Managing stress and emotions is crucial if you’re working in a pressurised, fast-paced environment. The fact is, stress can affect any one of us, and sometimes it can impact our daily lives more than we think. Therefore, it’s vitally important to get it under control, both for your general wellbeing and your career. Positive thinking has long been attributed to stress management, but does it really work?

What is Positive Thinking?

Positive thinking is all about altering your mental and emotional attitude. It doesn’t mean you have to view the world through rose-tinted glasses, it simply means that you approach unpleasant situations in a more positive and constructive way. Positive thinking can be applied to real life situations in and out of the workplace. Those who’ve experienced great atrocities like military brain injury or loss of limbs will find solace in positive thinking. There are many benefits to practicing positive thinking, including:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved psychological balance
  • Healthier relationships
  • Increased productivity
  • Overall sense of peace and happiness

On the whole, those who evoke positive thinking in certain situations will be able to cope better. This, in turn, reduces the harmful effects on their mental health.

Can it Help Stress Management?

Positive people tend to take more risks in life, because it can help the brain think more broadly and consider more opportunities. This can help you in any profession you’re in, whether you’re dispute resolution lawyers who need to think of alternate outcomes or a barista who needs to multitask coffee making in the morning.

Studies have shown that men and women who are happier and have more positive thoughts usually experience lower levels of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’.  This essentially suggests that the way we manage stress has a lot to do with the way we think.

How to Include it in Your Routine

People who experience negative thoughts tend to magnify aspects of the negative situation and filter out all the positive ones. Positive thinking is about altering your current way of thinking, to make conscious efforts to look at things differently. Follow these tips to help stress management:

  • Positive self-talk. Instead of saying “I made a mistake” say “this is an opportunity for me to learn”.
  • Positive visualisation. Try to visualise the situation to manage your stress.
  • Positive people and events. Surround yourself with happy, positive people.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that after they practice positive thinking, they’ll no longer have negative thoughts. Positive thinking isn’t about eradicating negative thoughts, it’s about managing how they appear in your brain.