Negative thoughts can be as toxic to your health and your future as smoking cigarettes. Negativity breeds emotional, mental and physical changes.
Here’s an experiment that immediately demonstrates the power of what you think over your body.
This experiment takes two people. One person (person A) stands with their arms held out to their side at shoulder height. The second person (person B) stands to one side and tries to push one arm down while the person A resists.
Pay attention to how much strength you [person A] have to use to resist person B.
Now, out loud person A will say three times, “I am not good enough. I am not good enough. I am not good enough.” These words have to be said out loud.
Immediately, person A holds their arms out to the side and asks person B to use the same amount of force to push the arm down.
What did you experience?
If you are like the majority of people you’ll have found that the second time you [person A] were not able to hold your arm up as long as you did the first time. Or, said another way, it takes less energy from person B to push person A’s arm down.
This is because your brain hears what your mouth says and it becomes immediately integrated in your muscle and neurological system. This is more powerful than what you say in your head.
However, while saying something out loud is MORE powerful, your thoughts are just as powerful but over a longer period of time. For instance, you could experience immediate results in your strength by saying something out loud, but will experience the same results over a slightly longer period of time when you continue to think a certain way.
Isn’t that amazing? What you THINK and say to yourself (don’t even have to believe it!) has a definite effect on your physical body. NOTE: in this case you likely didn’t believe what you were saying but your body still responded negatively. Imagine how much power you lose each day when you BELIEVE what you’re thinking and saying out loud!
It’s time to believe that you can achieve your goals this next year and be the role model to your children you want to be. Because, when you believe you can, the likelihood that you will goes up exponentially.
The results of consistently thinking negative thoughts are too many to list. Here are just a few that may motivate you to change your perspective and your habits this year.
- What you think is what you value and influences the choices you make
- The choices you make influence your results and success [or lack thereof]
- Negative thoughts hurt your physical and mental performance, which affects your income and relationships
- Negativity negatively affects your confidence and influences your decisions and performance
- Negative thoughts increase your stress levels and reduces your ability to concentrate
- Stress results from negative thoughts and this triggers hormonal imbalances, damages your immune system and reduces your cognitive abilities
You might think that you’ve always been this way and can’t change now. After all, changing is difficult and sometimes it’s just easier to keep going down the same path. But, when you look down the road three years and see yourself in the same place you are now with worse health – are you happy?
Do you want to be in a better place personally? At your job? In your relationships? Then you must make personal changes to experience different results. Your goal achievement is based on your own decisions and actions and not those of others. Here are several strategies that may help you reduce negative thoughts and improve the actions you take:
Make the punishment fit the crime.
In other words, seek proportionality in your personal punishments. You wouldn’t ground your child for 3 weeks if they forgot to clear their plate from the table after dinner – but you might be punishing yourself just like that.
Spend some time over the next couple of days to see how you react to disappointments or mistakes you make. You may be surprised by the things you say to yourself.
My youngest son spent nearly a year learning how to get out of his own head while he was playing basketball. Much of this sport is won and lost before the players even get on the court. If he missed a shot or two, let someone get through his defense or didn’t do exactly what the coach expected, his performance dropped drastically. This created more negativity and more negative thoughts, which in turn generated even poorer performance.
Remember, unless you’re performing brain surgery, you’ll have another chance to fix the issue. Take the chance to do a better job and resolve to continue to do a better job because you are CAPABLE.
Forgiving others is foundational to living a better life. Unforgiveness doesn’t hurt the other person, but it does create bitterness and a poor life for YOU.
It is important to remember that you also deserve and require your own forgiveness so you can move on from your mistakes. If you continue to beat yourself up and say negative things to yourself everyday you’ll reap the rewards your body and brain are wired to produce – poor health, poor decisions, depression and few friends.
Researchers trained 260 adults in forgiveness over six weeks. 70 percent reported a reduction in their feelings getting hurt and 27 percent experienced fewer physical symptoms. Forgiveness reduces YOUR stress and changes YOUR results.
As humans, we are wired to give thanks to God and be grateful for the gifts we have. When we practice gratitude, it alters the way we think and how we perceive our life. The situation doesn’t change. The consequences don’t change. But the way you react and act – and therefore the results of your actions – do change.
Learning how to practice gratitude in any situation you find yourself will help you move on and achieve greater success. Any negative situations will teach you something. These will bring you closer to God if you allow them. And He will work miracles through you.
Having positive emotions – the opposite of being a negative person – helps your body and mind recover from challenges and obstacles that continue to happen throughout your life. Cultivating this positivity helps you become resilient in the face of stress.
Your resilience is like an industrial rubber band – when you pushed and pulled by negative events in your life, you have the ability to bounce back to your original state. You can build resilience even after being hit by negative events. This means that although you’ve experience bad things, you don’t automatically expect poor performance in your life or more negative results.
The results of IMPLEMENTING the strategies and taking action is a positive result. However, when you read the strategies, shake your head yes indicating you’ve read them before, but don’t DO anything – you can expect the same results – nothing!
In other words, the results you can expect from addressing the negativity in your life is completely up to you.