Updated: Jun 18
We all have commonly heard the phrase “be positive”, or “stay positive, you will get through this” but do they actually work? And if they do, then what’s the key to remain positive throughout this situation? Through this post, we will try answering these questions, which commonly arise in our minds.
The word, positivity is the derivative of the Positive Psychology Movement – the area of psychology that expounds various ways to aid human beings to prosper and lead happy, healthy lives. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful, fulfilling life as well as to cultivate what’s best within themselves. Being positive shouldn’t be necessarily linked to happiness, as happiness could be a moment but positivity should be a way of life and has a way deeper meaning than just happiness. Positivity is linked to our thoughts, emotions, engagements, and relationships and it’s considered as a lifestyle.
Now that we have been struck by a pandemic, it’s difficult to maintain one’s calm and composure and is equally causing distress on our mental health. Everyone preaches about the idea of positivity but no one talks about it in depth or how to go about practicing it. There are no set of rules to attain positivity in life, it’s all about one’s mindset and it starts within us. It can be adopted by introspection or self- talk. To conquer positive thinking, we might have to alter our belief system and cancel the negative thoughts or vibrations attached to it. The process might sound overwhelming, but it’s worth the all the efforts.
Numerous studies on patients with fatal diseases, such as AIDS, suggest that those who remain optimistic show delayed symptoms and survive longer than patients who confront reality more objectively. An optimistic patient is more likely to practice habits that enhance health and enlist social support. Apparently, positive affective states may have a direct physiological effect that retards the course of illness.
In therapeutic settings, unconditional positive regard is given to the patient by the therapist so that he/she can have a stronger sense of self-worth to become more congruent and achieve psychological well being. Our brain releases different kinds of chemicals on an everyday basis and it’s on us as to decide what kind of chemical we want our brain to release. Hence, when positive thoughts are generated or when you’re feeling happy, or optimistic, cortisol decreases. Consequently, the brain produces serotonin, thus, creating a feeling of well – being. Daniel Goleman ,author of “Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence” states that the brain has heightened prefrontal activity and positivity resulting in enhanced mental functions such as creative thinking, cognitive flexibility, and even faster processing of information.
In a study conducted by Harvard University, it was found that optimistic women had a significantly reduced risk of dying from several major causes of death — including cancer,cardiological diseases, stroke, respiratory diseases, and infections — over eight years, compared with less optimistic women.The study has also been published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Other studies have also found a correlation between Yoga and positive well-being. During yoga practice, individuals can increase awareness and attention and are led to a mindful and meditative state (Germer et al., 2005; Hart, Ivtzan, and Hart (in press); Murphy & Donovan, 1997; Walsh, 1999). Yoga has been reported to lead to an increase in empathy (Walsh, 2001) and to connect awareness with higher levels of compassion, gratitude, and respect toward both human and non-human relationships, ideas, and beliefs (Radford, 2000). Similarly in positive psychology, the focus is laid on the attempt to increase mindfulness while enhancing wellbeing and awareness of self and environment, along with disciplining the mind and emotions (Levine, 2000).
You are the manifestation of your thoughts and thoughts have tremendous power, they can transform the mentality of persons. There will be moments where you will experience anxiety or sadness but you can overcome it through the power of your mind. Learn to see the positivity in everything and everywhere. This is real diet for the eyes. The purity of thought depends on the purity of food. You can see better, hear better, taste better, and think better when you entertain positive, uplifting thoughts.
Social isolation has greatly affected mental health as it has disrupted the everyday lifestyle of the general public. On an individual level, we can combat the effects of social isolation by thinking positively and re-framing practice by trying not to stress about the situation and being grateful for the little things we have in our life. We can also engage with online groups/communities who are working towards aiding people in the mental health sector and trying to enlighten people as to how to look after themselves during this time.
Do whatever ameliorates your well-being, maybe read a book, watch new shows on Netflix, or simply lie down on your bed and relax. There are no hard and fast rules or a particular way to become positive, it’s just that every thought you think, counts. The universe is an amalgamation of your thoughts and whatever you think, the forces of attraction will bring that to you. You are the master of your mind, so take up the reins and learn to subdue, to purify, to order all your thoughts. Fight the negative thoughts and cultivate of courage, love, and compassion.
By – Shriya Bhatt Artwork by – Brijesh Kumar
References/Read More At –
Frederickson, B.L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–226.
Baumeister, R.F., & Vohs, K.D. (2002). The pursuit of meaningfulness in life. In C.R. Snyder & S.J. Lopez (Eds.) Handbook of Positive Psychology (pp.608-618). Oxford: Oxford University Press.