It’s no secret that coaches have a lot on their plates. We’re entrusted with our clients’ secrets and often deal with emotionally draining situations that can affect our own well-being. It’s our job to help our clients get through difficult times in their lives and strive to achieve their goals, but we also need to prioritize ourselves. Practicing positive thinking allows us to cope with the emotional strain of difficult sessions and the stress of running a business.
As coaches, we know negative thinking affects our well-being and ability to run our businesses and serve clients. When our mental health suffers, every aspect of our practice does too. Taking care of ourselves physically and mentally is crucial for our health and putting our best foot forward.
We’ll explain everything you need to know about positive thinking and provide tips to practice and adopt positive thinking in your everyday life and coaching.
The science behind positive thinking
What do we mean when we talk about how to be more positive? Usually, being positive means looking on the bright side and being optimistic. Optimism, the tendency to search for favorable outcomes in all situations, is the root of positivity. When we learn how to stay positive, we start to understand some situations are out of our control — it’s often best to let go of what we can’t change and focus on what we can.
Did you know that positive thoughts boost our mental and physical well-being? Scientific studies show that this shift in mindset can provide real biological benefits in life and health like:
- Immune response to negative emotions: Chronic stress can lead to a general decrease in functioning immunity, including a significant reduction in cells that fight viruses. By being positive, we can reduce the stressors negatively impacting our health and improve our physical well-being.
- Sleep cycle enhancement:Negative emotions affect our sleep cycle and can cause fatigue and even insomnia. Better sleep links to many positive health markers, and not to mention it makes us feel more refreshed and rested in the morning, often leaving us with a positive attitude.
- Cortisol reduction: Negative emotions boost the production of stress hormones like cortisol; they can negatively affect our organs and reduce our lifespan. Over time, the over-production of these hormones can strain our bodies and health.
- Anxiety reduction: Positive self-talk and visualizations can directly combat intrusive negative thoughts and reduce anxiety.
The power of positive thinking leads to a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies. When we adopt positive mindsets and behave in a friendly manner, more people are likely to enjoy our company and be comfortable in our presence. This leads to longer-lasting relationships and reinforces the success of our positive thoughts.
5 ways to practice positive thinking
We know there are numerous health benefits of positive thinking, but how do we adopt this attitude and way of thinking? Here are five ways to practice positive thinking in our everyday life and coaching:
1. Smile like you mean it
It can feel strange and awkward to smile when we’re not happy, but even faking a smile has concrete benefits. The act of smiling tricks our brains into releasing positivity chemicals, even if the smile isn’t genuine.
Plus, smiling (yes, even a fake one!) encourages more positive thoughts. So the next time we’re not feeling our best, we should remember to crack a smile to improve our mood and inspire others to do the same.
2. Use positive language
When we’re in a bad mood, it’s easy to surrender to hopelessness and negative self-talk. This is the total opposite of what we should be doing — instead, we should use positive affirmations and reframe situations with a positive, hopeful mindset.
The way we talk (even to ourselves) shapes the way we think, and the more negative language we use for our situation or ourselves, the longer we’ll be in a cycle of negativity. Plus, our language will boost and dampen the morale of our teammates and coworkers, depending on what we say. The power of positive thinking in these group settings helps us combat negative outlooks, inspires creativity, builds self-esteem, and fosters cooperation, empathy, and connection.
3. Start a gratitude journal
As coaches, we’re often extra hard and unfair on ourselves. When it’s hard to convince ourselves of our good qualities and accomplishments, a gratitude journal provides concrete logs of self-reflection. We often encourage our clients to write in journals, but this tool and others are great for everyone — even coaches like us. Practicing gratitude is a great routine to incorporate into the end of our day.
The concept of a gratitude journal is very simple — just write down a moment or two of your day when you felt thankful about something or someone. Writing our experiences down provides a visual representation of all our great relationships, interactions, and circumstances. We can recognize things to improve our lives, acknowledge the good things, and reinforce positive outlooks.
4. Take care of your body
Positive thinkers make better decisions about their mental and physical health and how to maintain their well-being. One simple way to take care of ourselves is by building self-care into our daily routines. For example, we can schedule time at the beginning of our day to smile, reinforce our positive emotions, and say some self-affirmations.
We should listen to our bodies, especially when they signal something is wrong. Even if the cause of our bad moods has nothing to do with our physical health, taking the time to ensure we feed and hydrate ourselves does wonders for eliminating stress. Going outside for fresh air is a huge plus for improving our mental health.
Keep in mind negative emotions are often correlated with sleeplessness, so we should pay attention to our sleep hygiene. If we’re finding it difficult to start practicing positive thinking, being intentional with our routine, including sleep, will help with stress management and combating a “glass half empty” mindset.
5. Be kind to yourself
Life has its ups and downs, and positive thinking centers around helping us through the rough patches. When our problems become overwhelming, we should focus on our strengths instead of our weaknesses, and despite everything, prepare for success even if it seems like a disaster is looming.
In the face of obstacles, toxic positivity is not the answer. We should acknowledge our negative emotions instead of burying them and avoid becoming trapped in a cycle of hopelessness. This approach allows us to look on the bright side. We give our clients this advice all the time, so why shouldn’t we adopt positive mindsets and self-love?
Positive thinking for your business
One of the most well-kept secrets for successful businesses, especially for solopreneurs, is positive thinking. The power of positive thinking helps with problem-solving and focusing on better and newer ideas for our businesses rather than expecting the worst.
Additionally, negative thinking triggers an energy-consuming response in our bodies. Being optimistic will leave us with more energy to run our businesses, see our clients, and boost team morale. In the face of tension and conflict, positive thinking gives us improved resilience and greater creativity to solve problems.
Adopt positive thinking with Practice
The best time to start changing our mindsets is right now. We can begin incorporating these tips for reinforcing positive thoughts into our routines little by little until they become second nature. In the meantime, giving ourselves positive goals and daily reminders will keep us on track. And surrounding ourselves with optimistic people is a fantastic way to tap into the benefits of positive thinking.
As coaches, we know how important being genuine and positive with our clients is to maintain long-term relationships. Practice is here to help you foster meaningful connections on both your good and bad days.