Whenever I am low or something goes wrong in my life and someone who cares about me tells me to stay positive, it can be infuriating. Of course I would be positive if I had reason to be positive. Can they not see how bad things are going and I have every reason to be upset? Yet days later when I look back on the situation that caused me such stress, I realize that my negative thoughts actually made it seem far worse, and in some cases my negative thoughts actually made it worse! The reality is that being positive is something more than just an easy line from a friend; it is a way to tackle any situation and come out on top. Since I realized this and started to use it as a tool, it has worked for me. Read on and it will work for you too.
There have been numerous studies that have shown the impact of negativity on your health. One study tracked the health of people between the ages of 25 and 65 for a number of years and found that those who had a negative outlook on life had a faster decline in health. Those who had a positive outlook remained healthy for much longer. A different study showed that positive people have better immune systems to both tumors and infections. In one study patients were given a virus to see how it would perform and those who were positive were able to defeat the virus far easier.
Positivity is more than just a boost in the health department. It impacts every area of your life. Studies have shown in a wide variety of industries that those who are positive perform better. The studies appear to suggest that when a negative person receives a set back they take longer to rebound and it can impact their work performance. Positive people are able to take setbacks better, see it as a learning opportunity, recover quickly and move on. A study of insurance salespeople found that those who had a positive outlook on life sold almost 40% more than those with a negative outlook on life.
Clearly having a positive outlook on life helps. Even knowing that, it can be hard to just become a positive person. What can you do when you are feeling the negativity starting to weigh down on you and when life really feels against?
I follow two simple rules when anything goes wrong. Be objective towards the bad and be subjective towards the good. The reality is that when one thing goes wrong it can impact anyone to a high degree. It can feel like the world is against us but that just isn’t the case. By being objective and looking at any situation factually it is clear to see what caused a negative occurrence to take place and why. Even if something was just bad luck, by taking a broader view you can see that these things can happen to anyone. From there I start to look at the positive and no matter how many things I find, I focus on them. If I have had a week of negative things, I try and find just one positive thing to focus on. I may have had a tough week at work but I still come home to my beautiful wife every day. I may have just been broken up with and lost my job but I still have my health. Whatever it is that you can focus on, do it.
See the positive and allow it spread out into other areas of your life. Now that you know it works. Now that you have seen that it can increase your health and work performance, commit to being positive and you will see the benefits too.