Belief, confidence and optimism has come easy for me. Preparedness and passion are all I have needed since I was young to generate confidence about a topic or in a situation.
Historically outside of those situational examples I have been relatively lacking in confidence. In my past this has created a great amount of worry/fear which lead to anxiety (that I learned how to overcome and push-through as a late teen – I have a history of two panic attacks prior to this time).
As I go through more major life events this has dramatically changed and I now recognize my ability to handle, be present in and even excel in any situation regardless of preparedness or even passion.
I am a glass half full type of person. I do believe, and understand it is a conscious choice, that the most good will come of any situation.
Being in this resting state of ‘half-full-ness’ helps me to look for the most good no matter what the situation.
This hasn’t always been the case. More later on this.
Belief, Confidence and Optimism in Practice
As a result of my personal experience and varied medical interests my general practice involves a significant amount of anxiety and depression management. Through talk therapy, acupuncture, supplementation, hormone management and other modalities (including gut flora balance) I guide patients to a state of mental wellbeing.
My interest is optimism, confidence and belief began during a time of difficulty when I turned to authors such as Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer and Michael Beckwith to practice personal growth. It was then that I learned three key lessons:
- Positive thinking doesn’t always come naturally – sometimes it needs to be nurtured
- Positive thinking is good for the body and mind
- Positive thinking yields positive results
As a person with this type of personal and clinical experience I can firmly attest to the benefits of positive thinking.
Positive Thinking and Performance
As an ND and the Medical Director of DAMY Health I am always looking for ways to improve my patient results.
Of course holding space/being empathetic to the situation, recommending appropriate investigation to determine cause and having a solid treatment plan with research to back up my choices are extremely important to me. In terms of importance positive mindset carries as much weight.
The reason for this? Adequate research illustrating effectiveness.
This effectiveness sometimes presents itself in the way of “improved quality of life” (as positive thinking does in cancer therapy), other times it can considered placebo and alternatively it can show up as physiological data that we know will eventually alter symptomatology (for example, when positive thinking reduces cortisol levels).
In weight loss practicing confidence, optimism and maintaining your belief in whichever system you have chosen can be helpful in the following ways:
- Can reduce depressive thinking and low mood which is associated with binge eating
- Can help maintain balanced blood sugar levels (and insulin release) through keeping stress hormones at bay
- Can make the development of healthy habits easier thanks to the reminder a positive attitude provides when thinking about overall health and longevity (when you are focused on your highest good – as we usually are in positive thinking – you tend to make good lifestyle choices – this leads to weight loss if necessary)
The question here is what role does confidence have on performance? Is it important?
Yes, it is important.
When you think you are doing something positive for your body your body can respond positively.
In a recent trial endurance athletes were told they were getting an injection similar to the famous EPO (recombinant human erythropoietin) that cyclists have been known to use to improve their times. They actually only injected normal saline solution.
In the control phase of the study no injections were given.
The athletes believed in the injection. EPO-like qualities? It must be great.
The study was conducted as 3km runs before and after 7 days of the injections. Of course, after the injections they performed statistically better than during the control phase. To a degree that would help high level athletes win races. All because they thought they were doing something beneficial. They were confident in the therapy and optimistic about their results.
If low mood is an issue know that positivity has been determined effective. The largest, most recent meta-analysis for using positive psychology in mental health promotion and treatment showed the following:
“A positive psychology intervention was defined as a psychological intervention (training, exercise, therapy) primarily aimed at raising positive feelings, positive cognitions or positive behavior as opposed to interventions aiming to reduce symptoms, problems or disorders. The results of this meta-analysis show that positive psychology interventions can be effective in the enhancement of subjective well-being and psychological well-being, as well as in helping to reduce depressive symptoms.”
Can you change the way you think and develop a positive mindset?
This part of the program takes practice. That is it. Oh, and a conscious separation of your current thinking from certain aspects of your past experiences.
Yes, we should use certain experiences to prevent occurrences in the future but not all the time.
Living in an anxious state because of a past experience is rarely beneficial. Living in the moment, prepping for the future knowing that positive things can happen and living in a state of peace is much more pleasant.
To develop a positive mindset the subconscious mind needs to be trained by the conscious. I have been through it. It takes time.
My path has been through meditation, thought replacement (when something negative comes in immediately replace it with its positive counterpart) and state changes (laughter, cold showers, exercise, etc).
Eventually the bulk of your thinking is tuned to a half-full-ness. When negative thoughts arrive it feels different, no longer normal. This doesn’t mean you can think critically, stay safe or be immune to bad things. It means you have less lows, are a bit more free and your scale tips toward more good in life.
Book Recommendation – The Biology of Belief
If you are interested in how negative thinking has epigentic effects and the subsequent stress hormone mechanisms for reduced wellbeing the Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton is a must read.
The book has had its 10 year reunion and it’s lessons still ring true.
More to come on this in an upcoming podcast episode!
If you tend towards negativity and suffer ill health or are experiencing difficulty losing weight, keeping energy levels high and feeling good overall consider active positive thinking as a treatment.
When we look holistically we see optimism effects as a combination of the following:
- Less Binging – experience less blood sugar swings
- Improved Quality of life
- Stress reduction – for reduced cortisol
- More Intense Regular Exercise – for a positive mood
- Improved Diet Choices – nutrients for a positive mood
How do you stay positive? Do you have a meditation practice to share? What benefits have you seen for positive thinking? Let us know in the comments below.