Mystic Quarry is committed to providing a place where our guests can hit pause from the day-to-day craziness that is life. A quick get-away helps prioritize fun & relaxation for improved wellbeing. Our resort is the perfect place to forget about life’s stresses; to get in touch with nature, friends and family while providing some self-care.
We are still committed to this goal even during this time of uncertainty. Which is why we are providing information regarding health & wellness during stressful times. We hope you find these posts uplifting and helpful! We would love to hear from you. Let us know if you adopt any of these practices into your life.
If you haven’t already, give our self-care blog a read, and then jump on into this week’s topic of the power of positive thinking.
Before you start thinking this sounds a little too woo-hoo for you, give it a chance! Let’s break down what positive thinking is (and isn’t), what the research is showing and review ways to cultivate more positive thinking into your life.
Positive thinking goes further than simply thinking happy thoughts or acting carefree. Positive thinking has been shown to improve quality of life, reduce sick days, improve coping skills and even improve one’s abilities to handle life challenges.
Positive thinking can be defined by approaching situations that come your way with a positive and productive attitude. Rather than assuming the worst, you say, look at the glass half full. While positive thinking may seem like something some people are born with, it is a skill that can be practiced, to become an effortless change in outlook.
Barbara Fredrickson has been conducting research surrounding positive thinking, her study in 2011 demonstrated how positive thinking broadens perceptions and results in an ability to open up the mind to new ideas. This research supports the idea that positive thinking could be an evolutionary trait as positive thinking is shown to “set people on trajectories of growth that, over time, build consequential personal resources.” This is known as the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, hypothesizing the positive thinking is not only pleasant but actually could be considered an edge for survival.
As an example, you are walking in the woods and are suddenly face-to-face with a big scary tiger. Now hopefully your boots aren’t covered in sardine oil (any Tiger King fans out there?!). But if they are and this tiger starts chasing you, a positive thinker would be more likely to notice the ladder you could climb up to safety, rather than running past it, and being mauled by a tiger. Positive thinking can allow one to see opportunities even in times of stress. Now that’s the power of positive thinking!
Studies also support the hypothesis that positive thinking has direct health benefits like improved cardiovascular markings, immune health and even cancer recovery results. Positive thinkers are shown to accept more challenges, go at them with a sharper focus and are less likely to give up when compared to more pessimistic thinkers.
There is no one-size-fits-all for practicing positive thinking. One of the most well-studied ways to cultivate positive thinking is through mindfulness and meditation. Check out these great 1-minute mindfulness exercises. If you are like me and the thought of sitting down and shutting off your mind sounds impossible, maybe a guided meditation would be up your alley!
Tune into your self-talk. What does it sound like up there? Is it generally focused more on the negative stuff? This is because positive emotions are simply less attention-grabbing than negative ones. More positive thinking helps to turn up the volume on those positive emotions and turn down the negative ones.
A great way to start thinking more optimistically is to take stock of your self-talk. Notice what tends to get your mind bogged down, try an experiment where you write out what you say to yourself throughout the day. This can help to bring more awareness to your thoughts and find areas that could use improvement. If your self-talk has been negative, one exercise could be to talk to yourself like you would a loved one. Giving yourself some compassion can allow you to see a situation in a new light. If you feel your thoughts heading in a negative direction, try to pause and look at the situation rationally. Breathe and remind yourself of something you are thankful for today.
Another way to cultivate more positive thinking is to periodically pause throughout the day and check-in with yourself. This can help you catch negative thinking in its tracks! You can also try writing or journaling, which has been shown to help improve moods when done consistently. Schedule humor and play into your day - laughter really can be a powerful medicine. Prioritizing fun is a great way to feel an influx of positive emotions.
One of our Mystic Quarry owners, Courtney, has a unique method of positive thinking! She likes to create passwords for things, like computer logins, that are her aspirations. That way every time you are entering a password you are reminded of something positive that you are looking to achieve or cultivate into your life. How neat is that?!
We could all use a boost of positive thinking right about now! We would love to know your favorite ways to boost optimism and ditch some unnecessary negativity- leave us a comment!