Why Positive Thinking is Important
Our emotions are colored by our thoughts. When thoughts are “blue,” our emotions are blue. If most of our thoughts are blue, we develop a blue outlook (or attitude) on life. This is important since our attitude has an immense effect on how we feel and on our overall well-being.
Thinking positively is more than hanging happy words on our experience. People who find success are those who think in terms of action. They create their lives by problem-solving, believing they are competent, inspiring themselves, and setting their sights on positive outcomes.
The perks of positive thinking are nipping problems in the bud, self-respect, a sense of accomplishment, and better relationships; all part of a meaningful and happy life.
Biology and Positive Thinking
Research biologist Bruce Lipton, PhD, writes, “Thoughts, the mind’s energy, directly influence how the physical brain controls the body’s physiology. Thought ‘energy’ can activate or inhibit the cell’s function-producing proteins…” Think for a moment how powerful your thoughts are.
This does not mean we can simply think positive thoughts and our life will be aces. It’s not that easy, because we have two minds, the subconscious and the conscious, which work interdependently.
The subconscious mind responds to situations according to our learned experiences (habits) and instinct. The creative mind is the conscious one; with this mind, we can choose to have positive thoughts. If the two minds disagree about something the subconscious mind, being the more powerful, will win the “argument.”
The habitual responses of our subconscious mind must be addressed to create a significant change in our approach to life. That will never happen if our creative mind is consistently focused on negative, helpless, or hopeless thoughts.
Taking the Wheel
Think of your conscious mind as the rudder of a ship and the subconscious as the powerful ship’s engine. If no one is at the helm, the rudder will flap at the mercy of the water’s flow but the engine will just keep doing what engines do. The ship will zig-zag its way around the ocean, going nowhere or maybe “docking” on the rocks.
When you take the ship’s wheel to control the rudder, the power of the subconscious mind works for you. It takes you for an enjoyable spin or gets you to a chosen destination, as long as the engine is well tuned with positive psychology.
Tuning the Engine: Positive Psychology
What makes life worth living? That is the focus of positive psychology. It is not only concerned with human weakness, but our strengths as well. The secondary goal of positive psychology is to repair what is not working. The primary goal is to build the best possible life.
If positive psychology were applied to the ship’s engine (subconscious mind), it would focus on keeping the engine shipshape so it can perform without frustrating the helm (positive conscious mind); engine and helm work interdependently.
How do you influence the subconscious mind to alter its self-defeating habits? You use methods that support positive psychology.
Meditation is one way to make subconscious adjustments. Regular meditation practice allows people to see for themselves how they think and what they believe. This awareness can cause shifts in perception, altering subconscious responses.
Summing It Up
1. We all want to feel good and enjoy our experience of life as much as possible.
2. Feelings are colored by our attitude toward ideas, situations, successes, or failures, so we need a positive outlook.
3. Having a conscious, positive, creative approach to living opens the door to our habitual mind.
4. The habitual, subconscious mind is influenced by suggestion, repetition, and changes in perception.
5. There are techniques available that make influencing the subconscious possible, with practice.
6. When the conscious and subconscious mind work together, we live constructively.