Let me ask you something – do you normally see the glass half empty or half full? For years I was a “glass half empty” kind of person. As I like to put it, I was chronically negative to the point where my pessimism was starting to rub off on the people around me.
As the years went by, I realized that I just couldn’t continue to be this miserable all the time. I put everything that I could into becoming a more optimistic person and I can safely tell you that it is possible. Now, experts have revealed how to turn negative thinkers into positive ones.
Of course, we can’t all be happy one hundred percent of the time. Sometimes there are instances where being negative is the appropriate reaction, such as when losing a loved one of being involved in a dramatic event. However, for the most part, learning to be more positive is much better for our own personal wellbeing.
Research conducted by one psychologist, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, has shown just how many positive emotions we can get from small, everyday activities. Her research on fostering positive emotions was conducted at the University of North Carolina.
Her theory is that by accumulating micro-moments of positivity, we can learn to be more positive thinkers and improve our wellbeing. These moments can be anything that makes you feel good, such as interacting with a colleague that you like or taking time to have a nice morning coffee.
It Improves Your Coping Abilities
Along with just generally feeling good, becoming more positive can help you in other ways too. Most importantly, it can help you to overcome negative events and feelings more quickly than negative thinkers can. Sadly, for these more negative people, bouncing back from an upsetting or stressful event can be extremely difficult.
According to a study from renowned neuroscientist Dr. Richard J. Davidson, being able to recover from these events quickly is extremely beneficial to your physical health. His study has shown that people whose brains recover slowly from threats are at a much higher risk for many different health problems.
How to Train Your Brain
Both Dr. Fredrickson and Dr. Davidson both agree that it is possible for someone to learn to be more positive. Fredrickson and her team found that a 6-week training course helped people increase positive emotions. Their training focused on forms of meditation which involve compassion and kindness. Along with positivity, their results showed that participants even had improved heart rates and levels of blood glucose.
Likewise, Davidson and his team also found that training in meditation helped increase positivity. However, they found that 2 weeks was enough time to improve people’s positive social behaviors. He stated that “well-being can be considered a life skill. If you practice, you can actually get better at it.”
Actions That You Can Take
Along with accumulating positive moments, there are also other things that you can do to improve your overall happiness. Learn to appreciate the world around you and see the beauty in the smallest of things. You can also develop and improve relationships as well as doing nice things for other people.
Self-improvement and motivation are also important to this. Establish goals that you can easily accomplish. As well as that, you can even learn something new or improve your knowledge of a certain subject.
Finally, the way that you see yourself is a crucial factor in establishing a positive mentality. Practice self-love and learn to accept all your flaws. To make sure that you can cope with life when things get tough, you can also practice mindfulness and resilience.
Negativity isn’t just bad for your mind, it’s also bad for your body. That’s why learning to be a more positive thinker is so vital to your wellbeing. By practicing the techniques above, you can learn to be a more optimistic, positive, and generally happier person.
If you know someone who’s overly negative, share this article with them. It may encourage them to learn how they can adopt a positive mental attitude.