Why be positive in the first place?

– Consider these 3 key benefits
What are the real benefits of being more positive?

“See the positive side, the potential, and make an effort.” ~Dalai Lama

it’s easy to fall prey to negative thinking. Having negative thoughts play out like a movie can only bring
you pain. Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The
more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become.

That’s what one small negative thought can turn into: a huge, speeding ball of ugliness. On the
contrary, a small positive thought can have the same effect blossoming into a beautiful outcome.

When we start to have negative thoughts, it’s hard to stop them. And it’s much easier said than done to
shift your focus to positive thoughts. But it’s the only way, especially if you want to avoid going down a
path that is painful and unnecessary.

The first thing I realized is how negative emotions affect us: they have proven many times to narrow our
focus and scope of work. It’s one of the most powerful ways shut our minds off to opportunities or new

We know that the effects of negative emotions are biological instincts programmed into our brains to
help us survive. For example, if we were to come across a dangerous animal in the wild, the negative
emotions of fear and anxiety would narrow our focus so that all we could think about was not becoming
that animal’s dinner. This helped us to more efficiently direct our energy and mental functions towards
that objective, without wasting our resources on unnecessary actions like working out which direction
we’re going or thinking about what to have for dinner when we get home.

Of course, modern life doesn’t often put us in life-and-death situations like this, so allowing negative
emotions to narrow our thinking can be harmful. It can make us less open, more hard-headed and more
difficult to communicate with.

1. Negativity doesn’t work – Literally – Our subconcious brain can’t
handle it
The other thing about negativity is that our brains can’t process negative words according to the latest
studies. So when we hear phrase like “don’t smoke” or “don’t touch that,” our subconscious skips over
these negative words and simply hears “smoke” or “touch that.” Our conscious mind can obviously
process these words, but it’s the subconscious that makes a lot of our decisions without us realizing.

For young children, this can often be an issue because they haven’t learned to use their conscious minds
to process those negative words and take control of the subconscious to make sure they follow
instructions correctly. It’s no surprise why children decide that way if you look at the split between
conscious and subconscious mind according to psychology:

Yoga is also very relaxing. Meditate or do yoga. compassion and goodwill towards others could affect the emotional and physical health of the participants. it brought me back to the now—the only moment. I didn’t do much of this during the weekend. the meditators showed increases in positive emotions like amusement. Positive emotions are more likely to encourage people to plan ahead and think of actions they would like to take or activities they’d like to participate in the future. led to participants being less inclined to think positively about their future. They also reported feeling more socially connected and closer to the people around them. Compared to the control group who did not participate in the meditation. You’ll improve your outlook of the future Positive thinking can actually improve our overall happiness. When you’re stuck in a negative spiral. Negative emotions. so I literally had to bring myself in front of a mirror and force myself to smile. Another study from the University of North Carolina used the ancient practice of loving-kindness meditation to test how cultivating positive feelings like love. Surround yourself with positive people. positivity has shown to directly affect your physical health. 3. It really does help change your mood and relieve stress. the most important moment. Yoga helped me stay present to my experience so instead of jumping to what could happen. which helped ease my mind. . You’ll be more healthy Yep. talk to people who can put things into perspective and won’t feed your negative thinking.What this means for us is that we struggle to change our habits or thought patterns when we tell ourselves negative phrases. It took my focus away from my thoughts and brought my attention to my breath. these participants showed improvements in vagal tone which is linked to cardiovascular health and a general indicator of physical well-being. since only our conscious minds can take those in. I also felt lighter because it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown. One of the first things I did was head to a yoga class. Smile. 2. We can make this much easier and let the subconscious do its job by using positively-framed phrases like “refrain from smoking” or “walk away from that. on the other hand. I called a friend who I knew could give me constructive yet loving feedback. 1. I’ve written about this before in terms of noting down things we’re grateful for on a regular basis and how that can improve our happiness.” 2. 3. Physically. awe and gratitude during the research period.

Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person. I don’t remember lyrics very well and it’s probably the reason that I don’t enjoy singing. if need be. You create your life—take responsibility. Being grateful helps appreciate what you already have. Even if our living situation becomes unbearable. instead of thinking.4. I felt terrible that I acted this way and that I wasted our weekend. The only thing I can do now is learn from my mistakes and move forward. health. I definitely don’t want to have a weekend like that again. “We will face some challenges in our living situation. 1. and mirror as reminders to stay positive. 8. Here are some of Leo’s suggestions for how to achieve this: . Here’s my list: my cats. I like to place Post-It notes with positive quotes on my computer. “We are going to have a hard time adjusting to our living situation. Read positive quotes.” think. a new yoga class that I’ll be teaching. and for my mom’s biopsy coming out clean. but every time I do sing I always feel better. Help someone. fridge door. a six-week trip to Asia. List five things that you are grateful for right now. as well as our physical environment. For example. you would think I was stuck. The trick here is to ensure your environment is as conducive to you continuing your new habit as possible. we show our feelings and this provides an amazing stress relief. 9. 10. I decided to make a tray of food and donate it to the Salvation Army. When we sing. there is always a way out. It took my mind off of things and I felt better for helping someone else.” 5. The way I was thinking and acting. Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive. Sing. Remember that no one is perfect and let yourself move forward. 7. 6. Don’t play the victim. I will always have the choice to make change happen. Prepare your environment Environment includes the people we spend time with and the messages we hear or tell ourselves. It’s easy to dwell on your mistakes. but we will come up with solutions that we will both be happy with.

Try to Meditate – 2 minutes is enough Meditating is beneficial for the body and mind. as well. and reading books that encourage positive thinking will reinforce this. you can slowly increase the length of your meditation sessions to an amount that gives you the most benefit. Filling your work space with positive sayings or images could help. Starting small works for meditating. and make a vow never to miss. The second half wrote about control topics that didn’t affect their emotions. A study of 90 undergraduate students had one half of them write about positive experiences for three consecutive days. 2. Take note of 1 positive moment every day Noticing the positive things that happen in your everyday life has been proven to be a successful method of increasing your positive thinking. the study found that the students who had written about positive experiences still had better mood levels and fewer illnesses. In terms of being positive. If there are people around you who don’t do the habit you want to do. to create accountability. and ask for their help. Read blogs and books that inspire you to do the habit. It not only improves mindfulness and positive thinking while you’re doing it. and not rag on you all the time for changing. Have a habit partner you report to each day. This doesn’t just happen when you’re doing the exercise: the effects can actually last much longer. talk to them about what you’re trying to do. you could find a friend or family member to do this with to keep you accountable. but it has been shown to decrease illness and improve mindfulness and feelings of purpose in life up to three months after being practiced daily for a short period. After three months. Leo Babauta recommends just 2 minutes to start with. . Ask them to support you.Hang out with people who are doing the habit you want to do. or set a daily reminder so you don’t forget. After establishing the habit for several weeks. which is easy to do and helpful in developing a strong habit. Have reminders all around you. 3. One activity that’s often said to improve positivity is to write down (or share with someone) three things you’re grateful for at the end of each day. Create a public challenge for yourself. Join a supportive community online who are doing the things you want to do.