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Why Positive Thinking is so Important


During my hypnotherapy sessions, I constantly remind each client to focus on the 3 Ps – Positive Thoughts, Positive Actions and Positive Interactions. But how important is it to think positively?


Some people struggle to think positively despite being told how beneficial it can be. There is also another train of thought that argues it is what we do that counts, not what we think.


What you think can influence how you behave. Our brains cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality and our thoughts can trigger the same chemical process as our actions. Just thinking about something that makes us upset or stressed can bring on extreme reactions such as a churning stomach, a faster heart rate, sweating and going into flight/flight mode.


Our negative thoughts accumulate and are stored; in hypnotherapy we call this collection of negative thoughts our “stress bucket”. If our brain cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality, just our thoughts alone can make our body produce a lot of stress hormones which will fill our stress buckets. Once our stress bucket is full, we can become very anxious which can affect our sleep and our general well-being.


Newberg and Walman said

“the more we stay focused on negative words, the more we can damage areas of the brain that regulate memory, feelings and emotions. A focus on positive words, however, can modify our brain functions, increase cognitive reasoning, strengthen the frontal lobes and activate motivational centres in the brain.”

Cited in Matthew Cahill (2018)


Robert Benson at the Massachusetts Hospital found that,

“certain positive words, if focused on them for ten to twenty minutes per day can influence genetic expression in your brain.”

Cited in Matthew Cahill (2018).


He found that by repeating personally-meaningful words a person is able to turn on “stress-reducing genes.” Which is truly remarkable. We can change our brains just by thinking positively and by repeating positive words to ourselves.


Your self-talk will become your reality. According to a 2020 study, we have approximately 6000 thoughts a day – we should all be aware that our thoughts eventually become part of our belief system and use our 6000 thoughts wisely.

Having a positive outlook on life will make you happy, while being negative will make you unhappy – it really is as simple as that.


Being positive can improve your wellness, give you better resilience and increase your immunity. You don’t need to ignore reality in favour of always looking for the silver lining but positive thinking can focus on the belief in your abilities, of having a positive approach to challenges and trying to make the most of every situation.


And practice makes perfect! Change can be challenging and it may not feel easy to suddenly switch the polarity around and see the positive in every situation. You may start slowly and that’s OK. In my hypnotherapy sessions I ask that you jot down three positive things every day and you can increase this more each day. After a while you could even start to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones, and this will start to direct your thought energy towards how you want things to be – your preferred future.


By training our mind to think positively, we are acknowledging the potential for improvement and instinctively steering our actions towards solutions.


In Solution-Focused Hypnotherapy, we definitely sing it loud and proud - if you think positively, you will be positive.


References:

Matthew Cahill (2017). Solution Focused Hypnotherapy: A Practitioner’s Guide. Plymouth, Great Britain: FORWORDS PUBLISHING, PLYMOUTH: pages 74 and 75

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