There’s something in repeating positive thoughts that makes us believe in them. Although it sometimes sounds like a cliche, thinking positive does help us feel better and do better.
According to research conducted by Barbara Fredrickson, a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, when you’re experiencing positive emotions such as joy, love, happiness, you’ll likely see more options and opportunities surrounding you.
The science behind it is based on our unintentional behavior of facing difficult situations. When faced with a challenging, dangerous or scary situation, our brain freezes and is unable to properly filter our emotion and determine next steps. Although this is primarily aimed at life or death situations (you encounter a bear in the woods), our brain perceives our day-to-day challenges as such and loses the ability to think straight. You know the feeling - you’ve been told you have to hold a meeting in front of the whole company - although realistically you know everything you’re talking about, it’s still difficult to find the right words. The research found that those who were thinking of positive things came up with more solutions and ideas to solve the situations than those who were subjected to emotions such as anger, regret, etc.
What we can learn from this is that it’s possible to influence how we react to different challenging situations by learning to change our way of thinking.
As thinking positive doesn’t only make you feel better but has a long-lasting impact, we compiled a list of 5 best ways to hack your brain into thinking more positively and help yourself during difficult times.
1. I am calm
Calmness is something we should all strive to achieve, not only because of our mind but because of our bodies. Tension and stress have been proven to have long-term negative effects on our health and overall wellbeing. From a higher risk of heart attacks, gastroenterology problems and anxiety, it can all be prevented by lowering your exposure to stress and changing the way you cope with it. Practicing meditation daily, even just for a few minutes can lower your stress levels and help you feel at ease. Be calm, feel better.
2. I am worthy
Women today, more than ever, feel they’re not doing enough. Compared to men, we’re 4 times less likely to ask for a raise, which is not surprising since only 1 in 4 women asking for it will receive it. All of this is symptomatic of a larger issue - women are less likely to advocate for themselves in the same position. And why is that? We’ve been culturally conditioned it’s not good to ask for more and we stopped seeing our own wort. Although the situation is changing among younger women in the workforce, we still have a long way to go. Know your worth and let others know it too.
3. I am strong
It’s easy to feel down from time to time. Work, college, family, children, it can sometimes be too much for us to handle and we can feel like we’re not able to keep it all together. But the truth is, you survived all of your hardest days, even when you thought you have to give up because it’s too difficult and when everything else turned against you. You’ve made it and you can do it again! Remember all ups and downs you experienced and find your motivation. You’re strong and you can endure it!
These three simple mantras can be performed daily to help you get more confidence in your life. Stand tall in front of your mirror, repeat them will strength and feel the power of words. Just remember, you were made for this and you can do it!