Gary's Guidance: Positive Self-Talk

May 2011

What’s up with the positive vibes?  Did you know that we are behaviorally conditioned, and that our brain is oriented to negative thinking?  So let’s think about this, we actually have to process and interpret life experiences in such a way in order to be a positive person or gain positive outcomes. Said another way, we have to think differently and work harder to feel good.  After all, we all talk to our self!  Our emotional health partially depends upon how we see things, hear things and do things.  I often label this as thinking, feeling, and doing and which translates into who we are.

In my working with people, I eventually get into the importance of positive self-talk.  Most stress is self-inflicted by how we interpret or think about things.  Humans are prone to projecting doomsday.  We may have awful or catastrophic thoughts about something even before the outcome becomes known.  This way of thinking creates stress.  How can we become more positive in our thinking?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Be mindful of how you’re thinking.  The content of your thought, negative or positive, determines your attitude.  Confront your negative thoughts by replacing them with positive content – just think the opposite.
  • Fill your thinking with affirmations and images, ideas, and memories that are personally enjoyable.
  • Get outside of yourself by focusing on another person (positively), or hobby/interest that others share with you.  Share the delight of the activity.
  • Chose positive people to associate with.  The way they talk, ideas they share, their enthusiastic energy level and positive attitude can lift your spirits.

In closing, is your thinking positive or negative?  Be positive and take care.

Gary Kozick, LCSW

Originally appeared in the Arbor Terrace: A Senior Living Residence monthly newsletter, June 2011)