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More productivity, anyone?

If you consider yourself to be an earthling, then you’ve probably heard at some point that positive thinking is a good thing. But what you may not know is that there is actually science-based research that demonstrates the tremendous impact that positive thinking has on areas of productivity and problem-solving, which are critical for success.

In the book, The Happiness Advantage, author and Harvard researcher Shawn Achor writes that people who are more positive are shown to be 23% more productive, and are more likely to earn higher salaries. In his book, Achor discusses one study in which doctors who are more positive show 3 times more intelligence when making a diagnosis on patients, AND they make their diagnoses 19% faster.

So, when placed in a positive frame of mind, you’re more like to think quickly on your feet, make better decisions, and become a better problem-solver – all of which can be game-changers for any business or career.

So just why is it that good ‘ole positive mental attitude can carry this kind of power?

It basically comes down to biological wiring.

Negative thoughts automatically trigger the brain to respond as if it’s in fight or flight mode. And when that happens, the brain shuts down all problem-solving, creativity and possibility-thinking so it can concentrate on the one thought most likely to save your life. This is according to research done out of the University of North Carolina by Barbara Fredrickson.

In the late 1990’s, Fredrickson developed what’s known as the Broaden and Build Theory, which states a person’s thinking expands when in a positive state. On the other hand, new ideas, creativity and problem-solving abilities narrow when the brain is in a negative state.

The next time you find yourself frustrated and stressed out in the middle of a crisis, the best thing you can do is get yourself in a more positive state before you tackle the situation at hand.

Here are three simple tips to help:

  1. Look away. Look at picture on your desk or on your phone of your kids, your pet, or anything else that evokes positive feelings.
  2. Get moving. Take a walk. Even a short, brisk walk for 5 or 10 minutes is enough to change your brain chemistry and stimulate a response that gets you in a more positive state.
  3. Breathe. You only need 45 seconds to take three deep, conscious breaths that will help clear your mind of the dense negative thoughts and help you to broaden your mind.
4 replies
    • Marianne Renner
      Marianne Renner says:

      Hi Armando. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, it’s simple, which is part of the reason it’s so effective. Simple works!

  1. Ashley Logsdon
    Ashley Logsdon says:

    Short, sweet, and to the point. I love the three tips. Sometimes looking…or walking away for a minute can be really, really hard to do. I’ve found that stepping outside, taking my shoes off and grounding myself for a minute can do wonders for my positivity and calm.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Marianne Renner
      Marianne Renner says:

      Hi Ashley. Yes, I always find that being in natural surroundings had a tremendous impact on getting clarity. Thanks for sharing!


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