You probably already know that a more fulfilling life starts with positive thinking.

The problem, however, is how do you not get stuck on the negative?

One of the most effective techniques used in therapy focuses on identifying and challenging the negative thoughts that are triggering the emotional, physical, and/or behavioral issues they are reporting.

The reason why this has been an effective treatment for many is because we are addressing the root of the issue: our thoughts.

Our perception of our thoughts shapes our reality—how we feel and how we behave.

Below are interesting tidbits regarding the significant role our thoughts really play in our daily lives that may be surprising.

 

1. Your body reacts to your thoughts

Your body reacts to the negative thoughts you are thinking and therefore has a direct relationship with how you feel physically. For example, when you have an angry thought, your heart may beat faster, you may start to sweat, or you may even feel dizzy. Why? See tidbit number 2…

2. When you have a thought, your brain releases chemicals into your body

When you have a thought, your brain releases an electrical transmission that travels into your body so that you become aware of what you are thinking in a somatic form. Therefore, a positive thought can make you feel good, and a negative thought can make you feel bad. For example, emotionally stressful thoughts may lead to headaches, muscle tensions, and/or stomach pains.  

3. Thoughts may not always be what they seem initially to you

It’s important to question and investigate the thoughts that are making you feel and behave in a negative way. Oftentimes, unchallenged thoughts that may actually not be true may become factual in your mind. Worst of all, if these are negative thoughts, they may needlessly pile up to generate more serious physical, emotional, and behavioral problems.

4. You need at least 3x more positive thoughts to balance a negative one

Since negative thoughts are so long-lasting, it takes three times the number of positive thoughts just to diminish the effects of a negative one.  Quite simply, you should aim for three positive thoughts for every negative one. Every time you find yourself forming a negative thought, stop and quickly stir up a few optimistic ones or happy memories.

5. It’s possible to train yourself to have a more positive or balanced interpretation of your thought

The perception of your thoughts can make you feel good or make you feel bad. But how you accept your thoughts is entirely dependent on your interpretation of them. A person can have a glass half full versus a glass half empty mentality. But being positive can enhance your quality of life. Research shows that positive emotions can reduce inflammation that hurts your physical health.

Shape the reality that you want by controlling your thoughts

Learning how to challenge your negative thoughts will lead to healthier and/or more positive emotions, physical sensations, and behaviors. Practicing affirming your new thoughts can give you the emotional support that consequently results in a happier and more peaceful life. You could finally stop struggling with yourself day after day, and just focus on being in the present with the ones you love.