• The Power of PosiTiviTy By Noora Kobty

    power of positivity 1

    ‘Modern day life is filled with constant stress. We often forget the power of our thoughts to
    channel positive energy to get us through difficult situations. Frankie Rozwadowska explores how
    necessary it is to train our minds to focus on the good in order to combat the bad.

     Is the glass half full or half empty’? We all answer
    ‘half full’, but is that because we know that’s
    what we should say? The reality is, the majority
    of us would say ‘half empty’, but we know that
    how we answer this question is a strong reflection
    on how we look at life. Negative thoughts act as
    a barrier – an inhibitor that stops us from seeing
    and experiencing new things while preventing
    us from dealing with and adapting to everyday
    situations or coping with stress. They also affect
    our health, with research proving that positive
    thinking creates lower levels of distress and
    depression, reduced risk of illness, and longer
    life expectancy. So why don’t we want to say ‘half
    full’? Can we re-train our minds to become more
    positive? We can if we want.
    The brain is extraordinarily powerful, responsible
    for everything from keeping our hearts beating
    and our limbs moving to managing thoughts
    and emotions. There are numerous sayings
    suggesting the power of thought, for example
    ‘mind over matter’ or ‘you can do anything
    you set your mind to.’ If our mind controls
    everything, and we control our mind – then we
    hold the key to our happiness. It’s all about The
    Law of Attraction, the principle that ‘like attracts
    like.’ If you think positively, positive things and
    people will generally come your way. Likewise
    negative thoughts bring about negative people
    and experiences.
    Yet the challenge is that positive thinking is
    easier said than done. We get stuck in a rut,
    picking up bad habits and allowing stress or
    negative people to affect our state of mind. Noora
    Kobty, a Counseling Psychologist at the German
    Neuroscience Center in Dubai, advises that to
    change our way of thinking we must assess our
    ‘self talk’, our everyday thoughts. “It’s how you
    see yourself and things around you. If you realize
    you’re a pessimist, then that’s where to start –
    learning to change your self thoughts.” This is
    something we are all guilty of, and according
    to Noora, a big reason why “social media and
    technology impacts our everyday lives. Social
    media allows us to compare our lives to others.
    It’s easy to look in the mirror or a magazine and
    tell yourself you aren’t good enough, that you’ll
    never be that pretty or that skinny. When we
    constantly compare ourselves to others we enter
    into a vicious egotistical cycle; we constantly
    feel the need to achieve more, change ourselves
    instead of focusing on what we have. This will
    never prove self-satisfying.”
    It’s in these situations that positive thinking can
    radically change how we feel about ourselves
    and, consequently, about our life. Instead of
    focusing on the negative in a situation, focus on
    the positive. Noora uses the example of someone
    who discovers they didn’t get their desired job.
    “The positive thinker is more likely going to
    think of ways he can do better and resolve the
    situation, whereas a pessimist is likely to dwell
    on the situation and do nothing to help himself.”
    By adapting our attitudes in this way, we
    subconsciously open the door to many new and
    exciting opportunities. Sabina Christensen, a
    Personal Development Consultant at LifeWorks
    Dubai, strongly believes that “the benefits of
    positive emotions don’t stop after a few minutes of
    good feelings subside. In fact, the biggest benefit
    that positive emotions provide is an enhanced
    ability to build skills and develop resources for
    use later in life.” Therefore, negative thoughts
    shut you off from the world, limiting what you
    see, altering your perception of the good in any
    situation and the options available to bring
    about beneficial change. “For example, when
    you’re stressed out about everything you have to
    get done today, you may find it hard to actually
    start anything because you’re paralyzed by how
    long your to-do list has become. Or, if you feel
    bad about not exercising or eating healthy, all
    you think about is how little willpower you have,
    how you’re lazy and don’t have any motivation. In
    each case, your brain closes off from the outside
    world and focuses on the negative emotions of
    fear, anger, and stress. Negative emotions prevent
    your brain from seeing the other options and
    choices that surround you.”
    Both Kobty and Christensen believe meditation
    is one of the most effective ways to channel
    positivity and clear out negative thoughts,
    especially in difficult or stressful situations. It
    helps us focus on learning to be in the present
    moment. As Christensen says, “very often we
    are going around at 100 kilometers an hour,
    not even conscious of our thoughts or how
    we’re doing in any one minute. Meditation and
    mindfulness slows us down, making us aware
    of the now – allowing us to live in the present
    and not in the past or future.” If you are new to
    meditation, Kobty suggests starting with a simple
    process, “all it takes is for you to relax and allow
    peaceful thoughts to enter your mind. Use words
    or sentences that are meaningful to you, for
    example ‘I am a good person’, ‘I have people that
    love me.’”
    Kobty also suggests making a list of the things
    in your life that cause you stress according to
    the level of anxiety they cause. This helps you
    recognize what you find difficult and to focus
    on positive ways to overcome them. Christensen
    recommends writing down positive experiences
    every day. A study published in the Journal of
    Research in Personality showed that those who
    wrote about a positive experience every day,
    for three consecutive days, versus those who
    wrote about a control topic, had more positive
    experiences and better mood levels. So set aside
    some time for yourself, surround yourself with
    people who believe in you – and soon you will
    too. When you’re faced with a tough or stressful
    situation, use the power of your mind and positive
    thoughts to get you through. Soon that glass
    won’t just be half full – it will be overflowing.

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    Noora Kobty

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