“Just stay positive!”
We’ve all heard it–that vague nugget of wisdom tossed around like a hackey-sack. Maybe you offered it to a friend who was backslidden and feeling down; maybe that coworker or neighbor said it with a shrug over coffee. At the time it may have meant the same as “Just hang in there!”…and of course, that would be encouraging to anyone feeling stuck. But is there something more to the concept of “positivity”?
We think yes.
What is the power of positivity?
For some, caught in the fray of modern life, positivity is so foreign of a concept, it’s darn near impossible to pin down what it even is. On top of that, positivity can look different from person to person, making it even more complicated to root out and understand. But let’s start with this–have you ever been around someone and found yourself inexplicably energized by them? From a project leader at work to the cashier at Target, there are people out there that inspire you without even really meaning to. Why?
Generally, we can rely on positivity to manifest itself as “happiness”…even if happiness is just a side-effect of being positive. At the very core, positivity is a living goal: it can change shape, and it takes work. Thankfully, when it comes to positivity, a little effort goes a long way.
How does it help?
From your physical health to your emotional well-being and deep, interpersonal fulfillment, there is no end to the benefits of positivity on your life. Let’s take, for just one basic example, The Nun Study. It’s been called the quintessential study in positive psychology, and the findings truly live up to the hype. The short of it is, in the 1930’s and 1940’s, young nuns were asked to write a few pages about themselves–these autobiographies were dissected and coded, giving the researchers clear groups of the young women based on the overall “positivity” of their work. Remarkably, the “happiest” or “most positive” nuns outlived their less positive counterparts by ten years in some cases. The nuns which exhibited the least positivity in their autobiographies continued to pass away at a more frequent rate than the “happy nuns”. By the time the ladies were in their nineties, only 15% of the “least happy” group had survived…while 54% of happy nuns were still alive and well.
But the benefit doesn’t stop at longevity.
In fact, we’ve hardly scratched the surface.
Other benefits of positivity…
In The Workplace:
–Employees in a positive environment outperform those in a negative workspace.
–Positive people make better leaders.
–People who are positive tend to be more successful.
In Your Daily Life:
–Positive people form stronger, more meaningful relationships with their friends and family.
–Overcome stress more easily (or eliminate it altogether) by adopting a positive outlook.
–A positive attitude will almost miraculously give you a boost of motivation.
In Your Personal Health:
–Positive people get sick considerably less than negative people.
–Positive people enjoy longer, better sleep than negative people, allowing for them to feel refreshed and rested in the morning.
We know–that sounds like an infomercial-style list of promises–it can’t really happen, can it?
It can–all of it–but it takes a little work.
As a human, your brain is hardwired to look for the threat and danger in every situation–but in our modern age, we tend to focus on the negative and problems with any idea when no true danger is present. Negativity can blind us from opportunity, and breed fear where it shouldn’t be. Remember when we said positivity is a living goal? What we mean by that, is what it takes to be positive can change–sometimes it’ll be effortless, when things are going well and life is good! When you feel great, there’s no limit to what you can do.
But…the real test of your resolve to be positive comes in when things are not so great–the setbacks, the plateaus, the unexpected tragedy. When it takes effort just to get out of bed.
In times like those, a positive attitude can make an opportunity appear out of thin air. Choosing to think positively will keep you in tune with the solution that is right around the corner–all you have to do is grab it.
Take a look at that list again:
In The Workplace:
–Employees in a positive environment outperform those in a negative workspace. Why? Because a positive work environment encourages the creative process, allowing employees to focus and find solutions.
–Positive people make better leaders. Why? Because their positivity inspires those around them, which creates a positive environment (and we all know what happens in a positive environment.)
–People who are positive tend to be more successful. Why? Because positive people are motivated and energized, no goal is too big or out of reach, and leave a better first impression on those around them.
In Your Daily Life:
–Positive people form stronger, more meaningful relationships with their friends and family. Positivity helps us see the best qualities in people, focusing on their abilities rather than their faults.
–Overcome stress more easily (or eliminate it altogether) by adopting a positive outlook. Stress is the result of being afraid (of taking that next career step, for example)–use that power of positivity to remove your reservations and see how high you can climb!
–A positive attitude will almost miraculously give you a boost of motivation. When there’s nothing you can’t do, who wouldn’t want to do it all!?
In Your Personal Health:
–Positive people get sick considerably less than negative people. Stress can drastically reduce your immune system’s ability to keep you healthy–eliminate stress, get sick less! On top of that, your blood pressure will drop, and suddenly your need for that guilty vice (like junk food, maybe?) will all but disappear.
–Positive people enjoy longer, better sleep than negative people, allowing for them to feel refreshed and rested in the morning. Again, this is due to stress reduction, allowing you to sleep in peace. Also, the increased daily activity thanks to your new boost of motivation and energy can play a role in deeper sleep!
It won’t always be easy, but truly successful and positive people tend turn all of their stumbling blocks into stepping stones. The more you actively choose to focus on solutions, not problems, and positivity rather than negativity, the easier it will become. Change your life by changing your thinking–and there’s no time like the present to start a new, positive chapter of your life! We can’t wait to see what you can accomplish after you throw off the chains of self-doubt and start living for the very best life has to offer!