Positive Thinking Improves Mental Health

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Over the weekend I received a message from one of my favorite blogger friends, Becky over at Cuddle Fairy and she asked me a question. How do I find positivity? I answered her question and was asked if she could quote me in her latest blog post. Of course I said yes and you can read her positivity post HERE if you like. However, I got to really thinking about it and I want to elaborate on my view of Positive thinking.

How to I view positive thinking?

It’s a great question and I’m sure is different for everyone. For me, the best way to explain it would be to use examples. Right after Christmas, we got hit with a severe cold front that brought the temperatures down to the negatives. As a result, my battery died in my car. No big deal for me because I didn’t go anywhere during the holiday break. After the New Year I had to wait a few days but I knew I was going to be okay. I had to borrow a car for awhile but it was all good. Positive thinking. This helped to keep my mental health in check. Then we replaced the battery and for a few days, the car was fine.

Friday was a long and dreary day. It had been pouring rain all day and in several spots there was a lot of fog and the traffic didn’t help. After dropping Conner off at his dad’s then picking Adam up at school from his play rehearsal, I had been on the road for a little more than two hours. I was tired. Adam and I were both looking forward to going home, getting cozy in our pj’s and eating the chicken noodle soup I had in the crock pot waiting for us. But then the car died. Not the happy ending we were expecting.

So what does this have to do with positive thinking?

Well, I’ll tell you. I was stuck at the pump and the gas station was busy. I don’t like to hold up a line but I had no choice. My ex-husband was on his way to look at the car because I couldn’t afford to have it towed. I had asked a couple of people if they could give me a jump but to no avail. People are so unwilling to help strangers these days. So this was the moment I had to make a choice. I could have gotten mad and yelled at someone over the injustice of it all. That’s what I’ve done in the past. I could have sat in my car and sulked and cussed out my car, beating the steering wheel in order to vent my frustration.

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I’ve done that in the past as well. What I learned from those past experiences is that it got me no where. It didn’t accomplish anything to get mad and frustrated. As much as I hated being stranded at the gas station, I knew help was on the way and I knew my son and I were safe. So, I decided to watch a funny YouTube video. There is this company that posts videos of teens, kids, adults, and elders reacting to different things. I find these videos endlessly entertaining and they always cheer me up.

Positive thinking took hold of my thoughts and before I knew it, my ex-husband had shown up and as it turns out, it was nothing serious. He fixed the problem and we were on our way home to enjoy that chicken soup. Which, by the way, came from Heather over at Shank You Very Much  Thank you Heather for your recipe. It was delicious and hit the spot!

And how does positive thinking affect Mental health?

Positive thinking isn’t always easy to do. Sometimes its downright difficult and we are all going to have our bad days no matter what. However, Friday could have turned into a disaster had I let my negative thoughts and feelings take over. Friday wasn’t the greatest day but thanks to my awareness to keep on a positive thought track, it wasn’t a disaster either.

Lately I have been struggling with keeping myself centered and thinking positively. Negative thoughts creep in from time to time and I tend to overthink. Overthinking leads to paranoid thoughts and with my history of depression, this isn’t a good thing. So when my good friend Becky posts her positivity challenges I take them because I know they are great exercise in keeping my depression at arm’s length.

I often challenge myself in this way because I know, first hand, that while positive thinking doesn’t keep bad days from happening, they do alleviate the stress those days can take on us. What about you? What do you think of positive thinking? How do you use it in your own life to combat those pesky negative thoughts? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Thanks so much for reading!

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