As an art and a science, PR relies on positive thinking. We look for the best in our clients in order to tell stories that engage the public. However, as individuals, we can be consumed by negative thoughts. It's difficult to stay positive with ever-looming deadlines and when the demands of the job begin piling up. The pressures outside the office likewise are things that can cast shadows in the mind of even the chirpiest PR person
Negative and Positive Proofs
Unfortunately, dark thoughts narrow our choices, literally. Biologists theorize that this is a survival reflex. If a person comes across a tiger, thinking about anything else other than running away or fighting would significantly lower her chance of survival.
Additionally, negative thinking elevates stress, which while a necessary function of survival can lead to poor health if not managed correctly. Stress is a distress signal that triggers the body to release hormones that help us fight or run. In other words, negative thoughts dampen creativity and inflict constant low-level stress, negatively affecting our health.
With positive thoughts, better things happen. A study published by the Royal Society showed that the positive emotions of joy, contentment, and love broadened a person's palette of possibilities and options, enabling the acquisition of new or improved skills. Broaden and build theory can be readily demonstrated by a child who loves running or using gadgets so much that they go on to become an athlete or programmer as an adult.
In light of the study, the benefits of a positive attitude in PR work become immensely important. Through positive thought, our minds are better able to find the unique possibilities and angles that our clients and brand require. Also, our abilities to take on bigger projects and campaigns are greatly improved because we are able to continuously build on our skill sets when charged with positive emotions.
Cultivating Happy Thoughts
With the benefits offered by positive thinking in terms of creativity, growth, and health, people in PR and other endeavors should try cultivating a habit of positivity. This may seem like it would involve a grand effort at first, but you’ll quickly realize how natural it can be to think this way.
Research suggests that people who meditate manifest positive emotions more than those who don't. Find a convenient time and place, sit in a comfortable posture, close your eyes, and just listen quietly as the world and your innermost thoughts go by.
Moving your body can help shake off dark thoughts by releasing endorphins and cultivating a sense of achievement once completed. Find a sport or activity you like, set a regular schedule, and stick to it.
When was the last time you scheduled an activity that was fun? Take time off work and do something that will put a smile on your face. Play a board game with friends ,go to the park and throw a Frisbee, or paint happy little clouds.
Another study discovered that people who wrote about positive experiences had better mood levels and were less likely to become sick. Start a journal and write about your achievements and little joys of each day.
Even if you're not in the mood, forcing a smile can bring positive vibes. The simple movement of facial muscles when smiling automatically triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, making us feel better. So smile though your heart is aching and maybe tomorrow you'll see the sun come shining through for you.
Don’t let negativity bring you and your clients down. Smile, play, move, write, and think happy thoughts as much as you can.