Positive Thinking Exercises: Repeat This Phrase to Undo Stressful Thoughts

Sometimes the noise from inside our own heads is the biggest stressor of all. But here's the phrase that can turn things around for you: "My mind is calm."

Positive thinking and affirmations like this one may be key to stress-free health, according to Dr. Maoshing Ni, author of Second Spring. These affirmations can help offset the soaring levels of stress hormones produced by tens of thousands of other negative thoughts we have on a daily basis.

Stress Spiral
In his book, Ni writes that the average woman has 60,000 thoughts a day and that 80 percent of those thoughts are negative. Ouch. And negative thoughts are bad news for the body, since stress causes wear and tear on many physical health systems. But Ni recommends using positive thinking to reduce that stress. By repeating calming, soothing positive affirmations to ourselves we can feed the body nourishing mental energy. (Feeling frazzled? Calm down fast with three tension tamers.)

Make Your Own Mantra
Positive thinking exercises, like affirmative self-talk, suppresses the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. And that can help you feel calm and peaceful. So when negative thoughts crop up, imagine a big stop sign in your head, and tell yourself, "Stop!" Then, replace the downer thought with a positive, soothing message. Think of what it is you wish were true, and then state it over and over, as if it were true. Here are some examples of positive thinking that can help you feel empowered and ready to face the day:

  • When you exercise and feel tired, think, "I am strong."
  • When you pass by a mirror, think, "I am the perfect weight for me."
  • When you set to work on a hard task, think, "I can accomplish anything."
  • When you feel overwhelmed, think, "I trust in the process of life."

Avoid a meltdown. Keep emotions in check with these five strategies.

RealAge Benefits

Having a backup stress-reduction technique on hand when you can’t otherwise destress can make your RealAge 6 years younger.