The Power of Positive Thinking
Our mindset matters every day, and we are the controllers of it.
The World Health Organization is calling stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century.” Workplace stress costs U.S. businesses an estimated $200 to $300 billion a year because of absenteeism, employee turnover, decreased productivity, and legal, medical and insurance fees.
Simply telling people to buck up and put on a happy face, however, is not going to solve this issue. How do we get a brighter outlook on life?
“Our mindset matters every day, and we are the controllers of it,” says Chris Redgrave, a senior vice president and manager in community relations for Zions Bank. “People with a higher positive-thought ratio have fewer fatigue symptoms, better health, increased productivity and increased creative thinking. When we are positive, we are much more engaged and are better problem-solvers because we are choosing to see the world differently.”
You Are What You Think
Redgrave first became interested in the power of positivity several decades ago while at her previous job. She and her colleagues worked with an outside vendor that identified personality profiles, and positivity proved to be a powerful asset in generating business. People are drawn to good energy and positive people.
“Like a moth to a bonfire,” says Redgrave, who is also a public speaker on positivity in the workplace. “These people emanated positivity, and we noticed the impact of it on productivity and culture.”
According to research, positivity is much more than a positive attitude. Positive thinking literally changes the composition of our brain and positions us toward success. Leading positivity experts and researchers, such as Barbara Frederickson and Shawn Achor, claim that positivity opens our minds to possibilities while negative thoughts can diminish the way we experience our world.
Masuru Emoto, fellow positivity expert and bestselling author of “Messages from Water,” is the leading researcher on the impact thoughts and emotions have on water. Emoto’s findings show that water exposed to positive thoughts had beautiful snowflake-like molecules.
Water exposed to negative thoughts had deformed molecular structures. Considering our bodies are 70 percent water, this is a powerful wake-up call to be kinder to others and ourselves.
Practice Makes Positivity
Since the dawn of civilization, cultures worldwide have recognized the power of positive thinking, and many embrace the practice of meditation as one way to achieve it. Research has proven that meditating is one of the best antidotes for stress and anxiety.
“Research demonstrates that meditation can not only reduce stress … it also produces a wide spectrum of added benefits for physical and mental health,” says Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, an expert in mind-body medicine and heart health. “There is strong scientific evidence that meditation, properly practiced, may significantly contribute to preventing cardiovascular disease and promoting well-being.”
Along with meditation, there are plenty of other ways to gain a brighter outlook on life. Keep a gratitude journal, work within a signature strength, practice kindness, be in nature, create a “happy songs” playlist, or track your positive and negative thoughts to increase awareness and turn your thoughts around. Positive thinking can transform us into healthier, happier and more successful people.
And who couldn’t use a little more of that?