We’ve all heard the powerful stories of the Power of Positive Thinking.

There is one powerful video that I would like all of you to watch:  Simon Sinek speaking about Millennials in the workplace of today, and social media addiction.

Here’s a disturbing piece of information

Middle-aged people are the least happy, have the lowest levels of life satisfaction and the highest levels of anxiety, the latest official wellbeing statistics show.

Even people aged over 90 reports better life satisfaction and happiness than those aged 40-59, the study from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found.

While women overall reported experiencing higher levels of anxiety than men, they were happier and more satisfied with life than men.

So Where Does That Leave Middle-age Men?

All of us face challenging events throughout different stages of our lives, things can be particularly difficult for middle-aged men.

They may be juggling the responsibility of caring for older family members at the same time as children or dealing with other familial disruptions, like bereavement or divorce.

For middle-aged men its a very difficult stage in life at which the pressures of a job and financial pressures, such as mortgage repayments, might take over.

The expectation that you should be reaching the heights of your profession, while also coping with an uncertain job market, could also have an impact on your thought processes.

And that’s what happened to me when I turned 50.

If you are like me I have always been a bit of negative person, not by choice, it’s more about my DNA.

So I sat down a few years ago and started to look at why I was on the face of it a negative person.

Try this for size:

The people who say a glass-half-full attitude helped them do everything from power through the last few minutes of an important presentation at work or an interview to overcoming a debilitating disease.-

So how did I get on my appraisal?

Well, it was a bit of journey into the unknown as well as a bit unnerving.

It’s surprising when you sit down and become really honest with yourself you find out that being positive is not easy.

Everyone has their own story of ups and downs some more life-changing than others.

For me, my life changed when at 50 I lost my job, which on the face of it is not unique, I won’t be the first or last this event happens to.

But when it happened to me it completely changed my life.

You hear and read stories of other middle-aged men losing their jobs and you always wonder how you would react if it ever happened to you.

Well, let me tell you, it takes you to hell and back and much more.

It challenges your whole world, it sucks the life out of you, it makes you question the meaning of life, it leaves you feeling discarded, worthless and above all a failure.

But YOU can get through it. With a positive mind.

The Power of Positive Thinking

I am not going to all in the ins and outs as to what has happened over the last 8 years, I will only say that it has taken 8 years to get to point that I believe in myself.

And that I wasted the first 7 years simply by not talking to anyone and asking for help.

But you know what having that conversation with my subconscious 2 years ago has really transformed my life.

The power of positive thinking has enabled me to become much, much, more positive in the way I see and approach life.

Have you had one of those moments that changed your life because of your positive thoughts?

Some Research Supports The Idea Too.

It’s believed that ninety percent of success in any walk of life is a direct result of how the mind is used.

Top athletes, top business executives, top parents, top entrepreneurs, and the most successful individuals all understand the important truth that the mind is what counts.

Now the growing field of positive psychology is focusing on positive emotions, which it seems can strongly influence our level of happiness and lead us to flourish both physically and psychologically.

Professor Barbara Fredrickson is a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has been a researcher in human emotions for the past 25 years.

She suggests that positivity is the mindset that helps produce emotions such as joy, amusement, happiness, serenity, gratitude and inspiration.

Negative emotions really hit us like a sledgehammer. They are really much more intense and attention-grabbing than our positive emotions, which are comparably more subtle.

We have an ingrained negativity bias.

‘I think of positive emotions as nutrients. In the same way that we need to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to be healthy, we need a variety of positive emotions in our daily experience to help us become more resourceful versions of ourselves,’ she says.

Learning how to cultivate complete belief or faith

Learning how to cultivate complete belief or faith is one of the challenges that stand in the way between where you are and where you most wish to be.

It takes consistent effort to convince yourself that you are capable of succeeding.

Positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude.

Positive thoughts can actually create real value in your life and help you build skills that last much longer than a smile

You can’t tell yourself that you believe in your abilities just one or two times and expect it to make a real difference; you have got to affirm your belief in yourself day after day, month after month until it becomes an unbreakable habit.

When you reach that point of having complete faith in yourself you will know it.

There is a noticeable rush of positive energy throughout the entire body that lets you know that in this moment, you do in fact believe in yourself.

Use this knowledge of the positive emotion to gauge whether or not you believe in yourself at any moment in time.

The Power of Positive Thinking

What Negative Thoughts Do to Your Brain

Researchers have long known that negative emotions program your brain to do a specific action.

We have all been in situations where we go into a panic mode.

You know the feeling where you cannot see the wood for the trees.

Your brain goes into overload mainly with negative thoughts, are it’s really difficult to get your mind back into focus.

Let’s take for example you are confronted by a large wolf who’s main intent is to come and attack you

In other words, negative emotions narrow your mind and focus your thoughts.

The problem is that your brain is still programmed to respond to negative emotions in the same way by shutting off the outside world and limiting the options you see around you.

How many of you can relate to these situations:

  • When you’re in a fight with someone, your anger and emotion might consume you to the point where you can’t think about anything else.
  • When you are stressed out about everything you have to get done today, you may find it hard to actually start anything because you’re paralyzed by how long your to-do list has become.
  • You feel bad about not exercising or not eating healthy, all you think about is how little willpower you have, how you’re lazy, and how you don’t have any motivation.

In each case, your brain closes off from the outside world and focuses on the negative emotions of fear, anger, and stress. Negative emotions prevent your brain from seeing the other options and choices that surround you. It’s your survival instinct

What Positive Thoughts Do to Your Brain?

On a personal note, if I had not changed my mindset when I lost my job, being honest I don’t think I would be here today writing this post.

If you want to be happy the rest of your life, make sure you keep your brain happy.

Why?

Because being happy matters more to your brain than you might think. If you just go around moaning all the time and feeling that life has been a bitch then don’t be surprised that you get very little out of life.

In fact, just by trying to smile and think of pleasurable things, even if it’s against your nature it can be so stimulating for your brain that it is primed to respond to pleasure in a way that reinforces pleasure.

Like most things in life, it’s about what you put in is related to what you get out.

The Power of Positive Thinking Is a Way of Life.

How often have you thought, “If I just get ___, then I’ll be set.”

Or, “Once I achieve ___, I’ll be satisfied.”

In other words, happiness is both the precursor to success and the result of it.

Positive thinking is something that you can’t just switch on or off.

It’s training your brain to think in a different way and it takes practice and effort, and that’s the key word EFFORT and willingness to change.

No other person can change how you think other than you.

No one is going to take pity on you, they may want to help, but it comes from within, a deep-seated belief that you will succeed.

So How Do I Become More Positive?

In order to become a positive thinker, some inner work is required, since attitude and thoughts do not change overnight.

  • Read about this subject, think about its benefits, and persuade yourself to try it. Even if the idea seems strange, give it a try. You have nothing to lose, but only to gain.
  • Ignore what other people say or think about you.
  • Use your imagination to visualize only favourable and beneficial situations.
  • Use positive words in your inner dialogues, or when talking with others.
  • Smile a little more, as this helps to think positively.
  • Once a negative thought enters your mind, you have to be aware of it, and endeavour to replace it with a constructive one.
  • In case you experience inner resistance and difficulties when replacing negative thoughts with positive ones, do not give up,
  • It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are at the present moment. Think positively, expect only favourable results and situations, and circumstances will change accordingly.
  • Another useful technique is the repetition of affirmations. This technique is similar to creative visualization and can be used together with it.
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