Thinking Positively is a Perfect Way to Cope with Stressful Situations

Description: If you feel frustrated, depressed, or anxious, you should definitely work on improving your psychological state. Develop the right habits and live a happy life!

Developing a Better Way of Thinking: Effective Guideline

You will be surprised but mindfulness can help build positive habits and fight stress and frustration.

An effective and valuable (though usually overlooked) way to cope with stress and anxiety is to develop positive habits of mind.

Brain and Habits

Generally speaking, the human mind tends to focus on negative things. The reason for such a tendency is that the human brain evolved with “negativity bias” (McGarvey). As such, it leads to the fact that negative thoughts, events, and memories have a proportionally greater impact on the human mind than the positive ones. When it comes to survival, it is quite understandable because keeping in mind the negative experiences, the person will be less likely to commit the same mistakes, thus, avoid life-threatening situations. 

However, this tendency also means that various stressors, even the minor ones, influence our thoughts and psychological state leaving no room for positive thoughts and emotions. The researchers the Greater Good Science Center noticed that human mindfulness has two essential elements, which are as follows:

  • Maintaining the awareness of our immediate emotions, feelings, and thoughts;
  • Accepting these thoughts without any objections.

For example, by approaching your work with mindfulness, you will most probably decrease the energy you spend on the worrying about your past and future experiences and increase your attention to the positive aspects of your life. Undoubtedly, frustration and stress may be too strong to struggle with. In such a case, one needs to practice thinking positively and focus attention on the positive moments. 

Fortunately, the human brain is very flexible and can be changed after thorough learning. McGarvey opines that people can learn how to accentuate positive experiences and thoughts. In psychology, the process of growing the neural connections based on learning is called “experience-dependent neuroplasticity.” In other words, repeating the same behaviors, feelings, experiences, and thoughts increases synaptic connectivity and creates new neurons. Therefore, constant practicing in thinking positively can help the brain get used to it. 

Why One Should Train the Brain?

What is the key to developing a positive habit? According to McGarvey, this key is mindfulness, which means treating every situation with undivided attention. Undoubtedly, stressful situations happen from time to time. Numerous academic assignments, an important event, missed appointment, spilled coffee, and many others. Your heart beats, your head pounds, your shoulders tense. You feel depressed and frustrated. Sound familiar? How can such a situation be handled? Build a positive thinking habit and you will see how your life will improve.

Five Tips to Build Positive Habits

A few times per day, try to take a break from what you`re doing. Put your phone away, step away from your laptop, close the book, and focus on something completely different. Try to feel this calmness for at least one-two minutes. 

Practice in seeing the beauty in ordinary things. We assure you that even if you believe that your life is dull and boring, there are many different happy moments. You just need to try to focus on them. This simple technique will enable you to turn your attention from worries and strengthen your ability to look into the surrounding world positively. 

One more technique of building a positive worldview implies searching and finding the positive aspects in the words and actions of other people. Noteworthy, this behavior is particularly important in communication with loved ones. As such, try not to focus on the things and actions that are unpleasant to you but try to appreciate good in your beloved person. You can be sure that the circle of positive communication between the couple will significantly improve the relationships. 

Also, doing physical exercises is a very good technique for relieving stress. Even if you feel overwhelmed and tired, try to use at least 10-15 minutes on doing the exercises and you will see how your mind will be nourished.

Finally, practicing calming meditations such as yoga and others will help you evoke a physically relaxed state and activate the parasympathetic nervous system.  We encourage you to develop at least one of these habits and you will find it easier to deal with stress. 

Keep in mind that building a habit may take some time and can be rather challenging to do. No wonder, thinking positively mean to act against the automatic patterns developed in the human brain. However, being persistent and realizing your goals, will help you reach success. Do not punish yourself for failures and be gentle to yourself. After all, thinking positively is a unique technique and not all people possess it. 

Stop asking yourself questions like: Why did I receive C for the test? Is my friend better than me? Why I am so stupid and cannot complete this assignment? What if I fail the interview?

Anxious thoughts are not simply passing worries. Some of our fears and hesitations are deeply rooted in our minds. Indeed, anxiety is not just a simple psychological state but it is a serious problem that is faced by numerous young people across the United States. It is one of the top reasons why students seek counseling. Many anxious students cannot cope with the problems on their own; they cannot stand bullying, depression caused by complex academic tasks, or stress because of the application process. Some psychologists mistakenly suggest avoid the irritators and deprive the student of doing the activities that bother him or her. However, these solutions do not help overcome the root of the problem. The individual should realize that there will be many stresses in the future and the ability to cope with them is vitally important for successful development. Similar to any work in life or school, like math, reading, or writing, managing stress takes practice. A good example of how practice can improve your mental and intellectual skills in life, such as writing, is

Lack of Resilience: What Is the Solution?

There are multiple factors contributing to the development of anxiety in students. Poverty, violence, injustice, inability to meet the parents` expectations, and many other reasons frighten young people with unstable psychological health. The good news is that the schools finally recognize anxiety as a serious problem and raise awareness of the importance of its solving. However, awareness does not reply to how these students can be treated. First and foremost, the counselors should teach the anxious student not to escape from triggers, but try to find out the essence of the problem. Second, both the student and the counselor should brainstorm and find out how to make a situation that causes anxiety manageable. Finally, the counselors should try to assist the students in finding the inner balance and harmony and treat such situations with positive.