The Power of Your Thoughts

Affirmations, visualization, manifestation, and the law of attraction all center around the idea of the power of our thoughts.

While what you’ve read on those topics may have all sounded like magic, in many cases, there’s a real science behind these ideas.

How we think influences how we feel, and how we feel affects how we act. Your thoughts are a foundational part of changing your reality.

Some of you may feel skeptical right now, which is understandable. There have been manipulators of this concept who’ve misled people for the sake of monetary gain.

Fortunately, I’m not just asking you to take my word for these things unlike other articles on this topic. You can look at the science and judge for yourself.

Hopefully the evidence presented will open your mind to the possibility that what you think affects who you are and what your life can be.

Lady meditating

How positive thoughts have power

Norman Vincent Peale once wrote a book titled, The Power of Positive Thinking. It had over five million print copies sold and was an international best-seller.

The basic idea was that choosing to think positively is one of the main keys to a happy, successful life.

Research is beginning to catch up to the truth of this concept. A study found that positive self-talk helped to reduce anxiety in patients who had anxiety disorder.

Three groups were told to use different techniques.

  • Group one were told to imagine positive outcomes to things they were worried about
  • In group two, they were told to verbally think of positive outcomes they were worried about
  • Group three were told to just think of positive images unrelated to their concerns.

The results showed that worry and anxiety was reduced significantly in all three groups.

Positive thinking techniques

Here are a few techniques you can apply to your life to think more positively.

1. Convert negative self-talk to positive self-talk

Negative self-talk – “This isn’t going to get better”

Positive self-talk – “I’ll keep trying until this gets better”

2. Find humor in difficult situations

Finding a way to laugh about your worst moments can help you ease the stress and tension of your experiences in life.

Stanford psychologists did two studies that proved this can work. The research also suggested it can help improve your creativity as well.

3. Have positive people in your life

You probably don’t need a study to know that being around people who are negative will likely make you more negative.

We all can be influenced by the thoughts, words, and actions of those around us. That’s why it’s important to do your best to surround yourself with positive people.

Doing so will help you be more likely to stick to thinking positive.

The idea of luck and powerful thoughts

One powerful thought you can have is the belief that you’re lucky. Many studies have proven that if you think you’re lucky you’re more likely to be successful.

Take this research for example. Golfers who were told they were hitting a lucky ball hit better shots than those who were hitting a regular ball.

The reason for this is because the belief instills more confidence in someone, causing them to set their expectations higher and persist longer at tasks.

It’s less to do with actually being lucky, and more so to do with having a positive attitude that keeps you open to good things happening.

The confidence and expectation of good things happening combined with our hard work and effort makes positive things more likely to occur.

You can choose to have that confidence on your own through choosing to believe good things can happen, or you can use an item to help you harness that belief.

Here are the four main keys of luck according to a ten-year research study.

  1. Be open to creating and finding good opportunities
  2. Have positive expectations
  3. Be persistent in the face of bad luck
  4. Listen to your intuition

You may think that last one sounds like magic, but science has proven that intuition is a real thing that helps make better decisions in life.

One such example is how ancient polynesians traveled the seas through observing the ocean, the sky, and the stars.

They trusted their own internal of what they saw to guide them despite not having a map or compass.

By trusting your own internal analysis, you can feel more confidence in your decision-making.

Arguably, confident decision-making leads to better decisions than anxious decision-making.

The thought power of visualization

Visualization is a powerful way to use your thoughts to achieve the reality you want.

Cleveland Clinic Foundation proved that just imagining doing exercises in your mind can increase your strength.

Dr David Hamilton notes that visualization has been used to help stroke patients regain movement and athletes improve their performance.

The basis of this power is that your mind doesn’t really distinguish much between the imaginary and reality.

What you imagine, your brain will mobilize your natural resources to deliver what you’re imagining.

As Dr. Hamilton explains, that’s the foundation of the placebo effect.

If using your thoughts to imagine all these happening can transform our body, what if it could transform our reality too?

UCLA researchers found the answer to that question might be yes. In a study, they asked a group of students to visualize an A by their name on their final exam.

Those students were told to repeat this idea several times in the weeks before the exam. Another group was asked to visualize studying.

The group that performed better was the one that visualized studying.

The conclusion was that through visualization we can prime our mind to follow through on certain actions that lead us to the results we desire.

This can potentially be applied to a wide array of areas in our lives. You could imagine yourself communicating calmly and comfortably with someone you like.

That could lead to that person being interested in you. You could imagine yourself choosing to eat the right foods and exercise, thus improving your physical wellness.

This kind of intervention has been proven effective time and time again. You just have to put in the time to use your thoughts in this way.

The psychology of thoughts affecting emotions

One last strong example of how important your thoughts are to your reality is the evidence found in psychology.

I’ve noted in numerous articles how cognitive behavioral therapy, the idea of changing negative thought patterns to improve our emotional well-being, has been proven effective in many studies.

Another point to consider is that a Psychology Today article notes that simply believing we can control our emotions actually helps to do it.

That belief we choose to think in our mind makes us more likely to pursue emotional regulation habits.

The article recommended considering these questions when you’re trying to re-frame your negative emotions.

  1. What’s the upside of my situation?
  2. How can the situation bring me closer to my goals?
  3. How is the situation not as distressing as first thought?

Often we leave the negative thoughts and ideas in our mind unchallenged.

By choosing to question your thinking and find other ways to re-frame it in a positive way, you can help yourself be less stressed and more motivated.

The more motivated you are, the more likely you’ll focus your energy towards doing positive actions.

Final thoughts on our thoughts

It’s often the case that we live a passive thought life. We don’t go out of our way to think in certain ways.

We choose to think whatever comes to our mind and be influenced in whatever way it influences us.

By making a deliberate effort to be intentional in the way you think, you can potentially bring your dream life to reality.

At the very least, you’ll make good things more likely to happen. Make today the day you start actively choosing to think and imagine the life you desire.

See how it influences your reality in a positive way. Based on all the research, there’s a good chance you’ll be satisfied in the future.

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