Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you answer this age-old question may reflect your outlook on life and whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic.
In fact, studies show that these personality traits —optimism and pessimism — can affect how well you live and even how long you live.
Need an attitude adjustment? Find out how to reduce your stress by halting negative thoughts and practicing positive self-talk. Thinking positive and forgetting about mistakes in soccer can make you a much better player. If fact, all the top players in the world make mistakes, lose the ball or even score an own goa, but they move on and think about the next play. They don’t dwell on errors or missed shots.
Be positive: Live longer, live healthier
Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create because of lack of information.
Researchers continue to explore the effects of optimism on health. The health benefits optimism may provide are:
It’s unclear why optimists experience these health benefits. But one theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the effects of stress on your body.
How to put a positive spin on negative thoughts
Some common forms of irrational thinking are:
Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. But you forgot one minor step. That evening, you focus only on your oversight and forget about the compliments you received.
Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. You refuse to go out with friends for fear that you’ll make a fool of yourself. Or one change in your daily routine leads you to think the day will be a disaster.
Throughout the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else.
Examples of typical negative self-talk and how you might apply a positive twist include.
Related Article: Mental Conditioning
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