Positive thinking can heal your mind and your body, and it’s time we learned why and how.
Each and every functional person is born with a brain. That brain is responsible for instructing the body on how to react in any given situation. If it perceives a threat, it’ll react with “stress hormones.” If it perceives pleasure, it’ll react with “happy hormones.”
The thing is, these hormones have a direct impact on the functioning of our bodies. Negative thoughts and feelings stir up stress hormones, which can cause all types of medical problems long term. But stress hormones evoke negative feelings—and thus, it’s a vicious cycle that becomes hard to break and takes quite a toll on our physical and mental health.
Since we’re creatures of habit, our bodies cue in on patterns that we create. If we focus on the negative, our bodies dwell in the negative, which only attracts more negativity. We become addicted to negative things—to negative energy—to feed our bodies those feelings they’re used to having.
Our brains quite literally become wired to focus on negativity, and our bodies become riddled with stress hormones, which make us physically ill and prevent us from healing when we’re sick. Our mental health suffers as well; we may find it difficult to focus on our work, our family, and on ourselves.
It’s time to intervene. Instead of letting this nasty cycle of negativity continue, we need to step in and do something. We need to retrain our brains to think positively. In this cycle that we will actively create, positive thinking can lead to physical healing.
Once you harness the power of positive thinking, you will start to attract positive circumstances. You’ll notice doors open that were never even there before. You’ll become less afraid to try new things, introduce yourself to new people, and put yourself in new situations.
When you commit to positive thinking, you’re sending a hug to each and every cell in your body—allowing it to thrive, heal, and regenerate. You may find that depression and anxiety are lifted, and physical problems that you had are alleviated. Even doctors of conventional medicine are turning to the powers of positive thoughts to help their patients heal.
Let’s find out how you can break the cycle of negativity. It only takes a few minutes a day to get the ball of positivity rolling.
Some people connect and react strongly to mantras. Saying a mantra is kind of like getting a very short, very powerful pep talk whenever you feel you need one. They’re short sayings that are meant to ground you and recenter your thinking to be grateful for the things you have and positive about the outcome. When you feel a negative thought creeping up on you, try out these mantras:
- “All my needs are always met.” You’re alive. You’ve survived up to this point, and you will keep surviving—which means that your needs have always been met and will continue to be met. If you have no idea how to continue from this point, just trust.
- “Keep your head up and your heart open.” If you keep your head up when you go outside, you may notice things you would have missed otherwise. A friendly gesture, eye contact with a stranger, or an exciting opportunity—these are all things you may miss if your head is down and your heart is closed.
- “Abundance and joy are my birthrights.” You are no less worthy than all the other people in the world. You were born to love, to experience joy. Turn your attention to positive things, and positivity will follow.
- “I embrace the space between where I am and where I want to be.” Without goals, our lives would be boring…worthless. Instead of rushing to get to where you want to be, you must focus on the journey to get there, or you’ll miss out on your whole life. The process is what makes you who you are.
- “Be easy.” You know—“Let it go,” “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” They’re all different sayings for the same thing. Let people be who they are. Don’t take things personally, and don’t let small mistakes get you down. It’ll all work out. Be easy.
- “The universe has a greater plan than mine.” Things won’t always go your way— that’s life. You can bet that nobody has ever had everything go the way they wanted, especially the most successful people who have powered through rejection and adversity to get to where they are. You probably won’t end up where you think you’ll end up—and that’s okay. Let yourself be guided to a different path if need be.
RELATED: The All-Mighty Power of Gratitude
Meditation is an ancient practice known for healing mind, body, and soul. Just 20 minutes of meditation each day can dramatically reduce stress levels and negative feelings, replacing them with positive thoughts.
Research shows that daily meditation can improve cognitive impairment and memory loss, lower blood pressure levels, alleviate depression and anxiety, boost vitality, and lead to a better physical and mental state overall. (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)
Breath is fascinating. It’s a bridge between our subconscious and our conscious. It provides a way to look deep inside ourselves and observe the light breeze or the thunderous storm brewing within.
Breathing is something we just do. We don’t have to think about it—it’s automatic, making it part of our autonomic nervous system. However, we can quickly take control of our breathing, unlike other autonomic functions such as heart rate, dilation, and digestion.
So, breathing is neither autonomic nor somatic. It’s both.
When we turn our focus to our breathing, we start by observing, and then we can begin to change our breathing pattern. This can affect other functions in the body, such as our heart rate and blood pressure.
Deep breathing is a kind of meditation that can help one heal, both mentally and physically.
Other Practices for Positive Thinking
It’s the little things that count. Make positivity a habit, and the universe will send positivity your way.
- Give yourself a timeout. When stress is piling up and everything is overwhelming, set a timer for 10 minutes and do something that will make you happy during that time. You can stretch, lie in the grass, read a few pages of your favorite book, or just lie down and close your eyes.
- Do yoga. Yoga combines focused breathing, stretching, exercise, and strength training. Regular yoga practice is proven to lower the risk of disease as well as treating depression and anxiety. (6)
- Be kind. You may be surprised at how far a smile or a kind gesture can go. Put out positive vibes to others, and you’ll automatically feel better.
- Be present. Dwelling in the past or the future will do you no good right now. Instead, focus on the things around you and on the state you’re in. When life gets you down, just take each moment for what it is. One step at a time.
- Be grateful. Gratitude makes us happy. It allows us to drop expectations of what we think our lives should look like and embrace what they are. Gratefulness allows us to accept ourselves, our partners, our children, our family, and our friends exactly for who they are. It allows us to realize that our lives are filled with abundance and richness.
The roadmap to positive thinking won’t be straight and narrow. It’s bound to be filled with ups and downs, pit stops, and winding roads, but consistency and practice will get you there. And remember, it’s the journey that counts.