do you filter out the positive aspects and only focus on the negative? Do you assume when things go wrong it is automatically your fault and ignore other potential causes? All of these things can keep your brain focused on the negatives rather than the positives.
Once you are aware of your negative thought habits, how do you change them? The first step is to continue to be self-aware. Take yourself out of your thought process and evaluate it as a third party. Determine where you may be falling into your own traps, and try to see things from a different angle. Second, figure out if the things in your life that you don’t like can be changed and empower yourself to change them. Third, seek out the humor in your situations. It is hard to see life as catastrophic when you can find something to laugh about. Fourth, focus on your health. Getting exercise, sun, taking time to relieve stress and meditate, all can make you feel more positive in your life.