Ever wonder if there’s an actual benefit to looking on the brighter side of life? Well, science has proven that thinking positively forges new pathways in the brain to help us get out of that perpetual rut of mind-worry and negative thinking. By practicing positive psychology and silencing the negative self-talk, we can find more contentment and lead more fulfilling lives.
Habits of thinking need not be forever. One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think ~ Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism
It sounds simple and that’s the beauty of it, because it is. We can all take small steps towards changing our outlook on life by asking the question: What’s the one little thing I can do today to enhance my happiness? By applying positive psychology in our own lives, we can reap the benefits at home and at work.
While some skeptics and realists question the merits of positive thinking, thinking we all have our heads in the sand, approaching a challenging life situation with a positive attitude helps to build resilience and reduces stress. Going into a situation with optimism instead of expecting the worst will make life easier to handle and free up your brain to work on possible solutions to whatever life throws at you. Begin by paying attention to your internal dialogue. If it’s mostly negative, then commit to changing the self-talk and start by thinking more positively.
Live in the present – don’t dwell on the past, don’t stress about the future. Easier said than done, but a mindfulness practice can help develop this skill.
Appreciate the positive rather than dwell on the negative – recognize skills and talents in yourself and others. Develop talents instead of lamenting perceived shortfalls.
Play to your strengths – Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Though we may need to get better at things we’re not interested in, we can increase our happiness by doing more of what we’re good at and enjoy.
Celebrate small achievements – no matter where you’re going in life, you get there one small achievement or one learning experience at a time. Take a moment to celebrate and appreciate the little things. You’ll miss out on a lot of joy by focusing only on big accomplishments.
Be grateful – appreciate what you do have and what you or others have done well to increase your own happiness. For most of us, even if we’re going through a hard time, there are still good things going on in our lives and it helps to remember and appreciate them.
Happy is as happy does. By always depending on external factors and the validation of others, we can ultimately lose our capacity for owning our happiness. That’s where positive psychology comes in; each of us has the ability to train ourselves to be happier. To find out more about positive psychology and changing your thought patterns, connect with a counsellor at workhealthlife.com or call 1 866 833-7690.