Psychologists Reveal How Thinking Positive Reduces Anxiety
Anxiety. A true joy killer. Anxiety occurs on a spectrum and is simply defined as the body’s natural response to stress.  For some people, it may be mild worry about what’s to come that just nicks at the back of their minds. For others, however, it could be powerful feelings of fear and apprehension for future situations that interfere with their daily activities. On any level, anxiety is exhausting, emptying, and can trigger other mental health issues such as PTSD and panic attacks. 
Anxiety isn’t merely about “being sad” or “dealing with a bad mood.” It presents mostly as stress that’s disproportional to the expected outcome of the event, and the inability to set worry aside. In real-life scenarios, you’d worry so much that your head could begin to hurt, your happiness would be depleted, and you’d be unable to focus on simple and complex daily tasks.
While anxiety is often managed and treated using therapy and medications, psychologists believe that positive thinking is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for combating this condition long-term.  Positive thoughts are just as powerful as the negative ones limiting your freedom. If you could work up the mental drive to override the negativity, you’d find yourself flourishing better than you ever were.
For instance, you have a job interview coming up. You start worrying about how badly you could fare, playing out all the possible worst-case scenarios in your head. You might end up convincing yourself not to go. The worry has eaten deep into your mind and prevented you from achieving a major goal. Instead of focusing on the negative outcomes think about all the ways you’d stay relaxed and animated during the interview. Think about the most natural and appropriate answers you could give to every question, instead of the worst ones. Positive thinking is extremely helpful in getting your emotions under control and reducing anxiety levels. In the long run, it becomes a mental inclination to engage in positive thinking and embracing the feelings that follow.
7 THINGS TO REMEMBER FOR THINKING POSITIVE AND REDUCING YOUR ANXIETY
Understanding how anxiety affects you could be the key to building a positive and healthy mindset.
It’s not going to be easy shutting down our negative thoughts at first. Human beings are hardwired to detect danger and embrace worry. When we feel threatened, either by a physical situation or a future event, the brain secretes cortisol into the bloodstream and triggers those feelings of overwhelming fear and exhaustion. Cortisol is primarily known as the stress hormone, which immediately leaves you in the fight/flight state — sometimes, unnecessarily.  You’d become too terrified to take that step and most times, we back out to avoid disappointment. After a few reoccurrences, it becomes an automatic response and we’d fall into a destructive pattern.
Positive thinking helps you to override the debilitating effects of negativity, and here are 7 keynotes to keep in mind when making this mindset shift:
1.You need to STOP thinking negatively.
This is the hardest part, but it’s also the most important one. If you ask anyone who’s dealt with severe anxiety before, they’d tell you their biggest problem was getting the thoughts to stop flowing through their minds. It painfully blankets you and spreads to every aspect of your life. All you see is negativity – dangerous “what ifs” that leave you too terrified to make any moves.
You’ll need to break those chains and set yourself into a better mental frame. It’s draining and tiring to wallow in that scary dark place.
The only way to get out is to will yourself out of it. Talk yourself into blocking those thoughts before they take root in your mind. Tell yourself to believe in the better outcomes, because they are just as powerful, or even more, than those awful thoughts ruining your happiness.
2. Never underestimate the power of self-talks
Self-talks aren’t merely about saying something in your mind and hoping it sinks. It requires a level of dedication and willpower to communicate with your subconscious. Regularly feeding your mind positive affirmations helps you fall into an automatic pattern, a lot like negative thinking does. It all depends on how you choose to filter your thoughts.
Think of it as raising children. When out raise them with love and affection, they grow to be loving and gentle individuals. In the same way, if you treat your mind with gentle words, positive affirmations, and affectionate thoughts, you’ll be right on track for a happier life.
3. Show yourself compassion
Self-compassion is extending empathy to oneself in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. It helps to be kind to yourself. No one spends more time with you or influences your choices in life… than you.
Self-compassion simply means cutting yourself some slack and accepting every outcome gently. We are not always going to have a perfect life and all our endeavors won’t always check out. However, because you tried, because you made this move and took this step, pat yourself on the back and take it heartily.
Don’t punish yourself when things don’t go as expected. Self-compassion allows us to accept that there may be good and bad outcomes, but we won’t allow ourselves to focus on the bad. We hope for the best and if it doesn’t come through, we accept the outcome and keep moving forward.
4. Unburden yourself
Mental burdens can actually be felt physically. Your bones become as weary as your mind and you’ll lose the motivation to engage happily in your activities. If there’s any pain, hurt, or misery from your past preventing you from enjoying the present and seeing the future in a positive light, it’s time to let it go.
Forgive others – even if they don’t deserve it – and forgive yourself, too. Unburdening yourself comes with a feeling of freshness and renewal, a chance to live a stress-free life, and to work towards a happy future.
5. Believe in success
A lot of people’s anxiety scenarios hover around personal failure. Failure in life, careers, with friends and family, and with responsibilities and obligations. People can also develop chronic anxiety from worrying about failing in the simplest situations.
The best way to defeat this fear is to believe in success. Reassure yourself that you’re going to put in the time, the work, the effort and dedication, and it’s going to work out. Failure starts from the mind, but so does success. Self-confidence takes time to build but it’s cultivated with a single positive thought. I can do it, I will do it, and I am going to do it. Don’t ever let the fear of failure stop you from achieving your goals. Believe in yourself and you’d be halfway there.
6. Redefine personal self-concepts
The way you see and visualize yourself is far more important than what others think. People might see you as a driven, confident, and dedicated personality, but if you believe you are not worthy to be described with those qualities, then that’s what matters.
Selling yourself short has serious implications for your mental health and long-term happiness. Self-image is as important as reputation, and it’s up to you to keep it positive.
What would you say if someone asked you to describe yourself, your personality, character, goals, and dreams? If the first answers that pop into your head are negative and unimpressive, then you have some redefining to do.
You may have made mistakes in the past but you don’t have to remain that person forever. We learn from our mistakes to become the best versions of ourselves. Learn to dream big and work towards these visions. Visualize yourself as an excellent personality and start checking off the points in real life.
You’ll get there soon.
7. Be happy, regardless
As long as you’re alive, breathing, and existing, you deserve to be happy. You are in complete control of your mental states and emotions. Do those things that bring you joy, spend time with the people who make you smile, and focus only on the things you can control.
Being happy doesn’t mean we won’t get to experience difficult times, but it helps us think positively and manage our emotions during those tough situations. A happy disposition leaves no room for negativity, and it helps to prevent anxiety from taking over your thoughts.
The most intense form of liberation is to know that whatever may come your way, you will always remain happy and positive.
- “Everything You Need to Know About Anxiety.” Health Line. Kimberly Holland. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
- “Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
- “Alleviating Worry with Positive Thoughts.” Anxiety.org. Samuel Hunley, Ph.D. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
- “What Is Cortisol?” Web MD. Retrieved July 13, 2020.