What you think and believe ultimately impacts what you can achieve. Viewing situations positively or negatively can actually influence the outcome. Thoughts lead to feelings and ultimately to behaviors (actions).
For example, if you greet someone and they do not respond, you could think that they were ignoring you, they were mad at you, they didn’t hear you, or maybe even that they may have heard you but are absorbed in their work and cannot be distracted. Depending on how you perceived their response may generate different feelings. You could feel resigned and accepting, you could feel sad, angry, or even empathetic.
The emotion you attribute to the situation ultimately impacts your behavior, action, or response to a situation. If you become angry with the person who didn’t respond to you, your response will be very different than if you were accepting that they were busy or didn’t hear you. When you are reactive and experience negative thoughts and emotions, this often drives negative behavior and can actually prevent you from seeing all possible perspectives of a situation and/or even achieving your full potential.
Let’s apply this to your health. Say you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and you have inflammation and pain. If you are angry or resigned to the fact you have a disease, you may never be able to move from pain to peace. You could be blaming yourself, or someone else, or something for why you are sick. Getting stuck in negative feelings and reactions or behaviors may result in inaction, giving up, or even resorting to just taking medication, or even drinking or drugs.
Taking time to seek a broader perspective about a situation by exploring various possible explanations and looking for the positive even in a difficult situation can help put you in a better place to begin approaching changes to your health. Using this strategy along with developing realistic goals can help you move forward in your health. Here are some questions to consider:
- What do you desire to change in your health?
- What are currently grateful for despite your health issues?
- What are the different ways you could look at your current health situation?
- Could there be another explanation or cause(s) for the situation?
- What feelings are you currently experiencing?
- Are those feelings keeping you stuck and preventing you from moving forward?
- Would those feelings change if you looked at the situation differently and checked out whether your perspective was a realistic reaction or if other facts may change your understanding?
- What are some small steps that you can take to lead you in a better direction?
- What is within your control to positively impact your health?
- What support do you need to move forward?
Positive psychology is a technique that skilled health coaches use to help clients move forward. In addition to doing the detective work to find hidden causes of health concerns, I help clients identify their character strengths and tap into them to move forward to achieve their desired goals. Remember, what you believe, you achieve!