Time for a bit more positive thinking.

In this time of such uncertainty, I feel a bit of positive thinking is needed, don’t you? So what is positive thinking really? Positive thinking is the idea that you can change your life by thinking positively about things. This idea can sound a bit soft and fluffy, which is something of a problem for many people who recognise that just thinking good thoughts won’t change the world and therefore discard the whole idea.

However, research shows that positive thinking really does have a scientific basis. You can’t change the world, but you can change how you perceive it and how you react to it. And that can change the way that you feel about yourself and others, which can in turn have a huge effect on your well-being.

Quick Tips to Enable Positive Thinking

Gain Control of Yourself: Do not be critical of yourself to others. Whilst it can be useful to confide your concerns to someone you trust, telling the world is something else. Be kind to yourself. Make a list of your good qualities and believe them, believe in yourself.

Don’t Be A Complainer: By being negative you can isolate yourself from others and cut yourself off from positive solutions to problems.

Learn to Relax: Allow time for yourself each day, if only for a few minutes it is important to find time to relax and unwind.

Boost Your Own Morale: Treat yourself every now and again. Especially if you have overcome a problem or made a personal achievement.

Congratulate Yourself on a job/task well done and perhaps tell a friend. Justified praise is a good boost to morale.

Learn to Channel Nerves and Tension Positively: when you are nervous, adrenalin is pumped through the body and you feel more keyed up and alert. This extra energy can be used to good effect; enabling you to communicate with greater enthusiasm and intensity, for example.

Learn to be Assertive: Stand up for what you believe in and do not be pressured by others. See our section on Assertiveness for more.

WARNING! Don’t force it

Positive thinking is good. But you should not try to use it to block out everything negative that happens in your life. Sometimes bad stuff happens, and you will feel down about it. It’s no good pretending that you don’t because forced positive thinking can be counterproductive.

What you need to avoid is the ‘developing disaster’ scenario (the ‘my life is a total disaster’ tape that plays in your head). The best way to do that is NOT to tell yourself that your life is perfect. Instead, you need to recognise what has gone wrong but set it in context. For example: “Yes, I’m having a bad day, but tomorrow will be better. I will go home now and I will be able to think of a solution to the problem in the morning when I am less tired.”

Developing Habits of Positive Thinking

If you think about positive thinking as ‘being happy’, it is much easier to work out what you should do to develop habits based on it. For example, what do you like doing? And with whom do you like spending time?

Meditation
People who meditate every day show more positive thinking than those who do not. Is that the meditation causing the positive thinking, or just having time to think? It’s hard to tell, but it’s also hard to argue with the science. People who meditate tend to show more mindfulness, or ability to live in the present, which is also associated with positive thinking.

Writing
A group of undergraduates were asked to write about an intensely positive experience every day for three days. Amazingly, they had better moods and better physical health afterwards, and the effect lasted for quite a long time. This is a pretty easy thing to do: you could, for example, write a blog focusing on positive experiences, or keep a diary.

Play
It’s important to make time for yourself to have fun. Sometimes you might need to actually put it into your diary to force yourself to make that time, whether it’s to meet a friend for coffee, or go out for a walk or a bike ride.

Ask yourself questions.

The Power of Questions
Our minds actively look for answers to questions. So if you ask yourself ‘Why do I feel so bad?’, your mind will find lots of answers and you will feel worse. With NLP the key is to ask the right questions, for example:

Why do I want to change?
What will life be like when I have changed?
What do I need to do more/less of in order to change?
Questions like these naturally lead to a more positive outlook.

How to think positive thoughts
Positive thinking can be achieved through a few different techniques that have been proven effective, such as positive self-talk and positive imagery.

Here are some tips that to get you started that can help you train your brain how to think positively.

Focus on the good things
Challenging situations and obstacles are a part of life. When you’re faced with one, focus on the good things no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they seem. If you look for it, you can always find the proverbial silver lining in every cloud — even if it’s not immediately obvious. For example, if someone cancels plans, focus on how it frees up time for you to catch up on a TV show or other activity you enjoy.

Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude has been shown to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and foster resilience even in very difficult times. Think of people, moments, or things that bring you some kind of comfort or happiness and try to express your gratitude at least once a day. This can be thanking a co-worker for helping with a project, a loved one for washing the dishes, or your dog for the unconditional love they give you.

Keep a gratitude journal
Writing down the things you’re grateful for can improve your optimism and sense of well-being. You can do this by writing in a gratitude journal every day, or jotting down a list of things you’re grateful for on days you’re having a hard time.

