Why is Positive Thinking so Powerful? Benefits of Positivity:

Lisa Cartlidge Hypnotherapy, Gloucestershire
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A story of two dogs.  Both at separate times walk into the same room.  

One comes out wagging his tail, while the other comes out growling.  

A woman watching this goes into the room to see, what would possibly make one dog so happy and the other so mad?  

To her surprise she finds a room filled with mirrors.  

The happy dog found a thousand happy dogs looking back at him, while the angry dog saw only angry dogs growling back at him.  

What you see in the world around you is a reflection of who you are. 

- Author unknown

The mind shapes our perception of reality

When we focus on something, we start noticing it everywhere. This shows the power of our mindset and the importance of perspective. 

By seeking out the positive aspects in our lives, we can change our outlook. This allows us to break free from negative conditioning and see the beauty and kindness that exists. 

Our perspective is neither right nor wrong; it is a story we tell ourselves. This story shapes our experiences and ultimately determines how we feel. 

In the realm of positive thinking, there is a famous quote that holds a great deal of truth: "If you believe you can or believe you can't, you are probably right". This statement encapsulates the power of our mindset and beliefs shape our reality.

It highlights the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy, where our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and our abilities can influence our actions and outcomes.

Having a positive mindset is not about denying the challenges or difficulties we may face in life, but rather about cultivating an attitude of optimism and resilience. It is about acknowledging the obstacles, but choosing to focus on the possibilities and solutions.

The benefits of positive thinking on life satisfaction is profound. It fosters resilience, allowing us to bounce back from setbacks, learn from failures and continue moving forward towards our goals. With an an optimistic attitude, we are more likely to experience greater happiness, contentment and overall satisfaction.

It helps us to see opportunities where others might see obstacles, and it enables us to approach challenges with a sense of hope and determination. By choosing to embrace positivity and cultivate a positive mindset we empower ourselves to create a more fulfilling and joyful life.

Life is a complex journey with challenges that help us grow and discover our true potential. Let's embrace obstacles as opportunities for personal growth.

Three simple examples of a postive v negative mindset

#1 Situation: A rainy day

❌ Negative perspective - creating negative emotions:
"Ugh, it's raining again. This weather ruins everything and puts me in a bad mood."

✅ Positive perspective - creating positive emotions:
"I love rainy days! It's the perfect opportunity to cosy up indoors, enjoy a hot cup of tea, and indulge in some relaxing activities."

Situation: Receiving constructive criticism at work

❌ Negative perspective - creating negative emotions:
"I can't believe they're criticising my work. They must think I'm not good enough. This is so demoralising."

✅ Positive perspective - creating positive emotions:
"I appreciate the feedback. This gives me the opportunity to learn and improve. I'm grateful for their guidance and trust in my potential."

Situation: Being stuck in traffic

❌ Negative perspective - creating negative emotions:
"This traffic is unbearable. I'm going to be late, and it's ruining my day. Everything is going wrong."

✅ Positive perspective - creating positive emotions:
"I have some extra time in the car. I can catch up on my favourite podcast or listen to some music I enjoy. It's a chance to relax and unwind before I reach my destination."

Remember, our perspective has the power to shape our experiences and emotions. 

Choosing a positive perspective can help us find joy and gratitude even in challenging situations.

The power of positivity three ways

#1 The power of positivity: A psychological perspective

Positive thinking is more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. It's a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results. 

The power of positivity lies in its ability to reshape our perceptions, actions, and overall life experiences.

Psychologists have long studied the effects of positive thinking on mental health. They found that individuals who maintain a positive outlook tend to have lower levels of distress and depression.

They are also better equipped to handle stress and adversity compared to their more pessimistic counterparts. Moreover, positive thinking can boost your motivation and energy levels. 

When you believe that good things will happen, you're more likely to find opportunities and put in effort towards achieving your goals. This optimistic outlook will foster resilience and fuel perseverance, a key ingredient for success in any area of life.

