Beauty

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Today’s blog will push and challenge you to think differently about a critical topic — positive thinking. I’m writing it because — as I outline in my new book, The Beauty Detox Power — your thinking has immense implications for your weight, health and beauty.

As you’ll soon see, positive thinking does in fact work. More and more research is coming out that proves this is the case. My goal here is to give you some insight into how it works, along with a powerful strategy for supercharging the impact positive thinking has on your life. First, let’s understand the problem…

Negativity All Around Us

Negativity is everywhere around us. You see it on the news (which I avoid!), all over the internet, even perhaps from people in our family or social circle. It’s hard to live in this world and not be exposed to negativity in some shape or form.

Some types of negativity are actually healthy. If there’s danger, the negative thought produced by the fear will help you take action to get out of harm’s way. This is a biological response that goes back literally thousands of years, to when we had to avoid being eaten by a sabertooth tiger. This is often referred to as “fight or flight” and is activated by the brain’s connection to our adrenal glands.

The problem is that many of us live too much in a state of “fight or flight” — perpetually stressed and focused on negative things. We’ve exhausted our adrenals, depleted our hormones, increased hormones like cortisol that actually produce weight gain (more on this inside The Beauty Detox Power) and trained our mind to think and react negatively.

Overall, this can create deep habitual patterns where we live in crisis mode, fear and react with the limited set of options that we perceive in this fearful, “fight or flight” state. I’ve met many individuals who are trained to operate this way, it’s virtually impossible for them to imagine positive outcomes at all!

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Does Positive Thinking Really Work?

Recently, I uncovered some exciting recent research that proves positive thinking really does shape the brain in (you guessed it!) positive ways.

Barbara Fredrickson, a psychology researcher from the University of North Carolina, recently published a paper that detailed an experiment about the result of positive emotions on your brain. The findings were eye-opening! [1]

In her experiment, she took her subjects and divided them into five different groups. Groups 1 and 2 were shown film clips designed to evoke positive emotions. Group 1 saw clips that focused on creating joy. Group 2 watched clips designed to create thoughts and feelings of contentment. Group 3 saw neutral clips meant to produce no emotional response, positive or negative. Groups 4 and 5 saw film clips meant to elicit negative emotions, fear and anger, in this case.

After the viewings, each group was asked to write down what they would do in a situation where those same feelings would arise and what they would do. Amazingly, those who saw the positive clips wrote down more actions and possible responses — while those who saw the negative clips had far fewer possible actions written down. [2]

What this means is that positive thinking and emotion tends to expand your sense of what’s possible. This feeling of greater possibility and options creates a sense of empowerment that translates into positive results.

A Practical Example

Let’s say that you want to begin exercising more. Based on what we just learned, it’s easy to see the implications of these research findings.

If you have positive thoughts and feelings about exercise, you’re likely to be excited and think of all your different options. You might do yoga, or take a walk, jog, or bike or any number of activities. And chances are, you’ll move forward with one of those options and get a positive result.

On the other hand, if your thoughts and emotional associations with exercise are negative, you might get mentally stuck on type of exercise you feel you “must” do — even if you don’t enjoy it. Those feelings will fester, you’ll feel a lack of freedom, and probably be paralyzed in your ability to take action.

The bottom line is, positive thinking (and corresponding feelings) equate to possibilities, and that is a form of power.

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Make Your Positive Thinking Even More Potent

If you’ve read The Beauty Detox Solution or The Beauty Detox Foods, you know that I spend a fair amount of time covering the potential “obstacles” that can stand in the way of you realizing the health, body and beauty you desire. Just as its critical to include your lemon water, Glowing Green Smoothie, more organic green salads and so on — it’s vital that you eliminate toxins and digestive-stressing items like dairy, processed foods, and so on. I don’t just blindly focus on the positive.

We all have our temptations, cravings and things that might stand in our way — and it’s actually quite helpful to be aware of those things as well. When you imagine yourself going through the process and succeeding in your goals, you can visualize yourself letting go of the foods that don’t serve you. This balanced approach, which can actually supercharge the power of your positive thinking, has been reinforced by the extensive work of author and researcher Gabriele Oettingen.

In a study his team conducted on healthy eating and exercise, they divided their participants into two groups. Those who visualized both the positive outcome and imagined success in overcoming their challenges and obstacles were energized. Four months later, they were working out twice as much and eating far more vegetables than the control group! [3]

He calls this mental “contrasting” and, just as Beauty Detox approaches health in a balanced way (nutrition in, toxins out!), this tip can make your positive thinking even more effective.

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3 Helpful Action Steps

Before I wrap this post, I want to give you some practical tips you can take away from this and use to think more positively and get the results you desire, starting today:

1 – Meditation

The same research conducted by Barbara Fredrickson revealed that those who meditate display more positive thoughts and emotions than those who don’t. [4]

There are many approaches to meditation, including the Self Realization Home Study Program which I’ve been recommending for years. I find most people get stuck on the length of time they feel they need to meditate for, which is why we recently created a free 7-day guided meditation series that will be released soon. Keep on the lookout for it!

2 – Balanced Visualization

Related to what you just learned about mental contrasting, you can use creative visualization to help energize and motivate you in the direction of your goals. First, take note of the outcomes you want. Your weight, your beauty, how you feel. Then, also note some of the obstacles you’ve experienced or might face. Perhaps you’ve struggled with sugar, or poor sleep, or late night binges.

When you do your visualization, of course, you should absolutely imagine your success and all the positive emotions that come with that. But you should also imagine yourself succeeding in the daily process — making your Glowing Green Smoothie each day, overcoming your cravings and other challenges, becoming more confident with each passing day! This will work wonders for you, just as it did with the other subjects we learned about in the studies.

3 – Positive Journaling

Writing out your thoughts, especially positive expression, can be very powerful. In one study, those who wrote about an intensely positive subject for three days experienced more elevated mood, and fewer illnesses compared to the control group. [5]

An easy way to implement is to create what I call a “gratitude journal” — which is basically where each day you take a minute to write about something you are grateful for. It can be anything in your life — or something you want in your life. The important thing is that you feel intensely grateful and write it out.

The Best Is Yet to Come!

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With The Beauty Detox Power out, I really want to spend more time on topics like this that go beyond diet and nutrition. Of course, we’ll still cover those topics — but I find that so many of us know more than ever about nutrition, and where we often need the most help is feeling inspired and motivated each day. Also, if you liked this post, I encourage you to order The Beauty Detox Power.

I look forward to you trying out some of the tips you’ve learned in this post and letting us know about your results, or if you have any questions. We always love hearing from you :)

Talk soon!

Love,

Kimberly

 

Research:

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3156028/
[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/positive-thinking_b_3512202.html
[3] http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/opinion/sunday/the-problem-with-positive-thinking.html
[4] http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2010-09923-006
[5] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092656603000588

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