Open yourself up to humor
Studies have found that laughter lowers stress, anxiety, and depression. It also improves coping skills, mood, and self-esteem. buy my book 100 days in isolation

Be open to humor in all situations, especially the difficult ones, and give yourself permission to laugh. It instantly lightens the mood and makes things seem a little less difficult. Even if you’re not feeling it; pretending or forcing yourself to laugh can improve your mood and lower stress.

Spend time with positive people
Negativity and positivity have been shown to be contagious. Consider the people with whom you’re spending time. Have you noticed how someone in a bad mood can bring down almost everyone in a room? A positive person has the opposite effect on others.

Being around positive people has been shown to improve self-esteem and increase your chances of reaching goals. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and help you see the bright side.

Practice positive self-talk
We tend to be the hardest on ourselves and be our own worst critic. Over time, this can cause you to form a negative opinion of yourself that can be hard to shake. To stop this, you’ll need to be mindful of the voice in your head and respond with positive messages, also known as positive self-talk. Research shows that even a small shift in the way you talk to yourself can influence your ability to regulate your feelings, thoughts, and behavior under stress.

Here’s an example of positive self-talk: Instead of thinking “I really messed that up,” try “I’ll try it again a different way.”

Identify your areas of negativity
Take a good look at the different areas of your life and identify the ones in which you tend to be the most negative. Not sure? Ask a trusted friend or colleague. Chances are, they’ll be able to offer some insight. A co-worker might notice that you tend to be negative at work. Your spouse may notice that you get especially negative while driving. Tackle one area at a time.

Start every day on a positive note
Create a ritual in which you start off each day with something uplifting and positive. Here are a few ideas:

Tell yourself that it’s going to be a great day or any other positive affirmation.
Listen to a happy and positive song or playlist.
Share some positivity by giving a compliment or doing something nice for someone.

Say goodbye to negative thinking

The Effect of Negative Thinking
To understand the effect of positive thinking, it’s helpful to think about negative thinking first. Most negative emotions, such as fear or anger, are designed to help with survival. They cause us to take swift and effective action to save ourselves from whatever is threatening us. This means that they also prevent us from being distracted by other things around us. So far, so good, in survival terms. If there’s a bear standing in front of you, you don’t want to stop to pick flowers.

But negative thinking is not so great in more modern settings. If you’ve got a lot to do, and you’re worried that you won’t get it all done, the last thing you need is for your brain to shut down and focus only on how long your ‘To Do’ list has got. Negative thinking is a habit, something you can train your brain to avoid. Constant negative thinking can make you much more likely to be stressed and can lead to more serious problems, like depression.

Until Next week.

Take care and stay safe.

Jon X

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge. and online via Zoom

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon. and 100 days in isolation. A collection of funny original images of one mans decent into comic madness during lockdown

Find me on You TubeFacebook and Instagram.

Are you conscious of your conscious mind?

 Hi Welcome back. Hope you’ve had a good week.

So last week I was talking about the subconscious so what about the conscious mind. Who or what is it?

Your conscious mind is your objective or thinking mind. It has no memory, and it can only hold one thought at a time. This mind has four essential functions.

First, it identifies incoming information. This is information received through any of the six senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or feeling. Your conscious mind is continually observing and categorizing what is going on around you.

To explain what I mean, imagine that you are walking along the road and you decide to cross the street. You step off the curb. At that moment, you hear the roar of an car engine. You immediately turn and look in the direction of the moving car to identify the sound and where it is coming from. This is the first function.

The second function of your conscious mind is comparison. The information about the car that you have seen and heard goes immediately to your subconscious mind. There, it is compared with all of your previously stored information and experiences with moving automobiles.

If the car, for example, is a street away, and moving at thirty miles per hour, your subconscious memory bank will tell you that there is no danger and that you can continue walking.

If, on the other hand, the car is moving toward you at sixty miles per hour and is only 100 yards away, you will get a “danger” message that will stimulate further action on your part.

The third function of your conscious mind is analysis, and analysis always precedes the fourth function, deciding.

Your conscious mind functions very much like a binary computer, (Yep, there is the software reference again) performing two functions: It accepts or rejects data in making choices and decisions. It can deal with only one thought at a time, positive or negative, “yes” or “no.” This is why people who adopt positive thinking lifestyles regularly read inspirational quotes. Our single-track minds can only entertain one idea at a time, so keeping it occupied with uplifting material has the power to block negative thoughts.