#2 The power of positivity: A physical health perspective

Believe it or not, positive thinking doesn't only affect your mental health; it has profound effects on your physical well-being too! Research shows that people with an optimistic mindset often enjoy better health than those with negative attitudes.

One reason for this is that positive thinkers are less likely to engage in harmful habits like smoking or excessive drinking, which can cause high blood pressure. They're also more likely to lead active lifestyles, enjoying physical activity and maintain healthier diets, which lead to higher energy levels.

Furthermore, studies suggest that optimism can boost immune system and slow down the progression of certain diseases. It can even increase longevity! 

This is because negative thinking leads to higher stress levels, every time you have a negative thoughts they enter the stress bucket, positivity on the other hand helps empty the bucket and therefore has lower risk factors to our overall health quality.

High stress levels have been shown in scientific research to be linked with numerous physical health problems including heart disease, respiratory disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, as well as emotional issues such as anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, low mood etc.

#3 The power of positivity: A social perspective

Positive thinking doesn't only benefit you; it also positively impacts those around you! People are naturally drawn towards positivity. When you radiate optimism and happiness, you become a beacon for others seeking inspiration or comfort.

Positivity fosters healthier relationships by promoting open communication, mutual respect, empathy, and understanding. It encourages cooperation over competition and unity over division – making workplaces more productive and homes happier!

Moreover, positivity is contagious! By maintaining a positive attitude yourself, you inspire others around you to adopt the same mindset, creating a ripple effect that can transform entire communities!

Harnessing the power of positivity

Now that we've explored why positive thinking is so powerful let's look at how we can harness this power in our everyday lives:

#1 Practise gratitude

Start each day by acknowledging something you're grateful for. Use a gratitude diary and write these down. Writing can help you re-balance your thoughts by consciously seeking out and focusing on the positive aspects of your life, however small, can help you shift your perspective.

#2 Surround yourself with positivity

Positive energy is contagious, it has a profound impact on how you feel. Spend time with people who appreciate your qualities and uplift you, rather those who drain you. A good friend who inspires you and tells you that you can achieve you goals, who notices and acknowledges you strengths.

#3 Challenge negative thoughts

Whenever negativity creeps in, challenge these thoughts with facts, choose which perspective will benefit you most. Develop a positive self-talk, remember what you have achieved and the strengths you used. Even if that was coming through some hard times, I am sure it would have taken a lot of strength of character, determination and resilience. Recognise you have these qualities!

#4 Set realistic goals

Actually, i am not sure goals have to be realistic, that "realistic" is a limitation. Dare to dream, then ask yourself what would be the first step you would need to take to move towards this dream? Remember it is okay to fail, "Failure is Success in Progress"! Look around for inspiration, find people who you find aspiring and see what they do and how they handle situations, then think to yourself, what if I had some of the same qualities, what could I achieve? After all, we do not know what we are capable of until we try!

Have a look at the story below of my friend, not many people would have suggested her goal was realistic, but she dared to dream and then was prepared to take the first small steps to move towards the dream!

#5 Practise self-care

Regular exercise, healthy eating habits & adequate sleep all contribute towards maintaining a positive mindset. Physical exercise develops a strength and endurance in physical bodies. Whilst eating a healthier diet, feeds our bodies the appropriate nutrients to fuel our bodies with the energy we need.

Staying positive even when life throws a spanner in the works

An example of helping my amazing friend stay positive even when life really had thrown a spanner in the works!

Let me introduce you to my incredible friend, Ana. From when I first knew her a few years back, she was a normal (probably never been quite normal!) single working mum.  She started to ride her bike and found a love for it  . Ana started with smaller bike rides, but quickly progressed to conquering 100-mile rides and eventually found herself enjoying the freedom of cycling thousands of miles.

A story of recovery through the power of positive thinking against all odds.

