You hear it all the time. You see the memes and the social media posts. So many of us try to share positive thoughts among the rampant negativities that are a part of our current times. But what does positive thinking really do for you? Can it change your outlook on life? Can it lead to more opportunity and in turn more success? Should it be something you adopt in your life? We certainly think so and here’s why.

Positive Thinking and Your Brain

Granted our modern world looks much different than caveman days, but our brains still hold the ability to survive from back then. When faced with a negative situation, such as a life-threatening event, our brains are wired to survive. When we are in danger, our minds become laser focused on the imminent problem to ensure escape and survival. In today’s world, we are very rarely faced with life and death situations, but our brains can still trigger that response during small adverse conditions. When these problems arise, we are focused solely on the problem at hand and not able to see alternate options or other things around us. In order to survive, all of that falls away, and all efforts turn to survival.

This closed off or focused state can lead down a dark path and creep into everyday emotions. Recent research indicates that those presented with positive images are much more open to taking more actions in response. Their brains “open up” to new ideas. They can think beyond the current issue. In addition, these folks are often more apt to try new things which can potentially lead to new successes. Initial indications show they are falling sick less often too.

How to Incorporate Positive Thinking

Feeling joy and contentment sounds wonderful, but we often have to put a little effort into incorporating happiness in our lives. Think about the things in life that you enjoy and make time for them. Train your brain to look for the positive and change your perspective. Consider adding these simple tips…

  • Meditation: A simple way to get started, meditation has shown to increase positive thinking in many. Reduced levels of stress and mindfulness are some things meditation claims to provide. Get started her with a 10-minute guided meditation.
  • Writing: It may seem strange, but consistent writing about positive experiences has shown to increase mood levels and reduce illnesses. Start a personal journal or share a blog, start small and be consistent.
  • Play: Make sure to take time for the things you love to do. Whether that means joining a pottery class at the local rec center or starting a weekly pick-up basketball game, put it in your calendar and do the things you enjoy.

Remember, there will always be times in our lives of stress and negativity. The harder you work your “happiness muscles,” the better you may be at dealing with these times. Invest in you. Invest in your happiness – you won’t regret it!