Positive affirmations are also very useful for keeping our brains occupied with pleasant and empowering thoughts or visualizations.

It is continually sorting impressions, deciding which are relevant to you and which are not.

So, you are walking across the street, you hear the roar of the moving vehicle and you see that it is bearing down on you. Because of your knowledge of the speed of moving vehicles, you analysis tells you, you are in danger and that some decision is required. you first question is, “Do I get out of the way? Yes or no?”

If the decision is “yes,” then your next is, “Do I jump forward? Yes or no?” If the decision is “no,” because of cross traffic, then you next question is, “Do I jump backward? Yes or no?”

If your decision is “yes,” this message is instantly transmitted to your subconscious mind and in a split second, your whole body jumps back out of the way, with no additional thought or decision on your part.

So what about Self Conscious Emotions?

What are self-conscious emotions?

Self-conscious emotions are those affected by how we see ourselves and how we think others perceive us. They include emotions like pride, jealousy, and embarrassment.

Self-consciousness and self-awareness are sometimes healthy signs of emotional maturity. They can help you fit in and function within a community. Feeling guilty after saying something hurtful is often perceived as showing good character. Feeling remorse after making a mistake may help patch up relationships. Positive self-conscious emotions and negative self-conscious emotions can be healthy and powerful motivators.

Excessive self-conscious emotions can be extremely unhealthy. They may worsen symptoms from conditions like anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder. They can also cause social anxiety and isolation.

What are the symptoms of self-conscious emotions?

Having self-conscious emotions in moderate amounts is healthy. Having overwhelming self-conscious emotions isn’t.

Symptoms of healthy self-conscious emotions include:

  • having pride in accomplishments
  • enjoying engaging in social environments
  • apologizing for mistakes and taking responsibility

Symptoms of unhealthy self-conscious emotions include:

  • responding to embarrassment with anger and hostility
  • avoiding social experiences
  • placing blame on others for one’s mistakes
  • feeling responsible for wrongs made against yourself
  • having low self-esteem
  • experiencing agitation, anxiety, depression, or nervousness

What causes self-conscious emotions?

Self-conscious emotions develop in relation to an understanding of rules, standards, and goals. Young children start to form a sense of self at around 18 months old. This is when self-conscious emotions start developing. Many children have a full range of self-conscious emotions by the age of 3. Teenagers are particularly prone to high levels of self-consciousness. At this age, children are experiencing significant social pressure for the first time.

What are the risk factors of self-conscious emotions?

Low self-esteem can cause unhealthy self-conscious emotions. You may dwell on negative conscious emotions as a result of mental health conditions. These conditions may include:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • borderline personality disorder (BPD)
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

What are the benefits of self-conscious emotions?

Healthy self-conscious emotions have many benefits. Pride often drives people to work hard for accomplishments. Confidence gives us the self-esteem boost we need to take on new challenges. Even negative self-conscious emotions have a positive role in our lives. Jealousy helps us determine what we want most.

Self-consciousness comes from self-awareness. The emotions that come from them help us perceive how we fit into society. Self-awareness helps us improve social functioning. Violating a group’s social rules causes guilt, shame, and embarrassment. While uncomfortable and disconcerting, these emotions can result in social acceptance.

Can self-conscious emotions cause other issues?

Unhealthy self-consciousness can result in social anxiety. This can lead to isolation, which in turn increases the social anxiety further. It may also result in low self-esteem and depression.

Self-conscious emotions can also prevent healing from traumatic events. This is especially true in patients with mental health conditions. People may avoid medical care if they feel certain self-conscious emotions. A studyTrusted Source found that many people experience shame, guilt, and embarrassment when they’re seeking screening tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Getting tested and talking to sexual partners both triggered these emotions. These emotions can cause people to delay or avoid getting the treatment they need.

What treatment is available for self-conscious emotions?

There are many ways to treat unhealthy or excessive self-conscious emotions. To promote a more positive self-image and boost self-esteem, you can:

  • engage in activities that make you feel good about yourself
  • write a list of accomplishments or traits that you’re proud of
  • combat social anxiety by interacting with people in low-risk activities, such as making small talk with a cashier when buying groceries
  • be punctual and keep your commitments, as the discipline this requires can raise self-value
  • take responsibility for mistakes, and make amends if necessary
  • avoid activities that can cause negative emotions like guilt or shame if you’re caught, such as lying or gossiping
  • take a deep breath and practice mindfulness if you’re dwelling on past events that cause negative emotions

Make an appointment to see a certified Hypnotherapist. If you are not local to me. I have made some very good contacts all around the world with people that I trust. if these methods don’t offer relief from persistent self-consciousness. A Hypnotherapist can help you determine the cause of unhealthy self-conscious emotions and get you thinking and feeling better about yourself.

