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Positive thinking maybe the golden key to reducing anxiety, and finding peace amongst the chaos. But thinking positive may sound easier said than done to those of us who tend to lean towards a pessimistic mindset. So how do we break free from negative self-talk and revel in our positive side?

Well, I am glad you asked.

First and foremost, I want to emphasize that a positive mindset doesn’t mean you need to walk around with a satchel full of rainbows to pass around. Being positive doesn’t mean you ignore the reality of your situation. Instead, it asks you to readjust your perspective and try to focus less on everything negative.

The key to shifting your perspective, the Mayo Clinic says is in how we talk to ourselves.

“Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of your self-talk comes from logic and reason. Other self-talk may arise from misconceptions that you create due to a lack of information.

If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re likely an optimist- someone who practices positive thinking.”

And the research seems to support this, as a study that was published by the National Library of Medicine shows. The study took a group of participants with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and showed them images and descriptions of positive outcomes. The images shifted the participant’s awareness from their worries and replaced them with a more positive mindset. Then, the participants were given a training session that helped them to practice this method and practiced it for a week.

When they returned, they completed questionnaires four weeks later. All groups of participants benefited from the training and had an overall decrease in anxiety and worry. Even more interesting, is that even in cases when the positive ideas were unrelated to the worry itself- just the overall positivity of the images and ideas were still beneficial to participants.

And reducing anxiety isn’t all positive thinking can do for us. It can increase our life span, lower our depression, enhance our immunity, and positive thinking can even benefit our heart health!

Honestly, positive thinking can improve your overall well-being and help you to enjoy life more. You have absolutely nothing to lose! Check out the following video for tips on how you can shift your perspective and improve your mind, body, and soul.