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Listen Up, A POSITIVE MINDSET Can Heal Your Mind & Body

Even if positive thinking does not come naturally to you, there are plenty of great reasons to start cultivating affirmative thoughts and minimising negative self-talk. You have probably had someone tell you to "look on the bright side" or to "see the cup as half full". Chances are that the people who make these comments are positive thinkers, and research shows many benefits of optimism and positive thinking. Such findings suggest that not only are positive thinkers healthier and less stressed, they also have greater overall well-being.

Positive thinking doesn't mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.

Having a positive mental attitude is one of the most important things to develop in life. More energy, better health, a greater chance at success, and an overall happier life all show just how important having the right attitude is.

Health Benefits

There is nothing more valuable in your life than your good health which is why a positive attitude is key to keeping yourself healthy. Scientific research has proven that people with a positive attitude are healthier physically and mentally than someone without one.

When faced with stressful situations, positive thinkers cope more effectively than pessimists, facing a crisis or trauma with strength and resolve. In one study, researchers found that when optimists encounter a disappointment (such as not getting a job or promotion) they are more likely to focus on things they can do to resolve the situation, instead of giving up hope, they marshal their resources and are willing to ask others for help.

In turn, better stress management mechanisms are associated with many health benefits. By coping better with stress and having resilience to unhealthy behaviours, individuals are able to improve their health and well-being. In one study, researchers found that activation in brain areas associated with negative emotions led to a weaker immune response to a flu vaccine. Optimists typically look at what they can do to fix the problem.

Therefore not only can positive thinking impact your ability to cope with stress and your immunity, it also has an impact on your overall well-being, including a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular problems, less depression, and an increased lifespan.

Success And Energy

Have you ever met a successful person with a negative attitude? The answer is probably no, and not really surprising when you think about it.

Positivity leads to excitement and excitement is like three shots of Red Bull and a tall coffee. When you are positive you wake up ready to do your best and enjoy the day. This also allows you to feel more inspired and wake up ready to become one of the next 30 under 30 candidates. A positive attitude doesn’t just help you live better, it also lets you gain the success you deserve.

Everyone knows that one person who, no matter how early it is, has a seemingly endless amount of energy, bubbling with boundless zeal. With more energy more can be done, channel it into your work, relationships, or hobbies and you will see dramatic results. It also helps you focus and have more enthusiasm. Positivity is the best energy booster of all time.

4 Common Forms Of Negative Self-Talk...

Filtering: You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. F

Personalising: When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself.

Catastrophising: You automatically anticipate the worst. You spill coffee on yourself and automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.

Polarising: You see things only as either good or bad. There is no middle ground.

You can learn to turn negative activation and language into positives. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you're creating a new habit, after all. Email culture provides the perfect opportunity to work on positive language, as you can edit your words before sending them out to colleagues and clients. Look out for negative words like “unfortunately,” “impossible” and “problems” as flags for sentences to revise. Flip these everyday phrases which can be easily replaced, giving your vocabulary an instant positivity boost.

Why not? → Sounds good

No problem → Definitely!

Can’t complain → Everything’s going well, thanks

I’m exhausted → I need to rest

I forgot → I’ll make sure to set a reminder

You'll get over it → It's hard but I believe in you

You can't have that → Give that to me please

No hitting → Be gentle when you touch

Unfortunately, it will be impossible to finish the project on time because of the problems some people are causing with submitting their work late. → Can everyone turn in their portion of the project by Thursday so that we can complete the work on time and hit the deadline?

Constructive criticism → Feedback

Don’t throw the ball inside! → Please take the ball outside.

Don’t … → I like it when..

I missed you so much! → It’s so great to see you!

No! → I know you like ice cream, but eating too much isn’t healthy.

Also remember telling children (and adults, too!) what you want them to do rather than what you don’t want them to do puts the focus on the desired action and ups your chances of a positive outcome!

Identify Areas To Change

If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you usually think negatively about, whether it's work, your daily commute or a relationship. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.

Check yourself: Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you're thinking, putting a positive spin on them.

Laugh: Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times.

Lead a healthy lifestyle: Aim to exercise for about 30 minutes on most days of the week. You can also break it up into 10-minute chunks of time during the day.

Surround yourself with positivity: Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback.

Positive self-talk: Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself.

Be Realistic

Before you put on those rose-colored glasses, it is important to note that positive thinking is not about taking a "Pollyanna" approach to life. In fact, researchers have found that in some instances, optimism might not serve you well. For example, people who are excessively optimistic might overestimate their own abilities and take on more than they can handle, ultimately leading to more stress and anxiety.

