As a young girl I would often hear the phrase, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” I always thought this pertained to the lesson often taught by my grandmother- Don’t be rude! I was very familiar with this simply because I was what some would call outgoing and others would call stubborn. I would often say aloud whatever came into my head and I never thought about it afterwards. Interestingly enough, I have found that if negative thoughts are rumbling around in my little head, those thoughts can impact my relationships and my heath. So, I guess you could say, it’s not always what you say and sometimes it’s what you don’t that is just as important. Fortunately, positive thinking can reverse, halt and hinder the effects of what I like to call “sticky-gumball thoughts”.
Another saying I hear and even use today as I share lessons about life with my own daughter is, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.” Yes, this is true, but what if on the inside I’m filled with self- doubt or worry? Does that count? The answer is absolutely. Science has proven this exact theory by has identifying the link between positive thinking and lower stress, blood pressure and related heart attacks and strokes. Optimism is the ability to see the positive in a given situation and circumstance. So, not only are positive people great company and a benefit to others they are continuously healing themselves and reaping the benefits of a longer life, emotional stability and even boosting their immune systems!
A couple of years ago I heard of a book by an author named Dr. Caroline Leaf. Initially, I was intrigued by the book but I had forgotten to check it out. As if looking for me, this information returned through a podcast with Joyce Meyer. In this book she discussed the way the brain processes negative thoughts. She said that thoughts look like trees in the brain when they are processed but that bad thoughts tend to have something like pustules of toxins at the end of the branches. Believably, these pus pockets or thorns make us sick mentally, emotionally and physically. Positively, the author also said during the interview that through managing our thoughts more attentively we can begin to eliminate the damage that our previously negative thoughts had done. Furthermore, it is more difficult for our brains to process bad thoughts according to a BBC article.
The concept that clear, rational and optimistic thoughts are the best route for the world’s multitudes is becoming more popular. With themes like we seen in the movie Pay it Forward with actress Helen Hunt this new movement is growing and is as contagious as a smile. An organization such as the Action for Happiness is productively and accurately broadcasting the reasons for a needed change in our society. Most importantly, there is an unrelenting amount of stresses confronting folks every day and even with increasing salaries, bigger houses and more toys something is still missing for many people. One of the suggestions is that gratefulness is the emotion that may bind together a life that seems to be unraveling. The Action for Happiness is also helpful because it not only pushes the benefits for having a happier outlook on life but it causes others to impact their communities by volunteering. The Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania is dedicated to the research involved in making positive thinking a more active player in our communities. It is believed, that with positivity a more compassionate, productive and enriched atmosphere in our schools, places of business and homes can be accomplished. This will greatly improve our nation’s quality of life and our individual futures.
What I call sticky-gumballs are those horrible little balls that fall from the trees, they are brown with furious little thorns coming out from every angle. I often remind my daughter to not become like those sticky-gumballs in her attitude or thinking. I believe this visual reminder helps her see how hard and hurtful our inner or outer words can be to ourselves or others. The worst thing of all is to get in a sticky-gumball war… ouch! I hope this small but informative paper is a helpful source for anyone considering giving up the old stinking-thinking.