Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Practice positive thinking, part of Building Resilience.
- It's human nature to think negatively in a challenging situation, especially an unpredictable one. The research is clear that positive thinking and self-talk are not only better for our overall health, but they can influence our overall outlook on life. Here are some of the positive thinking reactions you can practice immediately in the face of adversity. Think short term; by acknowledging that negative events are temporary, changeable, and associated only with the situation, you're adapting to a more resilient outlook.
What do you tell yourself when you face a work related challenge, or a negative comment on your performance evaluation? Keep the perspective tight and focus on the here and now without allowing yourself to believe that the circumstances will extend into the long term. Think local; what I mean by this is focus only on yourself and what you can do to change the situation. Comparing yourself to others and their circumstances will only create negative feelings, especially if their situations are not as difficult as yours, and this perspective will not result in any productive outcomes.
Think positive; keep the situation in perspective. Ask yourself what the worst-case outcome of this setback could be. It's not an uncommon tendency for people to blow things out of proportion, and depending on the severity of the setback, this often makes things worse. Can you find a positive outcome from a potential job loss? An inconvenient relocation? Or a breakup of a friendship? There often is a silver lining, and thinking positively helps you keep it in perspective.
Talk positive; the words you use internally and externally can influence your mindset. Pay attention to your internal language next time you face adversity. Replace the words "failure" with "obstacle", "downfall" with "setback", "horrible" with "challenging". Catch your internal self-talk. Think of coaching yourself with phrases like "This is tough, but I'll get through it" , "Let's focus on what I can control", or "I am strong, I can overcome this." Positive self-talk and perspective are directly related to positive emotions.
If you prefer to write your language down, replay it in your head, or speak it out loud with close friends, keep it all optimistic. The goal here is to train yourself to react with a positive perspective in all setbacks that you face.