September 13th is known as Positive Thinking Day. Initiated by an American entrepreneur in 2003, this is a day set aside to indulge in an indecent amount of optimism. With blogs and articles encouraging 24 hour smiling and banning negative thoughts, your resident Eeyore friend could be left rolling their eyes in disbelief at all the rose-tinted vibes flying around.
However, positive thinking is way more than just grinning your way through the day. There’s actually a scientific basis to the idea that keeping your mind positive can have positive effects on your life. It’s true! The simplest way to bio-hack could be to turn that frown upside down buddy! So don’t just keep it to today… why not make everyday positive thinking day?
And, if you’re already microdosing magic mushrooms or truffles (or going on a full-on trip and basking in the afterglow) you may find you’ve been manifesting a more positive outlook already. Perfect! Turns out that a lot of the benefits of positive thinking run parallel to the good vibes shrooms naturally provide.
So, shrooms and a smile is just what the doctor ordered eh? Well, kinda, actually! But let’s dig into the science behind the good vibes… cos what are warm fuzzies without the endorsement of a lab coat?
The Study Of Positive Thinking
Yes, the study of positive thinking is a booming scientific field. Practically unheard of up until 30 years ago, a few landmark studies revealed the power of this underappreciated skill. Nowadays, hundreds of studies into the power of positive thinking are published yearly. One of the tremors that triggered the quake of research into the topic was a 1985 study named “Optimism, Coping, and Health: Assessment and Implications of Generalized Outcome Expectancies” — basically how your expectations of life (be they positive or negative) ultimately affect your health and ability to ‘get by’.
The study was published by Charles S. Carver and Michael F. Scheier, who set out a self-report questionnaire to test for ‘dispositional optimism’, which is still used as the scale for scientific research into positive thinking today. Their study, and subsequent ones finally proved what had long been suspected: that a positive outlook is better for your psychological and also biological health.
Those who feel good about the future are more likely to look after themselves and indulge in more health-positive behaviours. Additionally, perhaps in contrast to popular opinion, positive thinking actually makes you a better problem solver. This is because the optimist does not close down avenues of thought — rather they explore all solutions, as all could be a source of hope. Schier explains:
“We also know why optimists do better than pessimists. The answer lies in the differences between the coping strategies they use. Optimists are not simply being Pollyannas; they’re problem solvers who try to improve the situation. And if it can’t be altered, they’re also more likely than pessimists to accept that reality and move on.”
Positive Thinking Is Good For Your Health
Many studies have shown the connection between positive thinking and good health. But it’s not only that positive thinkers tend to make more healthy lifestyle choices. The differences also show from within. A recent John Hopkins study found that those with a positive life outlook were 13% less likely to have a heart attack or coronary event, even if there was history of them in their family! There is also a clear link between your mental outlook and your immune system.
As we are often warned, stress can severely compromise your immune system, lowering your defenses and making it harder to fight off illness. And who tends to suffer worse from stress? Negative thinkers thats who! Those with a positive outlook are more likely to cope with, or be able to brush off, the stressors that might keep a negative thinker down, thus bolstering their natural killer cells (believe it our not, they’re the good guys!) As an individual’s stress-levels tend to be self-reported, it seems the task really does fall to us to determine whether we’re stressed or not. Sounds tricky at first! But ask yourself again, is the glass half empty or haf full?
Positive Thinking Can Make You More Successful
As we stated above, positive thinkers explore more options (mentally, phsyically and creatively) than their negative counterparts. This means they are generally more open minded and keen to try new things. Over time this attitude leads to exploration and honing of useful life skills such as communication, creativity, logic and sociability. One who has a disposition that leans towards the optimistic will be more likely to take the plunge and learn a new skill — apply for a job in an exciting field, explore a far off land, or make friends with a new social group. Additionally, if their venture backfires, they are less likely to stay down — rather, they will jump back into the saddle — tomorrow is another day afterall.
Positive Thinking Reduces Anxiety
We’ve all sat their letting our anxiety get the best of us, imagining all the worst possible outcomes. Well, a study carried out at Kings College, London, found that manifesting the opposite — i.e. imagining good outcomes can greatly reduce anxiety. 102 participants suffering from general anxiety disorder were split into 3 groups. The first had to generate mental imagery of positive outcomes when faced with a (theoretical) worry- inducing circumstance. The second had to verbally describe positive outcomes when faced with the worrying circumstances. The third had to generate positive imagery minus the worrying circumstance.
The researchers found that all of these methods were successful in decreasing the anxiety of the participants. From this we can read that any type of positive thinking is a bonus when it comes to combatting anxiety. Our subconscious cannot tell the difference between real and imagined imagery, so imagining your way to a more relaxed state IS actually possible. Recalling a good memory can boost your mood for up to 6 hours after. So get reminiscing!
Shrooms and Positive Thinking
The news has no doubt reached you that magic mushrooms are the current darling of mental health research. The psychoactive compounds in shrooms mimic serotonin, boosting your mood, and quietening the DMN from whence our negative self-thoughts arise — which aids the treatment of a whole host of conditions such as depression, PTSD and OCD. But, you may have also noticed your pals who do shrooms or magic truffles recreationally tend to just have a more rosey outlook on life?
In many ways shrooms become a ‘gateway drug’ to postive thinking. They encourage open mindedness, and loosen the grip of the ego. This means you are more likely to expect positive outcomes and try new things and ideas — just like the positive thinker! With the afterglow of a magic truffle trip bringing warm fuzzies, creative inspiration and a less self-doubting mindset, your glass is already half-full! (Also, if you are already in the positive outlook camp, imagine how unstoppable you’ll be with a shroom boost!)
Starting Your Journey Into Positive Thinking
OK, you must be convinced by now — positive thinking is where it’s at. But that doesn’t mean you can’t grump sometimes or occasionally find it hard to muster a smile. If you are finding it tricky, we have some tips to get you started. Chin up, buttercup!
Our Top Tips To Make Everyday Positive Thinking Day:
- A microdosing routine: microdosing magic truffles or shrooms can start your day of right. A subperceptual (i.e. no tripping) dose can awaken your good mood, creativity and open mindedness, to start a day of good vibes. For more information check out our microdosing guide!
- Positive self-talk or visualisations: it might seem tricky or cheesy at first, but as the Kings College study found, these techniques go a long way to reducing anxiety. Imagine good things happening to you, positive outcomes, or speak aloud your own mantra that makes you feel inspired.
- Meditation or yoga: activities like these that focus the mind can take you out of a negative thought spiral. Connect with your body and appreciate how it serves you — care for it by thinking good thoughts!
- Reframe your circumstances: now this is a hard one to do, but maybe we can make it into a game. Try and find the silver lining in every circumstance. Stuck in traffic? A chance to listen to a podcast. A rainy day? A chance to stay in and do some self-care. Etc etc…
- Write it down: writing down positive affirmations and keeping them to hand can be really useful when faced with a negative wave. Putting things to paper makes them feel more solid and ‘real’ too.
- Enjoy yourself: make time to do what you really find enjoyable, whether its playing music, video games, making hand puppets — whatever! Don’t let your pleasures be ‘guilty’. You deserve to treat yourself. Looking forward to doing the things you love can create and brighter outlook all round.
Happy Positive Thinking Day! And, if all else fails, smile 😊