As much as we’re hugely in favor of positivity, reframing and growth mindset, I discovered that we’d yet to write an article with a specific focus on positive thinking. We have many positively oriented articles — in fact most of them are — because positive thinking is critical to success and happiness.
Recently, iCreateDaily community member, Shannon DeAnna Schofield, shared a powerful poem written by then teen, Chanie Gorkin. We share that poem and story further below. Even if you’ve seen that poem before, because it did go viral, it bears revisiting for a careful read, especially anytime you find yourself stuck in the doldrums.
For writers, doldrums is a cool word, but it’s not a cool place to hang out.
There is overwhelming evidence from research in positive psychology that people who are happy are more successful.SOURCE: TD.org article, How Positivity Leads to Success
~Beth Cabrera, PhD, writer, researcher, author
Creativity and Positivity
Positivity connects us to the creative, ideating areas of the brain. Sure… sadness and life’s struggles and dramas can be a catalyst for creativity, any emotion can be. However, the stereotype of the tragic or emotionally unstable artist is an outdated model.
Artists are maturing through the ages of art. Today’s most prolific and successful creators employ positivity, discipline and goal setting which leads to greater creative capacity and happiness.
Positivity leads to greater mental and emotional agility and adaptability. Beyond that, positive people are naturally happier, healthier and live longer with less illness.
Positivity increases creativity and capacity.
Positivity… opens us up, broadening the range of ideas that come to mind and also leads to greater creativity.SOURCE: TD.org article, How Positivity Leads to Success
~Beth Cabrera, PhD, writer, researcher, author
Positivity Boosts Brain Power and Happiness
Whether you’re more inclined to think in words or in visuals, replacing negatives with positive thoughts and images works. The power of positive thinking unequivocally works. Consistent daily practice makes a difference.
Beyond personal testimony, numerous studies have proven that positive thinking reduces negativity, worry, anxiety and depression.
In a series of recent studies, negative emotions were associated with increased disability due to mental and physical disorders,22 increased incidence of depression,23 increased suicide24 and increased mortality.
~SOURCE: PMID: 18043762, 2007 Study on Serotonin and the Brain,
Research on the Effects of Positive Thinking Is Proven To:
- Reduce anxiety and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4760272/
- Improves productivityhttps://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive
- Increase optimismhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1948078/
- Increase happinesshttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prime-your-gray-cells/201108/happy-brain-happy-life
- Alleviate stress
- Improve mental healthhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894461/
- Mitigate depressionhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3866689/
- Improve successhttps://www.td.org/insights/how-positivity-leads-to-success
- Improve brain functioninghttps://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prime-your-gray-cells/201108/happy-brain-happy-life
- Increase immunityhttps://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2014/09/positive-boost-immune-systemhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1948078/
- Increase & Improve longevityhttps://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2014/09/positive-boost-immune-system
People who manage stress effectively most or all of the time report greater well-being as they pass through later stages of life.
~2019 Study on lifestyle choices and brain health
Bottom line? Positive thinking is proven to increase the good and decrease the bad things in life. And… here’s the kicker: positivity is absolutely free, infinitely available to anyone and everyone! Now THAT is a win-win!!
If you’re struggling in a negative space, here are some tried and true tips and techniques that work with consistent application.
Positive mood… is an important predictor of health and longevity.
~SOURCE: 2007 Study, PMID: 18043762
10 Ways to Be More Positive
- Spend time in nature – If you’re in the city, urban parks and even houseplants can make a positive differencehttps://www.uvm.edu/pdodds/research/papers/years/2018/schwartz2018a.pdfhttps://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html
- Gardening / working with plants and soil
- Dancing, exercise, yoga, and dynamic movement, especially outdoors
- Healthy diet and adequate water
- Music / singing / Creating
- Associate with positive people
- Help others – contribution, kindness, service
- Reframe stinking thinking with positives
- Meditation, affirmations, prayer, and breathwork
- Goal planning and tracking – focus and momentum towards goals generates positivity
RELATED: How to Be More Positive
Positive Thinking – Chanie Gorkin’s Story
Here’s an inspiring excerpt from an interview of Chanie’s mother, Dena Gorkin as covered on WCBV.com.
The poem originated as a school assignment in which the students were told to write about their worst day ever, Dena Gorkin said, adding that her family is Hasidic and studies Hasidic philosophy.
“One of the major tenets of Hasidic philosophy is that the mind rules over the heart, that we are able to channel our emotions to the positive … that there is God in everything, and it is part of our mission in life to look for the good, and to find it and to spread it,” Gorkin said.
So when Chanie was given the assignment, she told the teacher that she doesn’t believe in a worst day ever, and used her writing skills to turn the question around.
Way to go, Chanie!!
“I was floored,” Dena Gorkin said of her reaction to the poem. “[That] a 16-year-old was thinking this deeply was really impressive to me.”
Worst Day Ever?
By Chanie Gorkin, iin 2015, at age 16
Today was the absolute worst day ever.~Chanie Gorkin, as an 11th-grader in Brooklyn, New York, in 2015, in response to a school assignment to write about her worst day ever.
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart.
True happiness can be obtained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say that
Today was a good day.
Now read from bottom to top
And see what I really feel about my day.
WOW!! Way to go, Chanie!! I hope she’s still writing and creating positivity in whatever she’s doing now.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.Photo by Alexander Milo on Unsplash
~Viktor Frankl, Nazi Germany prisoner, author-Man’s Search for Meaning, 1905-1997
More Positive Thinking Quotes
Every thought releases some type of chemical. Focusing on positive thinking will release the feel good chemical, which in turn, creates more positivity.
Research shows that any form of positive ideation can be used to effectively counter worry.
Happy brains are more creative, quicker, and more mentally alert.
~Susan Reynolds, author, Psychology Today article on Happy Brains
An Example of the Transformative Power of Positive Thinking
This story was shared on LinkedIn, and is a wonderful example of the proactive power of positive thinking, no matter what.
Jim Thorpe – Olympian
This is Jim Thorpe, a Native American from Oklahoma, discriminated against by his own American people and foreigners alike.
Look closely at the photo. He is wearing different shoes and socks. It was not a fashion statement. It was the 1912 Olympics and Jim represented his country in athletics.
On the morning of the competitions his shoes were stolen.
Fortunately, he ended up finding two shoes in a trash can. It is the pair that he is wearing in the photo. But one of the shoes was too big, so she had to use an extra sock. With those shoes he won two gold medals that day.
Feature Photo by Josh Riemer on Unsplash
The Day is the Way.
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Hello! I’m LeAura, owner and co-creator of iCreateDaily.com®. As an autodidactic philosopher, generalist, personal development advocate, entrepreneur, writer, editor, author, ideator, media publisher, and podcaster, I’m passionate about helping others achieve their best possible life! Our small family of entrepreneurs, writers, investors, educators and creators own and run websites around topics we enjoy, such as gardening, health and fitness, creativity and pets, with more to come.
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