Staying Positive

The Treasure Of Staying Positive

by Raquel Torres

Relationships with negative people are like tedious encounters with porcupines. It’s in effect seems almost impossible to interact with them without getting stuck with their pikes.

A Mayo Clinic Article in the Healthy Lifestyle, Stress management section- shows that personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. The positive thinking that usually comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits. If you tend to be pessimistic, don’t despair — you can learn positive thinking skills.

A Professor of Psychology and Director of the Self Control and Emotion Laboratory of University of Michigan, Ethan Kross, Ph.D., an expert on self-control and emotion, shares his decades of research in The Voice in Our Head, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It. He writes about how inner voices differ from person to person and how internal narratives can be beneficial.

Dr. Ethan Kross explains that self-talk is a powerful tool to use to prevent toxic thoughts from escalating. He presented a fresh perspective on additional ways to use “control self-talk”. These include:

  1. Self distancing or placing yourself away from the things that will trigger your negative comments and other toxic behaviors. “Stop Talking and Leave the Situation” and “Do Something Else,” They are techniques that help humans recognize their red flag warnings so they can Stop and Think.
  2. Self-coaching is using your own name when you have a discussion in  your mind with yourself. Dr. Kross says research shows we are better at advising other people than ourselves. He says that by talking to yourself   in the third person — “Ethan, you need to use your Wizard Brain and calm down!” – you will pay better attention. — this is not crazy behavior! We are in control of the context and know its helpful purpose. Also, it is internal so no one can hear what you are telling yourself.
  3. Establishing rituals are familiar behaviors we can use to redirect a problem. The stop and think hand gesture is a ritual that humans can use silently and discreetly to disengage from a toxic comment, situation, person or avoidable problem.

Practicing positive thinking every day

If you tend to have a negative outlook, don’t expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you.

When your state of mind is generally optimistic, you’re better able to handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. That ability may contribute to the widely observed health benefits of positive thinking.

Focusing on positive thinking

You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you’re creating a new habit, after all.

Following are 12  ways that helps thinking and behaving in a more positive and optimistic way:

  1. Practice self-care and make yourself a priority.

The first step in practicing self-care is to take care of your body. In order to do this, it is important to:

  • Eat a healthy diet – Drink water and eat as natural as possible, research has shown that what you eat—and don’t eat—affects the way you think and feel.
  • Exercise, which can help decrease depression and anxiety and improve moods.
  1. Be grateful & Make a li Write down the things you are most thankful for or/and proud of yourself.
  2. Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
  3. Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
  4. Listen to music. Uplifting music is a powerful tool to boost your mood, as your body releases dopamine, the feel-good hormone.
  5. Do something nice for someone. Get out of your head by helping someone. When you do a good deed for someone else, it not only improves the mood of the person you helped, but it also improves your mood AND the mood of anyone who witnessed the good deed. A great way to experience this is by volunteering.
  6. Avoid heavy substance use. It is important to avoid or keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid other drugs.
  7. Engage in meditation and/or mindfulness. Relaxation exercises can improve your state of mind and outlook on life. In fact, research shows that meditation may help you feel calmer.
  8. Practice positive self-talk. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you. Think about things you’re thankful for in your life.
  9. Limit exposure to media and social media.. Instead of randomly consuming social media and news throughout the day, consider blocking off a part of your day for it, such as 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening.
  10. Reframe your thoughts. When we are defeated, it is easy to think negatively. A lot of times those automatic thoughts aren’t true and should be replaced with a more balanced or optimistic
  11. Use a mantra. Having prepared statements to say to yourself can help you silence the negative voices in your head. Some examples include “I can do hard things” or “It is going to be okay.”

The things you think about determine the quality of your mind.” Marcus Aurelius

 Raquel Torres, MBA is a USAT Elite Certified Coach, Professional Triathlon Coach and Professional Triathlete. Raquel also writes blogs for several magazines and her team Athletic Mentors. Since May 2021 she contributes as a columnist with CNY Latino Newspaper. She shares true life stories with her experiences, also tips and tactics that helps anyone to be their best version. To read about her, head over to and search for her by her name. You can also send questions or comments about her column to the following email: and go to her website at

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