How powerful IS the “power of positive thinking”? Do manifestation and visualization have merit when talking about physical health? These are valid questions to ask when discussing the positivity movement and its impact on our society. And it’s important to note that there is such a thing as “toxic positivity”, but that’s not to negate the fact that mindset and default thought patterns have a role in not only mental, but physical wellbeing. This is being recognized in the medical community, giving more weight and validity to the concept. According to Hopkins, even our immune response is weakened by negative emotions. This certainly makes a case for improving how we process thoughts and feelings.
As a nurse staffing agency, we have seen firsthand the value of incorporating a positive frame of mind into client interactions, and it’s one of the reasons community care jobs are so important. Persons with physical disabilities can benefit immensely from positive thinking, and when it comes to caretakers, this is a fundamental component. Positivity and a “can-do” attitude are contagious, and when you can spread authentic optimism, those around you are inevitably influenced, making them much more likely to thrive and experience a higher quality of life.
But how do we cultivate “authentic optimism”? It’s one thing to commit to thinking more positively, but actually executing this requires you to rewire your brain so that it comes naturally, with little effort.
Let’s put forward some steps you can take to get the ball rolling:
- Set intentions for each day. This can be done by putting pen to paper before bed or first thing in the morning. Be clear and realistic about what you wish to accomplish in terms of your attitude and general mindset – try to imagine where you can put positive thinking into practice throughout the day.
- Get specific – anticipate times and places that may typically prompt stress, and challenge yourself to attack these situations differently if and when they present themselves. Perhaps your energy tends to wane mid-day and you find yourself less patient or willing to accept and move through stressors easily. Simply acknowledging this can make a difference and encourage you to try something new.
- Practice mindfulness through meditative practices or calming and restorative activities. Remember – mindfulness looks different to everyone.
- Manifest and visualize your ideal state of mind. Picture yourself moving through the world with an attitude that will serve your mental and physical health and repeat phrases that motivate or mean something to you. Visualization may seem unscientific to some – but believe it or not, it has been linked to better sleep, less inflammation, and lower blood pressure and stress levels.
- Improve resiliency through acceptance practices and thought reframing. If your day didn’t turn out how you hoped it would, repeat and write down that you are still OK and very much capable of adapting and pivoting around circumstances you can’t control. Relinquishing control and adapting to change are major aspects of building resiliency.
Ultimately, it simply can’t hurt to shift our minds toward a more positive outlook, if for no other reason than a happier lived experience. If the domino effect is a healthier body, then that is the cherry on top.
Happy positive thinking everybody!