Many research studies suggest that a big part of being productive and ultimately successful is directly linked to positive thinking.
Some might think that in order to be happy and think positively, you first need to reach a sales target or become successful. However, studies prove that the opposite is true. Achieving a goal gives you short term happiness, while positive thinking on a regular basis results in increased productivity, and therefore more success.
“You are essentially who you create yourself to be and all that occurs in your life is the result of your own making.”
― Stephen Richards,
Here are six scientifically proven ways that positive thinking helps increase productivity.
1. Increases your energy
Happy people have more energy. When you think positive thoughts and you smile, it releases endorphins which gives you more energy. More energy means you can get more done and therefore are more productive.
An article on Forbes Start Smiling: It Pays To Be Happy At Work quoted Jessica Pryce-Jones, author of Happiness at Work and CEO of iOpener when she said, “People who are happiest at work have 180% more energy than their least happy colleagues.”
A positive mindset makes you better equipped to tackle your day.
2. Increases brain stimulation
Want to give your brain a boost? Smile. People with a positive attitude smile more, and in a TedTalk The Hidden Power of Smiling, Ron Gutman explains how studies have found that smiling actually increases brain activity. The more positive thoughts you have, the more you smile, and the better your brain functions.
3. Reduces stress
It’s difficult to be productive when you’re stressed out. It’s hard to stay focused because you’re thinking about deadlines, problems, or an overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done in what seems to never be enough time.
An article in The Wall Street Journal titled Stress-Busting Smiles discusses how smiling has been proven to reduce stress. Stress clouds your mind and bogs you down, whereas thinking positive thoughts and smiling reduces stress, making it easier to focus and get things done.
4. Enhances your problem solving skills
Every notice that when you’re in a good mood, nothing can bring you down? Even when a problem is thrown your way, you find it easier to figure a way out when you’re feeling happy. This is because positive thinking broadens your scope of attention, which enhances your problem solving skills.
A research study by The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that when people were presented with a task, those that had seen a positive video before performing the task did a better job and were more open to solving problems than those that watched an angry or depressing video.
When you have a negative mindset, you tend to focus on the problem. When you’re in a positive mindset, your mind is more open to possibilities, making it easier to solve problems.
5. Helps you identify and take advantages of opportunities
Positive thinking makes it easier to identify and take advantage of opportunities the same way it makes it easier to solve problems. The research study by NCBI also found that people with a positive mindset are generally more successful because they take advantage of opportunities.
Where some people may view a challenge as just an obstacle in their way, people with positive mindsets are more likely to take advantage of these obstacles and turn them into opportunities.
6. Helps you work better in teams
The research study by NCBI additionally found that people that think positively have an easier time bonding with others and working in teams. People who think positively are more open to trusting others, and other research studies have also proven that smiling makes it easier for other people to trust you.
The more you trust other people, the easier it is to work in a team because you’re open to discussing their ideas and building on those ideas collectively.
How to increase positive thinking
Mindful meditation is a method suggested in the study by NCBI as a way to increase positive thinking. Meditation helps you remain calm and present while dealing with high stressful situations so you can see obstacles as opportunities, and collaborate successfully with your team.
Making a conscious effort to smile often is also a great way to release endorphins and shift to a positive mindset.
With a positive mindset, the right team and tools for your business, the sky is the limit.
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Kristie Holden is an online marketing consultant. She helps startups get more leads by clarifying their message and creating a marketing strategy to attract and convert their ideal client. Connect with her on Instagram.