Instead of ignoring reality in favour of the silver lining, psychologists suggest that positive thinking centers on such things as a belief in your abilities, a positive approach to challenges, and trying to make the most of the bad situations. Bad things will happen. Sometimes you will be disappointed or hurt by the actions of others. This does not mean that the world is out to get you or that all people will let you down. Instead, positive thinkers will look at the situation realistically, search for ways that they can improve the situation, and try to learn from their experiences.

Having a positive mental attitude is one of the best ways you can help yourself and your life improve drastically. Sure, things aren’t always sunshine and roses but just looking at the brighter side of the journey keeps you happy and healthy.

Turn their lives around with nothing more than the choice to get better and developing a positive mental attitude. No matter what your situation is, it’s never too late to change and a change in attitude can do wonders for your life.

Olympian, life coach, trainer and an ambassador for Diabetes UK. Michelle opened up to YK Daily on how she maintains a positive mental attitude, becoming the first woman to jump over 14 metres in the Commonwealth, representing Great Britain for two decades as a Triple Jumper and competing in the1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

How did you maintain a positive mindset in a difficult situation?

Recognising that some things are out of my control and rationalising situations, rather than playing the negative video in my head. That comes from maintaining a positive mindset and remembering there is always hope, to get through really dark days.

Describe a person or situation from your childhood that had a profound effect on your mindset and the way you look at life.

I guess it has to be my PE teachers at school, in terms of "you can do it," they always believed in me. Which is the beauty of having support at a young age, having individuals believing in your ability to succeed gives you that extra push to achieve your future goals.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you were younger?

Oh my gosh, I could be here all day! I wish I'd believed in myself more, I was very thin, had large boobs, leaving me self conscious, but I wish I had the guts to embrace myself more, showing off and cracking on. It's about passing that mentality down to the younger generation, encouraging them to embrace what you have.

Have you ever found yourself under intense scrutiny and doubted yourself? And do you ever think back and wish that you had been kinder to yourself?

Yeah, I think we all go through times where you doubt your ability and who you are as an individual, no matter who you are you will always have what I call "internal negative dialogue" that's goes on in your head, are you good enough, should I be hear, which sometimes overtakes self belief. You need to stay strong enough to overcome negative thoughts and come out on top.

Sometimes I do look back and wish I had the gumption to turn around to people and say - cya later! You're not treating me right, you bring no value to my life, it's time to move on. It is easy to say in hindsight, however no one deserves to be treated badly, and you have got to love yourself before you can love anybody else.

Drawing on your life experience. Can you give us an example of a time when you wanted to give up and chose not to?

I snapped my achilles tendon in 2005, in South Africa, I was in the best shape of my life with a brilliant team around me. I turned to my husband, Matt, a former Welsh rugby player, and said, i'm going to retire, there and then. He said to me, Michelle, are you really going to give up now, based on that negative vibe? Those wise words of encouragement gave me strength, allowing me to compete infant of my loved ones at the 2006 Common Wealth Games in Melbourne, turning out to be one of the most proudest moments in my life.

How do you react when you are asked to do something beyond your capability?

Fear - Rationalise - Then call a sensible and calm loved one. It's about allowing yourself to become vulnerable, exploring the worst case scenario and thinking the situation through thoroughly, rather than shooting from the hip.

Over time, how have you changed the way you look at life/people?

DECLUTTER THE PEOPLE WHO SAP YOUR ENERGY. Life is too short to be surrounded by people who don't value or deserve you. I am a firm believer in that.

What advice did your grandparents or parents give you that you remember best?

My mum is so positive, she passed down the gauntlet to me, and I would say the most resonate words that encouraged me must have been - so what if you try, and what's the worst if you fail?

What is your philosophy of life?

Live it - Do it to the best of your ability - Where you can help others, help them - Be kind

If a younger person came to you asking “what’s the most important thing for living a good positive life”, what would you say?

Be you, be authentic, and find your purpose and passion, then I don't think you can go too far wrong.

How do you define a “good life” or a “successful life”?

A successful life is being about to lay down in your bed, no matter what you have and say "I'm doing alright." Success for me is certainly not about riches, success for me is having a positive impact on people life daily. It's about having loved ones around, and children who I can watch turn into fantastic citizens who have a place on this earth to makes changes.

In what way is it important to know your limitations in your life or career?

What limitations? Why should anyone put a limitation on you? There are no limitations, grasp all opportunities. Sometime people place limitations on you, but the only ones that are real are the ones you put on yourself, and there are always ways around them.

The content provided in our articles is provided for information purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice and consultation, including professional medical advice and consultation; it is provided with the understanding that YK DAILY is not engaged in the provision or rendering of medical advice or services. The opinions and content included in the articles are the views only and may not be scientifically factual. You understand and agree by reading anything on our website that YK DAILY shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon any content or information published. All images are from Pinterest, if you know the original creator please let us know, so that we can credit them.


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