You don’t have to be a superhero to uncover your very own secret superpower. A positive perspective may not send you soaring through the skies or teleporting to another dimension, but it just might change your life.
At first blush, you might think that this is all about seeing the world through rose-colored glasses or glossing over the bad things that happen. But, as Walt Disney once said, “I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.”
Because life is complex. It’s not always sunshine and blue skies. But how you choose to look at things changes everything.
What is a Positive Perspective?
Perspective is the way we frame our experiences. It determines how we respond to situations. It's the way you use your senses and your mind to make sense of your surroundings and the things going on around you. Perspective is kind of like the filter through which we interpret everything else. And it impacts our attitudes and opinions.
Gaining a positive perspective isn’t about ignoring the bad things that happen or avoiding challenges altogether. It’s about being conscious of your thought processes and reframing them to find the good. Instead of blaming other people and negative situations, you take control of the only thing that you really can control — your thoughts, actions and attitude.
Benefits of Positivity
There’s been a lot of talk about positive thinking, with several books having been written on the subject, from Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s “The Power of Positive Thinking,” published in 1952 to the more recent book, “The Secret,” from Rhonda Byrne. In recent years, research has revealed that it’s more than just pop-psychology found in the self-help section. There’s scientific back that suggests positivity has a host of benefits, including:
Feeling increased confidence and empowerment
Improved stress management and coping
Lower likelihood of developing depression
Better overall mental health
Longer life span
Improved heart health
Being better able to fight off the common cold
In addition to the benefits you might personally experience, when you shift to a positive perspective, it can benefit the people around you. Even if you don't get along with someone, if you're able to focus on one good quality, you'll soon find more to like about that person. Research also suggests that when you experience more positive emotions, your brain is able to identify more possibilities in life. It also promotes the exploration of new skills, which can help you grow and flourish in a variety of ways.
How to Shift Your Perspective
Ready to tap into your secret power? Teach yourself to shift your perspective. It’s like picking up a new habit. It takes time, but it’s well-worth it. One of the most powerful things you can do is to reframe your thoughts.
It's easy to get stuck in the rut of a negative mindset. For example, when you have to clean the house, just uttering that phrase brings up all sorts of negativity. But what if you shifted your thought to, "I have an opportunity to clean my house?" Now, instead of it being a dreaded chore, it's reinforcement of how lucky you are to have a home to live in. Reframing your negative thoughts is an effective way to shift your perspective too. Try it and watch how it changes the way you interact with the world around you.