Positive Thinking 101

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Positive thinking is a fundamental happiness-building concept.  It can, however, be a bit more complicated than most people may think. 

What is intend here, therefore, is to simplify it (probably over-simplify it) as an introductory discussion.  That's why this is called "Positive Thinking 101" - since it is positive thinking at its most basic level. 

If you want to get deeper into the subject, change the way you think, and perhaps make positive thinking a new habit for you, click here to learn more

What is positive thinking?

Nearly everyone knows that "positive thinking" is a good thing.  Unfortunately, many people think it means simply thinking positive thoughts all the time or repeating positive “affirmations”.  Many people who want to be happier or more successful even think that's all you have to do - just think positive thoughts – and everything will work out. 

Well, that may be part of it; but it’s really just a small part of the whole concept of positive thinking.

Positive thinking also does not mean "seeing everything through rose-colored glasses" and basically ignoring or minimizing the negatives of life.  In addition, just sitting around with a positive mindset will obviously not get anyone very far. 

Positive thinking involves many other components for the desired results to be realized - which are usually true and lasting happiness, less stress, business and personal success, and perhaps the creation of wealth.

To achieve those things, here is what positive thinking really involves:

  1. Thinking positive thoughts regularly and frequently
  2. Being optimistic - even when life is difficult
  3. Solving problems and making the most of bad situations
  4. Dealing with stress in a calm, effective way
  5. Seeing the best in other people
  6. Viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light (i.e., having a high level of self-esteem)
  7. Having positive expectations for the future
  8. Having goals and taking action toward the achievement of those goals

The Benefits of Positive Thinking

“External” Benefits

Making a “habit” of positive thinking by consistently using the basic components listed above has significant favorable influences on all aspects of life. 

People who practice “positive thinking” enjoy better relationships, suffer less anxiety, and are generally more successful (personally and financially) than negative, pessimistic people.

The key, though, is that positive thinking (the entire spectrum of positive thinking components described above) must become a habit for it to really work.   

Thinking positively while pursuing your Definition of Happiness, for example, will allow for a higher likelihood of achieving that happiness definition – meaning you will be a genuinely happier person.

Similarly, thinking positively while pursuing your goals (by taking action – enthusiastic action) will allow for a higher likelihood of achieving those goals - and ultimate success in life.

This is partly because thinking positively helps us solve problems better and deal with negative outcomes or circumstances more effectively. 

In addition, relationships between people who are “positive thinking people” (and who are happier because of it) are closer and more fulfilling.  Even marriages between two happy, positive people last longer.  

Health Benefits

In addition to all the “external” advantages, research into this area has indicated that, in addition to those “external” or "personal" benefits, there are many health (physiological) benefits linked to positive thinking and optimistic attitudes as well.

According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking is linked to a wide range of health benefits including:

  • A longer life span
  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Increased resistance to the common cold
  • Better stress management and coping skills
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiac-related death
  • Increased physical well-being
  • Better psychological health

One study of 1,558 older adults found that positive thinking could also reduce frailty during old age.

How to Become a Positive Thinker (Making it a Habit)

Like many other things in life, as implied in this basic introduction, being a positive thinker must really become a "habit".  So, if you are not a positive thinker, you must make a commitment to a process that makes positive thinking a habit.  You really have to take small steps toward being a positive thinker.

The first 4 steps required to develop a positive thinking habit are:

  1. Learn to notice and analyze your thoughts: This means learning to control your "self-talk".  When you think about a task, goal, or project, do you think about the difficulty of the task or the unlikely achievement of the goal?  If so, that self-talk "habit" has to be changed.  Part of it relates to self-esteem (which is a deeper issue).  In general, though, you must force yourself to think only about succeeding and a achieving a positive outcome.  Again, this is not always easy.  Click here to find out more about how to achieve this.
  2. Visualize the feeling of success: Think about how you will feel by completing the tasks, meeting the challenges, and solving the problems you are facing successfully and ahead of schedule. How would your life improve?  How will you feel about yourself and about life? 
  3. Be (and stay) enthusiastic in everything you do: Positive thinking people do everything with enthusiasm.  Even when the task is mundane or the problem is difficult, positive people don’t complain – they pump themselves up, even if they have to fake it at first.  That’s why they are more successful – because they keep moving forward, rather than giving up, partly because their enthusiasm keeps them motivated and engaged.  This then builds an even greater positivity habit. 
  4. Focus on the big picture: “The devil is in the details.”  So, even though the details must be addressed, what’s the big picture?  In other words, what is the larger vision, the greater purpose, and the ultimate outcome you want?  It is so much more positive to think about the longer-term pleasure we can get than the possible short-term pain and sacrifice we might have to go through to complete a task or achieve a goal. 

All this is just the tip of the iceberg toward positive thinking and becoming a positive thinker.  But it is all worth it.

Being able to think positively will help you move in the direction of complete happiness and massive success.  It will improve relationships, create better health, reduce stress, and help achieve success.

There will be much more coming in other articles and in The BeHappy! Newsletter.  For now, click here to get the draft version of a new ebook coming out soon for just 99 cents!!!!

BeHappy! my friends


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If the information on this site helps you and you'd like to make a donation to BeHappy101.com (to help make others happy), please click on the button below to make a contribution. The amount you donate is entirely up to you. A portion will used to contribute to the happiness of others and is greatly appreciated.


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