Is your glass half-empty or half-full? How you respond to this ancient question about positive thinking may mirror your outlook on life, your attitude toward yourself, success in your job search, and whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic. Some studies show that personality traits like optimism and pessimism can affect your overall well-being and the positive thinking that naturally comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management.
Positive thinking doesn’t mean you keep your head in the sand and overlook life’s less pleasant circumstances. It just means you’re approaching the unpleasant circumstances in a more productive and optimistic way- meaning you think the best is going to happen not the worst.
Still Talking to yourself … well that can be good
Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day, these automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some self-talk comes from logic and reason and some arises from misconceptions that we create from lack of information.
If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more than likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re likely an optimist and someone who practices positive thinking.
Are there benefits to positive thinking?
Yes of course there are! Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive and optimism on overall health. Some of these benefits include:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Lower rates of distress
- Happiness in the workplace
- Better coping skills during hardship and times of stress.
Happiness is mostly a choice. I can hear many of you disagreeing with me, but it’s real. You can elect to be happy at work. Sound easy? Yes. But, simplicity is often extremely tough to put into action. I wish all of you had the best employer in the world, but, face it, you may not. But I know I do. So, think positively about your work. Dwell on the aspects of your work you like. Evade negative people and conversation. Your choices at work largely define your experience. You can choose to be happy at work.
So let’s focus on keeping happy…and having positive thoughts!