The power of positive thinking

The other day, I was reading an interesting article on the effects of positive affirmation on health related behaviour and I started thinking about this association.  Too often our health is negatively affected by our mental state as we “try to make ourselves feel better”. We reach for comfort food, over eat, drink too much and move too little, often because we are feeling the adversity of life’s tribulations.  Perhaps if we harbour this negativity, we could turn it into something positive?   

Instead of perpetuating the negative behaviour, perhaps try to recognise what is going on and do something positive for yourself instead.  Maybe go for a walk, take a relaxing bath or phone a fiend or family member who is willing to listen.  Or, if all that's too difficult, just begin with positive self talk.  It’s very important that you do keep this positive. For example, if you are feeling overweight and seriously resign yourself to the fact that you will always be this way, you probably will be!  But if you are feeling overweight and tell yourself, (and believe in yourself) that it is within your control to change it, you will be able to make that change.  Perhaps you can write a note reminding yourself that you are in charge of your own destiny and have the power to change everything.  Keep reading this every day, until you really believe it.  The same thing goes for other health conditions.  If you believe that you are strong enough to regain your health, chances are you will be able to achieve a healthier happier lifestyle. (NB, If you are on medication, you must continue taking this as prescribed by your doctor).  

Other ways you can increase your positivity are by identifying the main areas of negativity in your life.  Focusing on one area at at time, try to work out a more positive way of approaching it. For example; if you’ve never done something before, look at it as an opportunity to learn something new, rather then thinking you can’t do it; or, if you are feeling too lazy to make a change, take a look at your priorities and rearrange them to include the time necessary to achieve the goal; or think about the things you care most about in your life (ie. family, friends, pets, sport, work) and draw motivation from there.

These few things may not sound like they'll make much difference to you, but if you begin to implement them in every aspect of your life, you may just find that things start moving forward in a more positive direction for you.

Photo credit: © Carsten Erler