I hope you enjoyed this blog.

Until next time. Have a great week

Hypnotherapy in Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge.

Jon Adkin Author of ‘Can I Change?’ Available from Amazon.

Find me on You TubeFacebook and Instagram.

Jon X

Unplug that negative energy

Hi Welcome to this weeks blog. This week I want to talk about energy. Specifically negativity energy and kinetic energy.

Kinetic energy for those of you that are not sure is the energy of motion, observable as the movement of an object, particle, or set of particles. Any object in motion is using kinetic energy: a person walking, a thrown baseball, a crumb falling from a table, and a charged particle in an electric field are all examples of kinetic energy at work.

Kinetic energy can be defined as the energy which is present in every moving object. We can simply say that kinetic energy is the energy because of motion. Kinetic energy can be further classified into various types based on the type of motion of the objects. For example, rotational kinetic energy is the energy possessed by a body which is moving in circles, e.g. planets revolving around the sun have rotational kinetic energy; vibrational kinetic energy is the energy possessed by an object due to vibration, e.g. vibrating phone has a vibrational kinetic energy; translational kinetic energy is the energy possessed by an object moving from one point to another. Translational kinetic energy can be easily observed in our everyday life.

When walking or running, we possess some amount of kinetic energy. This is why we feel comparatively warm while running or after walking some distance. Sweat is the result of the heat produced by our body due to running. While walking or running, there is a conversion of chemical energy into kinetic energy.

So basically we are energy but what about the negative energy. Well we don’t want it, we don’t need it, so get rid of it.

As a hypnotherapist I see many people who say only bad things happen to me, or I’m surrounded by miserable, negative people. Do you know why that is? It is because you are sending out negative vibes. You are choosing to ignore all the good things going on around you and just focusing on all the bad things. 

If that is how you feel, you will continue to attract people feeling the same way as you, because negativity attracts negativity. You cannot hang out with negative people and expect to live a positive life. Walk away from anything that gives you a bad vibe. There is no need to explain or make sense of it. It’s your life. Do what makes you happy.

Turn your day from a negative to a positive. Even how you respond is a great way to start.

Here 11 everyday phrases can easily be replaced, giving your vocabulary an instant positivity boost.

Every Day Positive Language

1. Why not? → Sounds good

2. No problem → Definitely!

3. Can’t complain → Everything’s going well, thanks

These phrases are meant to be positive – but the human brain has a negative bias, and subconsciously brings up all of the reasons not to do something, problems, or complains when processing these words.

4. I’m exhausted → I need to rest

Flipping the phrase to include a solution leaves both the speaker and the listener with a better taste in their mouths.

Positive Language at Work

5. I forgot → I’ll make sure to set a reminder

Again, focusing on what can be done will help the people around you expect a positive result.

6. Unfortunately, it will be impossible to finish the project on time because of the problems some people are causing with submitting their work late. → Can everyone turn in their portion of the project by Thursday so that we can complete the work on time and hit the deadline?

Email culture provides the perfect opportunity to work on positive language, as you can edit your words before sending them out to colleagues and clients. Look out for negative words like “unfortunately,” “impossible” and “problems” as flags for sentences to revise.

7. Constructive criticism → Feedback

The words you use to frame your feedback can have a significant impact on how it is received. To add to the positive vibe, healthy portions of compliments for achievements will help your colleagues take your comments on board.

Positive Language at Home

8. Don’t throw the ball inside! → Please take the ball outside.  Or

9. Don’t … → I like it when..

Telling children (and adults, too!) what you want them to do rather than what you don’t want them to do puts the focus on the desired action and ups your chances of a positive outcome.

10. I missed you so much! → It’s so great to see you!

While absence certainly does make the heart grow fonder, reunions can be a time to rejoice in the present rather than relating negative emotions from the past.

11. No! → I know you like ice cream, but eating too much isn’t healthy.

Unless you’re dealing with a serious safety issue, for example near a road or a swimming pool, explaining the reason behind your “no” helps children feel respected and included. As a guide, think about how you’d like your boss to speak to you.

Do you see what I’m saying, replace the negative words with a more positive approach.

If you come out of your bedroom and fall down the stairs. Don’t say “Oh that’s a greatstart to the day.”

