There is never a moment when we are not thinking — and our thoughts are either positive or negative. Unfortunately, we tend to have more negative than positive thoughts. In fact, we have at least 65,000 thoughts a day and sixty-five percent of them are negative.
Negative thoughts can eat at our confidence, our self esteem and our spirit. They can prevent us from doing what we really want to do. Moreover, “negative self talk” impacts the immune system. It takes a great toll on our bodies and sense of well-being.
On the other hand, the power of positive thoughts to affect our experience of life has long been recognized, embraced and promoted as a path to wellness. Several books have been written on the effect of positive thinking. Norman Vincent Peale is one of the best known for his book The Power of Positive Thinking.
More recently, scientists are proving that the power of positive thought impacts our health, well-being and motivation. A study at Northern Arizona University showed that a group of runners was able to achieve an overall twelve percent increase in the test group’s strength just by thinking and speaking positively about their muscle systems.
In another study about visualization in the mid-1990s, Stanford University took two groups of basketball players through an experiment. One group practiced shooting baskets. The second group didn’t step into the gym; instead, they only visualized taking shots. Amazingly, the group that used visualization improved their shooting skills by thirty percent over the group that physically practiced shooting hoops with a basketball. Both of these studies demonstrate the power of the mind-body connection.
This discovery is not limited to sports. Many successful people credit their success to their positive thoughts. When we think positively and visualize a positive future, we tend to have positive experiences.
It is no surprise that positive thoughts are associated with spirit at work. That which we give our attention to grows stronger. When we begin to think positive, we begin to see and act positive, and, as a result, we attract positive people and experiences to our lives. It is time to rethink our thoughts and our work.
So what are you thinking? And how are you thinking? Are your thoughts positive? Or are they negative? What will you do, starting right now, to increase your positive thoughts?
[Excerpt adapted from Rethinking Your Work: Getting to the Heart of What Matters.]
Val Kinjerski, PhD, is a leading authority in the field of employee engagement and on the topic of “spirit at work.” A consultant, agent of change and professional speaker, she helps companies and organizations increase employee retention and boost productivity by reigniting employees’ love for their work. Check out her Spirit at Work Program and Inspired Leadership training at www.kaizensolutions.org. Val is the author of Rethinking Your Work and Rethinking Your Work Guidebook. Available now at www.rethinkingyourwork.com.