“Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.” Brian Tracy

Positive thinking has become a popular ideology in American culture. Does it work or is it farse? According to the Mayo Clinic, there truly are positive affects to our health when we think positively.

Here is a list of health benefits of positive thinking from the Mayo Clinic:

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

The  American Motivational speaker, Zig ziglar, said, “To be candid, Some people have given positive thinking a bad name. I can’t stand to hear some gung-ho Individual say that with positive thinking you can just do ‘anything.’ If you think about that for a moment, you recognized the absurdity of it.” Positive thinking is effective and powerful, but it is not magic. We can’t be like Peter Pan and simply fly because of happy thoughts. That’s called Disney. In the same way one can not simply gain 5lbs of muscle in a day just because they worked out while thinking happy thoughts. Positive thinking isn’t going to change the heavens and the earth, but it does help us to make better choices. A healthy mind makes healthy choices. What kind of choices can we be making to help transform our negative minds?

7 Ways to Change Any Negative into a Positive

  1. Replace can’t, won’t, etc. with can and will.
  2. Think of other positives, not just one possible positive.
  3. Replace the negative media in your life with more positive.
  4. Peacefully confront the negative person in your life and ask for them to be more encouraging.
  5. Interact with more encouraging people.
  6. Take time to do something that makes you happy. This could be something like gardening, working on a car, or helping others in the community.
  7. Name 10 things that you are thankful for.

What is it we can say to ourselves?

Negative Positive
I’m too tired to get out of bed. I’m so thankful I’m alive and have an able body. I’m going to put it to good use!
This flab is never gonna go away, I should just give up. I may have a gut today, but watch out, World! This belly is going to be flat before you know it.
My mother is going to be disappointed in how much weight I have gained when she comes to see me. I gained weight since mom last visited, but we’ll take walks together and have healthy means so she knows I’m trying.
He is going to beat my time If I don’t beat him I’ll going to go a best time and push him to his limits.
This injury is never going to heal so I should just quit my sport I’m going to be wise and make sure I heal this injury as best as possible! I’ll use this time of recovery as time to improve other characteristics of myself. I’m not going to give up on my dream.
My family ruins my schedule so it’s impossible to get to boot camp. I love my family and want to set a good example so they know I’m taking care of myself. If I’m healthy, I can care for them better so I am gonna make time for fitness.

From the above examples we observe that transforming our mind to be more positive can be through thought, action, and, speech. It requires intention and time. Some of the transformation is easy while some is complex. They may require courage to address issues around us. But evidence shows that positive thinking will do more than change our minds, it will change our lives and our health. This week try a few of these ideas and let us know how it helped you!