No, you say ”Boy, I’ve never got down the stairs that quick before.” And smile that you were not hurt.

As a hypnotherapist I can help you release that negativity out of your system, We hold on to so much that no longer serves us.  Let’s do that mental detox. When you are ready contact me for a chat.

In the mean time. Stay positive and smile more.

Until next week, have a good one

Jon x

Jon Adkn BAHyp Hypnotherapist.

Hypnotherapist based in Suffolk, serving Suffolk, Cambridge and Essex.

Author of ‘Can I Change?’ A self help guide for anxiety.

Can you make your mind positive?

Hi. Hope you’re having a good week. I want to continue my blog on positive thinking and how it helps you.

There are plenty of reasons, why you should think positively but can you make your mind positive? It is a matter of attitude. Having a positive outlook on life will make you happy, while being negative will make you unhappy. Thinking positively will help you accomplish dreams and goals, and tasks would be easier to fulfill. Motivation is a positive quality and a wonderful trait to have.

Happiness

A positive attitude awakens happiness. You don’t have to be rich or achieve goals to be happy. It is a matter of attitude. When you adopt a positive frame of mind you become happy. Happiness does not depend on external causes. It comes from inside you.

You can be happy now. You don’t need to lose weight, get a promotion or win the lottery to be happy. It is a matter of attitude. Having a positive outlook on life will make you happy, while being negative will make you unhappy.

Motivation

Thinking positively will help you accomplish dreams and goals, and tasks would be easier to fulfill.

Motivation is a positive quality and a wonderful trait to have. It pushes you forward, encourages you, and helps you overcome obstacles.

A positive frame of mind increases your motivation to succeed and get what you want. It will make you believe you will get what you want. It will also motivate you to achieve more than you ever expected.

Self Esteem

Your attitude and the way you think have much to do with how you feel about yourself. If you adopt a positive attitude and think positively, you will have a better opinion of yourself, which means a sense of self-esteem.

Choose to look at yourself in a positive light. See what is positive and good in you. This will automatically increase your self-esteem.

Don’t worry about negative people, and about what they think and say about you. When you have a positive attitude toward yourself, the people around you will have a better opinion of you, and would treat you with more respect.

Loving yourself, being good to yourself, and being happy, are expressions of thinking positively. This attitude would also enhance your self confidence, your courage, and your inner strength.

Better health

People who think positively are usually more energetic and healthy than people who think negatively. They are happier, and this of course, affects their health.

The mind has a strong effect on the body and on health. When you think positively your immune system is healthier, and your body recuperates faster.

Improved relations

Another reason, why you should adopt a positive way of thinking is the effect it has on relations with people. People tend to gravitate and to like positive people, and to keep a distance from negative people.

Positive people bring joy, happiness and uplifting energy, and are fun to be around. They bring light and joy, and energize their environment.

Does thinking positive really work?

Most of us would prefer to be positive rather than negative… Research is beginning to reveal that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile.

Negative Thinking

Negative thinking can impact health. Pessimistic thoughts, often triggered by stress, can lead an individual to catastrophe — to think the worst. Ruminating on potential or past negatives can cause cortisol levels in the body to rise. Higher cortisol rates lead to increases in inflammation. This, particularly when it is chronic, can precede disease. Negative thought patterns may seem entrenched, but people can learn to think more positively.

Coping with Stress

The key to reducing cortisol levels is to learn to cope well with stress. While some stresses are inevitable, it is important to manage chronic stress associated with our work or everyday lives to prevent its mental and physical health impacts. Learning ways to think positively about problems or even setbacks and failures can lead to improved stress management. Coping in healthy ways can set the foundation for positive thinking.

Positive Thinking and Physical Health

Positive thinking can support improved physical health. A body of medical research demonstrates that positive thinking can actually increase lifespan. Researchers report that positive thinking benefits cardiovascular health. Just as negative thinking can lead to physical health problems like gastrointestinal issues, hair loss, and even rashes, positive thinking can reduce those physical symptoms perhaps already established from pre-existing chronic stress.

 Positive Thinking and Mental Health

Negative thinking can increase a person’s vulnerability to anxiety and depression. Positive thinkers have reduced rates of depression. Positive thinking helps people feel more emotionally resilient even when setbacks occur. Learning to think and look “on the bright side” can lead to improved psychological well-being. If anxiety and depression are allowed to continue, they can wreak emotional havoc in a person’s life. Positive thinking may not cure clinical mental disorders once they occur, but this type of thinking could help to prevent chronic stress from triggering them.

