Where your thoughts go your body follows.
It has been scientifically proven that when we are having a certain emotion or string of thoughts, our bodies react accordingly. This is why our hearts race when we’re anxious or excited. This being true, how can we use our thoughts to better our overall well-being.
Brandon Farris does opening videos on YouTube (where he opens gifts that people have sent him), among many other hilarious things. In his “What’s In the Box Challenge” video, he says: “Everything is spiders if you think it’s spiders.” (He is terrified of spiders and was reaching into the box blindfolded.)
What he meant was, if you think there is going to be a spider in the box, then anything you touch will automatically feel like a spider because that is what you’ve told your brain to expect.
It was a funny thing to say, but also a very true statement.
Our words matter. What we say, to ourselves and others, matters. Those words and thoughts not only tell our bodies how to feel, they also influence how we view the world.
We can build someone up or tear them down with just a few words. We can make ourselves feel like happy, confident people, or like a pile of garbage, with just a few words.
This is the biggest reason that we should always practice positive self-talk. What does this mean? When you say things (or think things) to yourself like, I’m fat, I’m stupid, or I’m ugly, then you feel fat, stupid, and ugly. You also begin to project those feelings onto other people and you think that they feel the same way about you. If someone tries to teach you something, you think, “oh, they just think I’m stupid so they are talking down to me”. If someone looks at you weird you automatically think they are judging you. If we instead say things to ourselves like, I’m beautiful and I’m smart, then we feel beautiful, smart and confident in ourselves.
When you speak positively, you feel more positive. When you speak negatively, you feel bad about yourself and the world around you.
In turn, we will attract these types of people and situations to ourselves. If we are thinking positively, looking at the world around us with a positive eye, then we attract more positive people and more positive happenings. If we are walking around under a dark cloud of negativity, then we will attract more negative people and experiences. Both of these things will compound and, like a snowball rolling down a hill, will get bigger and bigger.
This is true because of the law of resonance. The energy that we are putting out into the world is the energy that is attracted back to us. We’ve all been around someone who is so negative that they drag everyone else around them down. Or on the flip side, someone so positive that it’s impossible to be negative around them.
These positive or negative energies and feelings spill over into the world around us. If we are feeling bad about ourselves, we tend to spew that negativity on other people. We are rude, snippy, and cross with people. We tear them and their ideas down. We say things that will make them feel just as bad about themselves as we feel about ourselves. Sometimes completely subconsciously. If we are feeling positive and happy, it spills over as well. We smile, we say nice things to people, we lift them up and encourage them. If we’re not monitoring our thinking, if we’re letting our thoughts run themselves, then we can end up saying something to someone that may change their lives for the worse. We can ruin someone’s day just because we aren’t keeping our negative thoughts in check. Or we can make someone’s day the best they have had in a while, simply by being kind.
If you don’t believe me try it for yourself. On average it takes 66 days to create a habit. But let’s start small: Every day for one week tell yourself you’re going to have a good day. Repeat it to yourself over and over. At first you may not believe it. But slowly, you will start to see that what you are telling yourself becomes true. Your thoughts about how your day is going to go influence how you see the things that happen during the day. Extend that one week to two and see how things change. Keep going for the full 66 days and you’ll be amazed.
Another aspect of this is that we often feel what we judge other people for. If we see someone that we think is unattractive, we think, “they look fat, look how terrible that shirt looks on them, look at her makeup”. Those thoughts then trickle into our subconscious and affect how we feel about ourselves. Because we have judged other people, we then think that they are judging us. When in reality, they could probably care less. Most people that we think are judging us are so stuck in their own bubbles that they may not even see us at all. It’s our own judgmental nature that makes us feel like we’re constantly being judged by others.
Think your way happy? Positive thinking = positive living? C’mon, this sounds too simple to actually work.
I’m not saying that this is an instantaneous, easy thing to accomplish. I’m not saying that if you’re positive then all of your problems will go away. What will happen is that those problems will seem less daunting if you have more of a positive outlook on life.
I’m also not saying that you always have to be Susie Sunshine to be a positive person. Everyone has bad days. Having a bad day, or an off day, makes you human. Our goal is to make sure that those bad days do not make up the majority of your life. The key is to be consistently positive more so than you are negative.
So yes, positive thinking can = positive living, if you let it, if you put the work into making it so.