Fundamental Behavior 25 – Be Positive
BE POSITIVE!!! Such a simple phrase directly affects all areas of our lives, but is often very hard to put into practice. It might be surprising to some, but studies have shown that positive thinking helps us stay mentally and physically fit. The mind and body connection are powerful. Your thoughts can affect any physical pain that you have in your life. Some people get severe panic attacks and blood pressure spikes initiated solely by their thoughts. We all go through the cycle; you think > you feel > you do!
Positive thinking does not mean that you ignore life’s less pleasant situations. It means that you approach these situations head-on more positively and productively. This all starts with controlling the endless stream of unspoken words that we allow to run through our minds. My guess is at no time in our lives have we been more challenged with maintaining a positive outlook on life than over the last year dealing with the effects COVID-19 has had on all our professional and private lives.
As we, in our own ways, begin to move past the effects COVID-19 had on our lives, it is more important than ever to focus on being positive. According to a Stanford Research Institute study, 87.5 percent of people’s success can be traced to having a positive outlook on life’s challenges. Zig Ziglar put it best by saying, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
We can begin to develop a new habit of being positive by starting with the below steps to help us behave more positively and optimistically:
- Identify areas to change. Start with one area to approach in a more positive way.
- Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking.
- Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh. It is OK to be happy!!
- Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and a healthy diet can positively affect mood and reduce stress.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Ensure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback.
- Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you would not say to anyone else. Think about things you’re thankful for in your life.
New habits are not made overnight, but we can all move to a positive way of thinking with practice. This will eventually allow us to significantly reduce or even eliminate the negative self-talk we all put ourselves through each day. Hopefully, the result will be that we can all learn to handle stress in our professional and private lives thru the power of positive thought. This will undoubtedly allow us to take full advantage of the health benefits of positive thinking.
Senior Manager – Government / Safety Industry Leader
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.