The “power of positive thinking” is a popular concept and there is even a well-known book with the same title, but the idea can often feel somewhat of a cliché. But it is actually a concept that works. The benefits of positive thinking have been demonstrated by multiple scientific studies and show that it leads to an improvement in a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. A positive mindset can also give you more confidence, improve your mood, and reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as depression, hypertension, and other stress-related disorders.

The Placebo Effect

Your mind is an incredibly powerful tool, it can even heal you when given the opportunity to do so. I am sure most of you are familiar with the placebo effect, but for those of you who are not, the simplest explanation is as follows. If somebody is told that they are taking medication that will make them feel better, they often will even if the medication is fake. Simply by believing they are going to feel better; people often end up feeling better. This is the power of your mind in action and scientific research consistently backs up the power of the placebo effect. It is the reason medical trials always have a control group. They need to make sure that the new medicine actually has a bigger impact then people taking a sugar cube, fake tablet or flavoured water and feeling better just because they think they are going to feel better.

Find the silver lining

I am sure you have heard the phrase “every cloud has a silver lining” or heard the question “is the cup half full or half empty”. This is the key to positive thinking. Ultimately, while we can not always influence events that happen to us, caused by external actions, we can always control how we interpret and respond to those events. We have it in our power to choose how we want to respond in any given situation. For example, you can choose to be upset that you are going to be stuck in traffic for the next 30 minutes, or you could see that as an opportunity to catch up on a podcast. You could worry that you are going to lose your job, or you could see it as an opportunity to develop new skills to ensure you are too valuable to lose. You can dwell on the fact a relationship has ended or focus on the fact is an opportunity to find someone new who will be more suitable for you.

Self-fulfilling prophecy

What we believe often manifests. I am far from a spiritual person, but the truth is we so often get what we feel we deserve. If somebody does not believe they can do a job or achieve a goal, they very rarely achieve that goal. On the other hand, those who believe that they are going to achieve something even if it is absolutely absurd usually do. The reason for this is simple, your mindset directly impacts your effort. If you truly believe you cannot lose the weight you want to lose, if you do not believe you can win the game you are playing, if you do not believe you will get hired by the company you are interviewing with, or whatever other goal you are never going to achieve your goals for a simple reason. You are not going to try hard enough, or have the resilience required to overcome any setbacks as you strive towards your goals as you do not believe you are going to achieve it anyway. However, if you adopt a positive mindset and back yourself to overcome any hurdles, you will find a way as you actually believe that you can achieve it.

Surround yourself with positivity

Now it is of course a lot easier to say to someone to be positive, than for someone to instantly adopt a positive mindset. But without a doubt the easiest way to develop a positive mindset is to surround yourself with positivity. You may want to be positive, but if you are surrounded by people who are negative and constantly telling you its impossible to succeed, do you think you are likely to believe you can succeed? Of course not. Therefore, you need to act and ensure that as much as possible you are only surrounded by positivity. If you have people in your life who are negative influences, replace them with positive people. Do not follow people on social media who are flaunting their lifestyle and make you feel bad, follow those who are positive and make you feel good. Pay attention to what you read, what you watch and ensure that if it does not help you grow or uplift you, it does not need to be in your life. Slowly day after day, you will see the change.