Imagine a day where everything goes just as you plan. In this make-believe world, you wake up with a smile on your face; you go through a tough day at work without batting an eye; you smile incessantly; you eat right, and yes, you even work out at the end of the day. Does this sound too good to be true? Believe it or not, all this and more can be accomplished just by changing your frame of mind. Positive thinking can be a powerful tool in attaining better physical and mental health, ultimately resulting in these “too good to be true” types of days.
Remez Sasson knows all about seeing yourself achieve your goals. He is a best-selling author of books on inner peace. Some of his more popular works include Peace of Mind in Daily Life, Will Power and Self Discipline, Visualize and Achieve and Affirmations -Words of Power. In many rights, Sasson is an expert on the power of positive thinking. He shares his thoughts on a blog on his website, www.successconsciousness.com. Here, he asserts that positive thinking is more than a theory, it is a realistic way to achieve wellbeing.
“Positive thinking,” Sasson says, “is a mental attitude that admits into the mind thoughts, words and images that are conductive to growth, expansion and success. It is a mental attitude that expects good and favorable results. A positive mind anticipates happiness, joy, health and a successful outcome of every situation and action. Whatever the mind expects, it finds.”
That is right. Visualize, and you shall achieve.
Sasson is not alone in these beliefs. Michael Scheier and Charles Carver are professors of psychology and researchers on the topic of positivism. In an article titled “On the Power of Positive Thinking: The Benefits of Being Optimistic,” Scheier and Carver explain that positive thinking can be beneficial for general health and wellbeing. They explain that a person holding positive expectations for his or her life can unconsciously change his or her behavior.
“People who see desired outcomes as attainable,” they write, “continue to strive for those outcomes, even when progress is slow or difficult. When outcomes seem sufficiently unattainable, people withdraw their effort and disengage themselves from their goals.”
If our behaviors can change based upon our thoughts, can our health change, as well? The Mayo Clinic thinks so. On their website, the Clinic devotes an entire forum to stress reduction and health. There, they point out that the health benefits of positive thinking are extensive. From an increased life span to lower depression and from a greater resistance to the common cold and better cardiovascular health, research shows that thinking positively does far more than just put you in a better mood.
Ask any doctor, and he will likely agree. Patients who do their best to envision themselves recovering from serious accidents or severe illness oftentimes do. We have all heard stories of patients given a grim prognosis who simply make up their mind to fight the debilitation or illness, and ultimately they recover. Maybe Sasson, Scheier and Carver are right, seeing is seizing.
Long-term, the benefits of positive thinking extend into the realm of mental health. It does not take scientific research to recognize that affirmative thinkers are happy people; in fact, it is pretty intuitive. Over the course of their lives, it can be observed that these optimists experience successful relationships, thriving careers and overall contentment. In general, they live more fulfilled lives bursting with confidence and self-esteem. These achievements can spawn simply by thinking more positively than their negative counterparts.
So, if positivity can bring physical and mental health benefits, what holds people back from developing the “I think I can” attitude? For people who describe themselves as pessimists, a great deal of challenges can seem to stand between them and the upbeat mindsets they wish to develop. Fortunately, there are simple steps to take today to begin reaping the benefits of positive thinking. In his blog, Sasson offers these tips:
Positive thinkers often do better at reaching their goals, because they envision themselves being successful. They also have higher self-esteems because they believe in their abilities to achieve both in the present and down the road. Give Sasson’s advice a try and you could notice a world of difference.
So, think back to that day where everything goes as you plan. Maybe it is not as far-fetched as you once thought. Simply by changing your frame of mind and using some old fashioned positive thinking, soon you will have better physical and mental health and maybe even a few of these “too good to be true” days.
Learn more about Remez Sasson at www.successconsciousness.com. Also, visit the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center for more on the benefits of thinking positively: http://www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/.