Positive thinking is a great way to improve your thinking and improve how you perceive the world around you. However, this is more than just a mindset. There are chemical benefits within your brain to positive thinking as well.
If you have trouble thinking positively, though, don’t worry! You can train yourself to think more positive thoughts. In this article, we will take a look at how your brain responds to positive thinking and how you can change your thinking to reap its benefits.
How Does Your Brain Respond?
When you think positively, you can feel better about yourself and the world around you. This is because everything that happens in your brain can be linked to chemical releases and interactions. So, if you are to think positively, you are releasing chemicals that are great for your mood.
For one, positive thoughts can decrease the development of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a hormone in your body that is considered the “stress hormone” because it is produced more when you are under more stress. If you have a big test coming up, for example, you might have a higher production of cortisol.
With more cortisol in the body, your physical responses to stress increase. In other words, physical responses such as muscle tension, higher heart rate, and higher blood pressure are more likely to be problematic if you are producing more cortisol.
Positive thoughts also help to produce serotonin in the brain. Much like cortisol is sometimes considered a “stress hormone,” serotonin is sometimes known as the “happy chemical.”
Serotonin actually plays a much larger role in the brain than we typically give it credit for. For instance, it can affect appetite, general happiness, and it plays a role in the sleep-wake cycle. Put in simpler terms, the more serotonin you have in production, the happier you are.
Additionally, positive thoughts can help your brain function better. You might notice that your skills in critical thinking and analysis and generally increase general mental productivity. It can also affect how you view your surroundings and the problems you come across. So, you won’t get as discouraged when something goes wrong.
1. Try to Look for the Silver Lining
When you are in a negative situation, try to look for the silver lining in the clouds. In other words, it can be very easy to focus on the negative but instead you should take a moment to assess the situation to look for the good in it. Try to consider the glass half full rather than half empty.
For instance, if you are having a week when you are working a lot of overtime and you have to cancel with friends, don’t focus solely on how much you hate that you have to work constantly. Rather, think about how productive you are being and how you are making some extra money on your paycheck.
2. Consider What You Can Be Positive About
Another idea is to consider what you can be positive about in the moment. Don’t wait for a negative thought to come up to try and force it into a positive thought. Instead, be mindful of what you have and think about what you can be positive about.
For example, ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What was the best part of my day?
- What can I look forward tomorrow? During the rest of the week?
- What could I do to make myself happier right now?
- What could I do to make someone else happier right now?
If you practice this continuously, it will eventually become a natural way of thinking. Then, you will find yourself thinking positive without any prompting.
3. Take Some Time to Yourself
You should also take some time to yourself. The world tends to throw a lot of negativity towards us whether it’s in the form of a dark story on the news or a parking ticket we didn’t expect. It can all be rather overwhelming.
To combat this, you will want to take some time to yourself. Whether you want to take a relaxing bath, read a book, or simply meditate for a while, it can do you a world of good to step away from negative influences to get into a positive mindset.
4. Build a Positive World Around You
You can’t avoid bad news completely. Unfortunately, as we just noted, there will always be a negative story on the news or a situation that crops up that isn’t exactly what you would like.
You can, though, fight against this negativity by surrounding yourself with positivity. One way that many people do this is to have a support group of friends and family that you can rely on and have fun with. Another way you can do this is trying to counter every bad news story you read with a good one. For instance, if you read about a natural disaster, follow it up with a story about people helping each other through it.
If you are having trouble with mood and positive thinking, you could always give supplements and nootropics a shot. Many of them can help to promote positive thinking and a better mood.
One such supplement is the nootropic Alpha Brain. This, like many nootropics, is meant to generally improve cognitive function. However, it is one of the more popular nootropics because it is dependable and proven to be more effective than a placebo it was tested against.