Two years ago, Ana participated in an event called "The Transiberica," a gruelling 2700 km (1677-mile) across the Iberian Peninsular, where participants are expected to ride non-stop until the finish line (any sleep is usually in a bivvy on the side of a road). During this event, tragedy struck when Ana was unexpectedly hit and taken out by a wild boar. The impact caused her to crash, she landed on her face, resulting in severe facial injuries, a broken neck, three broken vertebrae, and a spinal hematoma, among others. It took two hours for her to be found, and she was fortunate that one of the people who found her happened to be a paramedic. Without his timely assistance, Ana may not have survived.

Despite the immense challenges she faced, Ana messaged me from her hospital bed just five days after the accident. With a plastic coating on her face and limited finger movement, she was in a dire state. She knew that I was the one person that would allow her to be positive, and once a week, we had a mutual mission, to keep positive and keep believing she could recover, even though doctors were suggesting she prepare herself for life in a wheelchair and friends were concerned about her looking in the mirror!

Undeniably, this journey was far from easy. However, lying in bed, enduring the pain of her injuries, Ana had to make a choice. She could succumb to hopelessness and accept a life in a wheelchair, or should she summon the courage to believe that she could get better, walk again, and ride her bike once more?

6 weeks in

As I recount Ana's milestones, I may be slightly off on the timing, but the essence remains true. Within six weeks, Ana defied expectations and walked across her hospital room, even though some advised her it was too soon and urged her to stay in bed. Within eight or nine weeks, she walked out of the hospital unaided, wearing a neck brace and appearing a bit unsteady, but determined to go home.

12 weeks in

Within three months, Ana had already been on her stationary bike, known as a turbo, and had ventured outside to ride 20 miles. And within a year, she triumphantly participated in the same event she had encountered her life-altering accident. Admittedly, she still faced challenges, such as difficulties with her nose and breathing, nerve damage affecting her walking, and a few other issues.

Although she didn't complete the event that year, Ana cycled for nine consecutive days, showcasing her incredible progress. Determined not to let the event beat her, she entered again this year, she not only participated once again but emerged as the first female finisher of the event.

In the early days, there was no guarantee that Ana would make such remarkable strides in her recovery. Nonetheless, we focused on the best possible outcome, deliberately ignoring the negativity that surrounded us. While the negative aspects were undoubtedly present, we used the power of positive thinking as a mental sat nav, guiding her brain towards where she wanted to go.

Believing that she could achieve her goals provided Ana with the motivation necessary to put in the tremendous effort required for her recovery. She put in an astounding amount of hard work and dedication throughout this entire process. If she had believed that she might spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, what would have been the point of pushing forward?

A film was made of her recovery, take a look, it’s inspiring:

Even if the outcome hadn't been as positive, the mere belief that one can get better brings about a sense of mental happiness and hopefulness on a daily basis. Isn't that a win-win situation in itself?


Life will always throw challenges at us; however, armed with the power of positivity, we are better equipped to tackle these obstacles head-on! Remember, being positive does not mean ignoring life’s difficulties; instead, it means approaching them with constructive attitudes and expectations!

So why not start today? Embrace the power of positivity and watch as it transforms every aspect of your life!

Need help?

If you need some help, maybe hypnotherapy could be the answer.  

As a qualified hypnotherapist, I can guide you towards a preferred future and assist in reprogramming your brain to a more positive mindset. 

Using trance we can let go of past limiting beliefs, empowering you to live your best life. It offers a holistic approach to helping you develop a positive mindset and promoting overall well-being. 

With the power of hypnotherapy, you can find renewed balance, resilience, and a greater sense of control over your life.

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About The Author

Lisa Cartlidge is a qualified hypnotherapist in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.

With over 3,000 hours of experience, my approach differs from traditional counselling as I primarily work in a solution-focused manner.

While we can appreciate the past and its impact, we cannot change it. Instead, I help you to focus on creating the future you desire, leaving you calmer, more confident, and empowered to achieve your goals and dreams.
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