Immune System Support

By thinking in more positive terms, you could support immune system function. If you think of negative thinking as a means to tear down health, you can view positive thinking as a means to support it. According to medical research, people who display optimism in association with elements like work, family, and school demonstrate a stronger immune system response than those who think negatively.

Seek Humor

Even in those times when you don’t feel like laughing, it can be helpful to seek humor. Protect yourself from further “heavy” thinking by watching a funny video or laughing over a memory. Try to seek out the humor in everyday life. Evidence shows laughing each day can improve your outlook and help you to think in more positive terms.

Exercise

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and promote positive thinking. Activities like walking, running, and swimming lead to the production and release of feel-good endorphins. These endorphins have a definite physical function; they help reduce pain and promote the healing of tissues after exercising. Their benefits do not stop there, however. Endorphins actually have a positive impact on the brain; if you’re feeling down, after their release, you may feel rejuvenated and better able to cope with a given situation.

Diet

Many medical researchers believe that diet can play a role in supporting positive thinking. For instance, foods that contain probiotics may support mental health. The fact is, optimum nutrition is a terrific stress-management tool. By eating nutrient-rich foods regularly, you can promote optimum mental health and make transitioning to positive thinking easier. To help stave off anxiety and depression, be sure you’re eating healthy fats contained in foods like salmon and walnuts. Limit ingredients like caffeine that can trigger nervousness and anxiety—conditions that make thinking positively more difficult.

 Therapy

If thinking positively was easy, wouldn’t everybody do it? Unfortunately, many people find it extremely challenging to change their thought patterns. Therapy can help us learn to think more positively. A therapist may guide people to self-identify negative thought patterns so they can reverse them before they become entrenched and more difficult to manage. Though it may require time, working with a therapist has led many individuals to manage their stress levels better and internalize effective ways to think positively.

and this is where I come in. I love turning clients lives around. I turned my life around. Let me help turn yours.

Until next week. Have a great week.

Jon X

Jon Adkin BAHyp Hypnotherapist

Confidence and Self Belief Specialist.

www.jonadkin.com Book online at jadkinbahyp.youcanbook.me

Are you positive?

H. Welcome to this weeks blog. All about positive thinking. So my first question to you is do you see yourself as a positive thinker? Do you see the problem or do you look for the solution?

You know the old question. Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question about positive thinking may reflect your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, and whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic — and it may even affect your health.

Indeed, some studies show that personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that usually comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don’t despair — you can learn positive thinking skills.

Understanding positive thinking and self-talk

Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.

If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.

Did you know there are health benefits to positive thinking.

The health benefits of positive thinking

Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

  • Increased life span
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

It’s unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body.

It’s also thought that positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles — they get more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and don’t smoke or drink alcohol in excess.

Stop thinking those negative thoughts.

Identifying negative thinking

Not sure if your self-talk is positive or negative? Some common forms of negative self-talk include:

  • Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. That evening, you focus only on your plan to do even more tasks and forget about the compliments you received.
  • Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled, and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
  • Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. The drive-through coffee shop gets your order wrong and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
  • Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or you’re a total failure.

Focusing on positive thinking

You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you’re creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:

  • Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you usually think negatively about, whether it’s work, your daily commute or a relationship. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
  • Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
  • Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle. Aim to exercise for about 30 minutes on most days of the week. You can also break it up into 10-minute chunks of time during the day. Exercise can positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn techniques to manage stress.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
  • Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you. Think about things you’re thankful for in your life.
Let those Negative thoughts just pass on by and hold on to the positive thoughts.

Here are some examples of negative self-talk and how you can apply a positive thinking twist to them:

Negative self-talkPositive thinking
I’ve never done it before.It’s an opportunity to learn something new.
It’s too complicated.I’ll tackle it from a different angle.
I don’t have the resources.Necessity is the mother of invention.
I’m too lazy to get this done.I wasn’t able to fit it into my schedule, but I can re-examine some priorities.
There’s no way it will work.I can try to make it work.
It’s too radical a change.Let’s take a chance.
No one bothers to communicate with me.I’ll see if I can open the channels of communication.
I’m not going to get any better at this.I’ll give it another try.

I’m going to carry this on next week talking more about positive thinking.

Have a good week and think positively especially about yourself. Treat yourself as you would your best friend.

Until next week.

Jon X

Jon Adkin BAHyp Hypnotherapist

www,jonadkin.com Based in Haverhill Suffolk, Serving, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridge.

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