You know those people who are always smiling and turning lemons into lemonade? It is easy to harbor ill feelings toward their cheery disposition in the face of adversity. I know, I’ve done it. With that said, I think it is time to stop and really think about this. We could probably learn a lot from these positive-thinking individuals. They are smiley, they are happy, and often times they are pretty darn healthy.
Studies show that positive thinking has some pretty big health benefits.
According to the Mayo Clinic positive thinking leads to the following:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during times of hardship and stress
People are born with a predisposition to be more of a positive or negative thinker. That doesn’t mean, however, that “the glass is half-empty” thinkers can’t change. Small, simple steps repeated over time can help change your mindset and make you a healthier, happier person.
Let me make one thing clear. I am not saying that shifting your mindset is easy. I myself tend to lean toward seeing the glass half-empty and have to make a daily concerted effort to work on my positive thinking. I’ll admit, it can be slow going at times. However, over time, I find myself reacting to situations (especially those out of my control) more positively and with less stress or negativity. As a result, I find myself happier and lighter.
So, the question becomes how do we achieve those sunny smiles and cheery outlooks (or at least take the first step toward beginning to minimize the negativity in our own heads)? Success and true sustainable behavioral change is all about taking small, achievable steps and repeating them until they become routine.
I challenge you to make one small change this week toward the positive. Before you go to sleep each night, think of three GOOD things that happened during the day. It can be something small or something big. Maybe you saw your grandkids that day. Maybe your boss commented on how well you did something. Maybe your kids went to bed without a fight. Maybe it was sunny outside. Maybe you were proud of yourself for exercising. Maybe you caught yourself thinking negatively and consciously tried to change your thought pattern. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you are thinking of GOOD, POSITIVE things.
Let’s work together to make a change in our lives. It’s time to turn those lemons into lemonade!