“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This quote is from the famous motivational speaker and self-help author Dr. Wayne Dyer. Think about what he said for a moment.
It is along the same line as the half-empty/half-full concept. In both theories, it points out the power of having a positive mindset. There are positives in everything; sometimes you just must look harder to find them over the more apparent negatives.
We all make choices in life; some of us choose to be negative about everything, while other people experiencing the same situation see nothing but the positives. How can that be? Two people experiencing the same thing but emotionally feeling what they experience at opposite ends of the spectrum. It is almost as if each is wearing a set of glasses that filter the experience differently. Remember Dr. Dyer’s quote: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Why change the way you look at things?
Before we get into the “how” of changing your mindset, let’s first look at why it is beneficial to see the positives in everything. The mind is a powerful thing in that it controls all parts of your body. Researchers have found in multiple studies that having a positive outlook produces some very beneficial health benefits. For one, they found it increases the immune system. It is a proven fact that positive people are generally healthier both mentally and physically.
And positive people have a lower stress level because they are able to effectively deal with stress better. As a result, they have less cortisol caressing through their body, a known hormone responsible for weight gain, so they are able to control their weight better.
Beside having an improved immune system and better weight control, having a positive mindset also:
lowers the risk of a cardiovascular event
lower rates of depression
and surprisingly live a longer life
How to change your mindset to one more positive
While there are several things one can do to improve their mindset, here are some that provide the most benefits:
Start your day with a positive affirmation – how you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Many people like to write down their affirmation in a notebook or journal. Writing it down has more effect than just verbalizing it to yourself.
Look for the good in things - We all face situations during our day that can be viewed as either good or bad. For example, if stuck in traffic, view it as an opportunity to listen to your favorite podcast or to your favorite music instead of a waste of time going nowhere.
Change negative self-talk into positive - Instead of saying “I’m so bad at doing this” say “I’ll get better at doing this after I get more practice.”
Focus on the present - The past is yesterday, there is nothing we can do about it; the future is tomorrow and not here yet, so there is little we can do about it; but today is now and we can either choose to experience it either positively or negatively; the choice is yours.
Surround yourself with positive people. Positive people have positive outlook on life, quote positive affirmations and generally say positive things. Over time, these positives rub off on you, sink into your brain and you become a more positive person because of them. However, the opposite is true if you surround yourself with negative people. Again, it is your choice; choose wisely.
We've considered the health benefits of having a positive mindset and some ways you can use to become a more positive person. And because of the way you now view things, you will see them in a positive way instead of negative. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Now go be positive.