No matter how strong we are as individuals, there are times when life can become a little tough. We’ve been through a pandemic, and now face a cost-of-living crisis, along with the ‘January blues’, all on top of the day-to-day stresses of life and work.

It may feel easier to bottle up these emotions and push through it, but this can be detrimental to your mental and physical health in the long run.

How common are mental health problems?

According to Mind UK:

  • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England.
  • 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England.

What are the benefits of positive thinking?

Positive mental attitude (PMA) is the philosophy of:

“finding greater joy in small joys, living without hesitation or holding back our most cherished, held in high esteem, and highest personal virtues and values”.

This can result in:

  • Improving your physical, mental and emotional health, which can lead to a stronger immune system to have a better quality of life
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Increasing your happiness, confidence and energy levels
  • Helping you become more optimistic, friendly and considerate of others, in turn improving your relationships with friends & family
  • Incresed motivation, and in turn motivating those around you
  • Positive thoughts can help drive away negative emotions and thoughts

Positive thinking won’t make your problems disappear, but it will make your problems seem more manageable, helping you approach these hard times positively and proactively.

How can you incorporate positive thinking into your day-to-day life?

There are many proven ways to add positivity:

  • Start your day doing something you enjoy – that may be reading a book, meditating, going for a walk, listening to your favourite playlist or just simply enjoying a hot drink and relaxing.
  • Focus on the good – we cannot stop challenging times and obstacles from entering our lives, however when bad times arise, try and focus on the good, no matter how small they may seem.
  • Meditation & exercise – both can give you a sense of calm and realise feel-good endorphins, such as serotonin, to lift your mood.
  • Look to the future – envisage where you would like to be and how could you be happier?
  • Have fun & laugh – get together with your friends or loved ones and do something fun, laughter really can be the best medicine.
  • Be present & practice gratitude – instead of focusing on the negative, acknowledge the good things you have in life whilst taking time to be in the moment.
  • Surround yourself with positive people – experts believe that negative emotions are more contagious than positive ones.
  • Practice self-love – we tend to be our own worst critics, which can be damaging over time. Be mindful of the voice in your head and combat them with positive messages.

It is not possible to undo all the bad things in life by simply empowering positive thinking, but with some practice, it can make the tough times that little bit easier.

Please remember to reach out to others if you are struggling, such as a friend, family member or colleague. There are also lots of places you can turn to for professional help if things seem like they are getting too much, including online resources such as:

5 Steps to Mental Wellbeing – NHS

Information & Support – Mind UK

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