Positive thinking is another name for an optimistic attitude. It is the practice of seeing and finding good in every situation. In literal terms, it means addressing life challenges with a positive approach. Martin Seligman, a well-known psychologist, has highlighted the ‘explanatory style’. According to his description, people with an optimistic explanatory style blame the external forces for bad events and take credit for all the good things in their life. People with a pessimistic style blame themselves for bad events and don’t take credit for good events.
The positive attitude of a person towards something is highly dependent on the situation. In simple words, the approach that ‘everything will go well’ is the root of positive thinking. There are many benefits of an optimistic approach.
- A well-balanced psychological health
- Peace of mind
- Grip over anger and stress management
- Lower chances of depression
- Lower risks of cardiovascular diseases
- Longer life span
- Unbiased thinking
- Enhanced creativity
- Better problem-solving skills
- Being assertive
It is also noteworthy that positive thinking is different from positive psychology. Positive psychology is the study of human thoughts, behaviour, and attitudes that focuses on strengths instead of weaknesses.
Positive psychology and healthcare
In the healthcare field and especially nursing, a positive mindset is crucial to the profession. The core values reside within a positive attitude, the hallmark of good professional practice. Healthcare practitioners are now excessively polishing their skills with online programs such as online MHA to improve the emotional quotient. These programmes enable them to enhance their decision-making skills, and soft skills and foster confidence to impact the organisation positively.
A positive approach in such a profession helps professionals to build a good reputation. It consequently paves the path for further career opportunities. The benefits of positivity in the healthcare profession extend to patients as well. Giving optimistic hope to patients with critical diseases expedites the recovery process.
Here are some commonly used and evidence-backed tips to achieve a positive mindset.
Kick off your day with positive affirmations
How you start the day determines how the rest of it will unfold. Get your full night’s sleep, wake up fresh, and plan with positive affirmations. A good morning ritual will set the tone for the rest of the day.
Routines make tasks easier and more manageable. Make a routine of starting your day with positive affirmations. In this way, you can replace negativity with positive thoughts. Some of the positive affirmations are as follows.
- Everything works out at the perfect time.
- I trust my inner wisdom.
- Today will be full of opportunities.
Keep a gratitude log
When you keep a log of all that you are grateful for each day, you are compelled to see the good side of life. People who appreciate little things in life are more content and experience lesser stress.
There are multiple ways of expressing gratitude. For example, thinking about all the joyous memories, blessings at present, and hopes for the future. You can cultivate gratitude in the following ways.
- Thank people mentally
- Count your blessings
- Pray and meditate
Concentrate on your strengths
Every person has strengths and weaknesses. Focusing on too many things will not bring positive outcomes. Therefore, concentrate on your strengths for the greater good. According to positive psychology, if you put effort into something you are good at, then you can reap desired benefits. Personal strengths such as kindness, organisation, confidence, and creativity are the traits that many of us have. These strengths help achieve personal goals and self-satisfaction.
Benefits of focusing on one’s strengths include:
- Lesser stress and anger
- Plenty of energy
- Defined objectives
Turn failures into lessons
Failure is a part of life. It is less likely for us to learn lessons in life if we do not encounter failures. Naturally, we get ashamed of our failures because it makes us feel humiliated. We have to stop thinking like this. We need to learn from our failures to get the most out of them. In every mistake of ours, there is the growth potential for us. Do not demotivate or demoralize yourself. The fear of failure makes us inactive. It is better to do things imperfectly than to do nothing at all.
Some of the well-learned lessons from failures include:
- It teaches you to embrace change
- It is a source of motivation
- Success is never guaranteed
People who have gone through the worst phases of life find it harder to see the positive side of challenging situations. It requires time and necessary counselling; you cannot become a positive thinker overnight. However, changing your perspective towards problems can help you look at things differently. It will cultivate positive thoughts, and your self-criticism will turn into self-acceptance. The creativity inside of you will find ways to nurture it. It will consequently lead to both better physical and mental health.
Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.