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You probably know one; you might even be one. The juice cleanser. The CrossFit enthusiast. The Vegan-Gluten-Free-Whole 30-Organic alternative eater. The natural cosmetics DIY skincare maker.
With lifestyle diseases on the rise, chances are you or someone near you is on the hunt for a way to live a healthier life. You want to feel better, look better, and live longer. You want to be happier, less stressed, less depressed, and less tired. There’s no magic cure, but you’ll keep trying to find that perfect regime that will help you be all you know you can be.
But what about the positive thinking movement? Is it just another one of these healthy living trends? Is it worth checking out, or is it little more than wishful thinking – a sort of metaphysical snake oil?
As it turns out, the evidence for trying positive thinking practices out for yourself is pretty good. Recognized and reputable medical agencies are noting evidence of its effectiveness across a range of health concerns from overall improvements to mortality and immunity, to resistance to stress, anxiety, and depression. Positive thinking might just help keep you cold and flu-free this winter, more calm and confident at home and work, and in better shape overall.
Here are five healthy habits of positive thinkers to get you started:
1. Talk yourself up
This is one of the most common healthy habits of positive thinkers. It’s deceptively simple. That voice in your head? Tell it it’s wrong when it drags you down. Recite good things about yourself, your situation, your job, your health, your future. Whenever you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, talk back. Your choice whether you do it out loud or not.
2. Visualize a better outcome
Positive thinkers choose to believe the future holds good things. That can be a challenge of imagination, goal-setting, or choice.
Your habit will most likely be to fear or stress over what could go wrong. Instead, take time to think about what a good future would look like in whatever area concerns you. How could that meeting go well? What would a better career situation look like? How could your health improve?
Visualizing those better outcomes helps you loosen your grip on fear and anxiety, keeps you from being paralyzed in the moment, and can contribute to your understanding and the taking of proactive steps to move toward that future.
3. Practice intentionality
Positive thinkers are focused and intentional about their actions and reactions. Practicing healthy behaviors helps those good choices become more natural over time.
When you first start out, come up with a plan for injecting intentionality in your life. Put up sticky notes in visible locations around you. Schedule time on the calendar. Get an app that will prompt you. Choose a bracelet or ring that will remind you to take a moment every time you look at it.
Stop and check in with yourself. Take a moment to breathe and let go of stress and worry. Experience the world around you. Check your physical and emotional state. Consider your goals and whether you’re making choices or reacting in a way that helps you live better or contributes to negativity and unfavorable outcomes.
4. Choose health
Positive thinkers believe that they have a future, and it can be a good future. They’re able to look at their current situation head-on and make healthy choices.
Choose health for yourself by taking time out to monitor your reality. How do you feel, physically and emotionally? Collect objective data as well, and touch base with appropriate healthcare providers when needed for regular checkups. For many who struggle with lifestyle diseases, that should include accessible, informative testing. You can order a Complete Blood Count – Health Testing Centers offer this CBC blood test as an effective way to check in with yourself.
Then ask yourself how you want to feel. What kind of perceptive and measurable goals are achievable and desired? Accept yourself in the current moment, but also set healthy targets to move toward. Positive thinkers are proactive about choosing better.
5. Connect with others
Positive thinkers know the value of community and connection. Spending time with others can make you healthier and happier.
That may mean taking time to be intentional about being with friends or family, or it could mean joining a club or social group. Even better for your health and happiness is doing something unselfishly for others. Volunteering with a charity or cause you care about makes a difference for others and proactively connects you with people with interests and a purpose that match your own.
Try one or more of these healthy habits of positive thinkers to try out the benefits in your own life. Feel free to pick the one that sounds the most appealing or accessible to you, or take them in order, to build better habits gradually.