The last in the six foundations, here health coach Matt Ireland discusses why and how positive thinking can improve your lifestyle both in work and at home.
Even when you are living a healthy lifestyle, there are areas of your life that could be causing you unnecessary stress. For example, you could be sleeping eight hours a day. You could be eating a diet that is perfect for your body but if you are worrying about the finances or in an unhappy relationship you could be activating your stress response for more time than is what is healthy for you.
It’s worth saying, the body can’t tell the difference between different types of stresses. So for example, the way the body deals with training for a marathon and worrying about not paying the bills is exactly the same way.
The brain also can’t tell the difference between real life events and thoughts or situations that you are replaying over and over in your mind. So, if you are worried about paying the finances, or you are worried about an upcoming event, or you are worried about something that hasn’t happened yet and you're replaying that event over and over in your mind you could be causing yourself or your body a lot of unnecessary stress which is going to have an impact on your general day to day life.
Now the average human has between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day. A whopping 80 per cent of these thoughts are negative. Now have you have beautiful actresses, wealthy and successful businessmen and sports stars that show signs of self-sabotage? Maybe this is depression or addiction but they have got all the money in the world, or what seems all the money in the world. They drive the best cars and live in lovely houses but they still wake up in the morning and say on TV, "I don’t feel good about myself."
Now, success, power and fame doesn’t guarantee happiness. Happiness starts within and is really controlled by your thoughts.
What we think about becomes our reality. Now to give you a good example of what I am talking about you may have noticed when you are in the market for a new car, you have decided on the make, the colour and model. All of a sudden you see all these types of cars when you are out and about and driving around. Now these cars have always been there but because you decided on what you want that’s in your consciousness and now you are more aware of the kind of cars that are out and about on the road. This principle was exactly the same with thoughts of, "I’m not good enough", "I want to look better", "I don’t own enough money." Because this is in your conscience when you're about in your day-to-day life you see more examples that confirm these beliefs out and about when you are.
Now to get control of your thoughts, visualisations and affirmations are a really good way. This is because you are spending time thinking about what you want, thinking about positive things and it just changes that...as I said the brain can’t tell the difference between things that are actually happening and thoughts in your mind.
As you replay positive things. It really does help.
A mistake people make is they don’t spend enough time doing these visualisations, affirmations. They might try for a week or two, and say it doesn’t really work.
For the next week, what I would like you to do is focus on anything that is good in your life. I want you to forget anything that you are not happy about or could be improved.Just focus on what’s good and what you are grateful for. I am sure you will see a difference in your outlook and your general state of mind. This is just a simple way of doing something so small can lead you being a lot happier in your day to day life.
As I said, happiness starts within and is controlled with your thoughts. Hopefully this exercise will prove that to you.
Catch up on all of the six foundations here: Sleep | Hydration | Nutrition | Breathing | Movement