[dropcaps]P[/dropcaps]ositivity is important. If you have followed my writings through the last few years, you will see this theme littered throughout my posts. I think there is power in positivity. This isn’t always the easiest approach to take but it is definitely the most beneficial. I believe this is part of what I call the “Positivity Principle.” It is the principle that the more positive you are the more effective you will be in life. As an added bonus, you’ll also be a lot happier.
Positivity Benefits Health
Did you know that thinking positively can benefit your health and even extend your life? According to the Mayo Clinic 1)“Stress Management.” Positive Thinking: Reduce Stress by Eliminating Negative Self-talk. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2015. it can also lower depression rates, lower stress, lower heart disease, and improve psychological and physical well being. Another study at Harvard Public School of Health confirms these benefits2)“Happiness & Health.” News. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2015. Moral of the story: Being positive leads to better health, being negative… well it does exactly what you’d expect.
Positivity Benefits Relationships
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Positive relationships grow stronger together and help people grow stronger individually.[/pullquote]
A positive mind tends to focus on the positive in others as opposed to their not so positive quirks (yea, everyone has them). This focus begins to create an environment where positive relationships thrive. People feel built up, relationships grow, and then people and relationships thrive. Positivity also creates an environment around you where people can experience personal growth to their full potential. This is because they know that there is positive support from you. The positive relationships also create an environment where people can work together for the greater good. Two heads are better than one when they are working together. Positive relationships grow stronger together and help people grow stronger individually. Clearly this can be beneficial as we go through the highs and lows in life.
Oh, and did I also mention positivity is more meaningful and more fun?
Practicing the Positivity Principle
All of the above information is great but really without a way to put it into action, they are just interesting tidbits and factoids. The power of the Positivity Principle comes through practicing it. This is not always easy, especially for those of us who aren’t morning people (yes, I’m not a morning person). However, we can choose to let our emotions rule us or we can rule our emotions. Here are a few tips to helping you practice the Positivity Principle:
Start Small– If you aren’t naturally a positive thinking, it isn’t realistic to think that you will become one over night. So the first step is to recognize the negative thoughts and call them for what they are and realize “this is a negative thought.”
A Bad Experience is an Adventure– Once you have recognized that a thought is negative, it’s time to change it to positive. This isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be quite hard. One thing I learned from my late Grandpa was to turn bad experiences into “adventures.” The worse the experience got the grander the adventure. Initially this mind trick was met with skepticism by yours truly but as time went on it has become something I have come to love and embrace. It is amazing how many different situations in life can be turned around with this little trick of turning things into adventures.
Lather, Rinse, Repeat! – No, I don’t mean go wash your hair when dealing with negativity. I do mean lather the negative thought with something positive. Then rinse that negativity away by upping the positive thought to the next level of positivity. Finally, repeat the process. Repeat the positive thoughts regularly and you will be surprised at the changes you will experience. If it helps, write down these positive thoughts over and over (it also helps with goals).
Put Positivity in Front of You – Surround yourself with positivity. Put positive quotes up in your home in places you will regularly see them. You can do the same with your car by putting a quote on a 3×5 card and then putting the card on speedometer when you park. When you are driving, slide it into the corner of your window right by your left shoulder (assuming you are driving). Put positive pieces of art as decorations throughout your house. Put happy pictures on your computer desktop or phone’s home screen. Create a physically positive environment so that when you are in your own personal environment, it is a positive place.
Always Look for the Seed of the Equivalent Benefit – Let’s face it, not all experiences in life can be chalked up to an adventure. This is when we utilize a quote from my other late Grandad. He would say “Always look for the seed of the equivalent benefit3)(I think he might have been inspired by Napoleon Hill for this but am not sure).” In other words, look for the good in every situation no matter how bad. It will be there. You just have to find it. Quite often when you do find it you will find that the good is much greater than you ever imagined. And heck, if it worked for Grandad for nearly a century it’ll work for us!
The Positivity Principle isn’t the easiest thing in the world. There are a lot of hurdles to being positive and quite often a lot of those obstacles are people… some that we care a great deal about. However, hurdles were meant to be jumped. If you keep your eyes on the end goal of being a positive person and don’t get caught up on the hurdles along the way, you will clear them (and maybe stumble once in awhile but that’s ok) and find yourself being a happier and healthier person. Oh, and did I mention you’ll also be more successful? That’s an added perk as well. Practice the Positivity Principle and let me know how it impacts your life and the lives of those around you.