“Just think positively.”
Easier said than done, right? But there’s more to that statement than meets the eye. Our inner dialogue is extremely important. While we may be saying, “I can do it!” on the outside, we may be telling ourselves over and over again that we can’t–that’s a toxic habit.
Studies are showing that if you can change that inner dialogue to think positively, your overall wellness will increase.
How positivity can improve wellness
This automatic negativity is a coping mechanism. It shields us from hurt to just expect that we can’t achieve something–that way, if we end up failing at least we can say, “I knew I couldn’t.”
While “positive psychology” may sound unreal and sort of sappy–like the title of a cheap, motivational novel–it actually does have some heft to it. Turns out, taking a moment to recognize what you have to be thankful for and noticing the good things happening in your life each day can somehow increase your wellness.
Researchers at the University of California led a study that discovered an online “positive emotions skills course” helped patients with diabetes lower their stress and negative emotions. Other studies show that individuals with diabetes have a higher chance of living well and longer if they have more positive feelings.
In other studies, it’s been found that training yourself to think positive has the power to lower depression and lengthen lifespans. There’s compelling evidence for the argument of living positively.
Taking steps to think positively
You can’t just wake up one morning and undo the way you’ve been thinking your whole life–it takes time and practice like anything else. It’s all about trying to look at the upside before the downside instead of just defaulting to the downside every time.
Professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University, Judith T. Moskowitz, created a set of skills that help individuals train themselves to think more positively:
- Recognize a positive event every day.
- Notice that event and log it in a journal or tell someone about it.
- Begin a daily gratitude journal.
- List a personal strength and note how you utilized it.
- Set a realistic goal and record your progress.
- Report something minor stressing you out and list ways it could be positive.
- Notice and perform small acts of kindness daily.
- Practice mindfulness by paying attention to the moment you’re in rather than the past or future.
Every individual is told to master three out of the eight skills and to practice them at least once a day.
Trails is here to help.
Finding help for struggling teen boys and girls can be a lengthy process. If traditional outpatient therapies aren’t offering improvements, it might be time to look into a wilderness therapy program like Trails Carolina.
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for teens, ages 10 to 17, struggling with issues such as depression, defiance, anxiety, ADHD and many others. We strive to create meaningful change within our students through the use of individual, group, family, equine and wilderness therapy. We can help your family recover.
For more information about how we help at Trails, contact us today at 800-975-7303.
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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.
Margot Lowman August 2022
Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.
Winnifred Wilson July 2022
Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.
Kristin Brace June 2022
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