The Power of Positive Mindset

Barbara Topolovec (ESR5)

Hello everyone! I would like to share some thoughts related to personal development and mindset. Let’s start with scientific facts, something we all as researchers like.

The science behind positive thinking

A human brain has millions of brain cells called neurons. Each neuron consists of a nucleus, cell body, axon (fiber), and the dendrites (branches) as its main parts. Neurons connect via fibers, which help them transmit messages (electric signal or the impulse) from one neuron to another. Thus, they create a network.

When we choose a positive thought by its nature, this creates a positive impulse, a message in the centre of a neuron. A message travels along branches and triggers the release of the organic compound called serotonin, responsible for the feeling of satisfaction and happiness. Serotonin is also a messenger, which means that it allows a message to continue its path and build a positive thought pattern. That is the moment of the “eureka” effect when we see the problem’s solution and get new ideas. Sounds simple? Yes, but keep in mind that the connections via fibers between neurons are not instantly permanent, they are unstable. Therefore, we need to repeat the positive thought, train the brain to think positive, and from time the connections become stable, they create a belief. More connections mean that the brain is more active.

And what about negative thoughts? The process is the same, but another compound is released – cortisol, responsible for the feeling of sadness and depression. Don’t hate it too much! It is released in a moment of fear; it alerts us to be careful. It is good and useful in the moment of escape from danger or struggle. For example, if you ever run into a bear in the woods, you would run thanks to cortisol.

But in this modern life, the problems are different than an encounter with a bear, something our brain can’t understand; it doesn’t know if it’s a problem to run away from or not. Its reactions are the same, all the body energy is redirect to the part of the brain, which is focused on our object of fear, and our body is stressed out.

Why is this important?

We all have goals in our personal as well as professional life. They can be big or small, something we want to achieve in our future or on a daily basis. How are they created in the first place? With our thought, of course.

The mindset to success. What can we do?

The 3 Laws of the mind say:

1. Every thought creates a chemical and physical change

Remember how the brain works? Think you can! Choose positive thinking. Train your brain to choose positive thoughts. Consistency is the key! Repeat your plans with positive thinking to affect your subconscious part (part of the brain, which holds memory and automatic actions). The subconscious works as an autopilot. Repeating your dreams and positive thoughts can affect your subconscious and work on your goal, even if you are not aware of that at the moment. To recognize problems we want to avoid is a good thing, but too much focus is not.

2. You can think only about one thing

The sentence “I will try to find” confuses the brain. It sees the “will try” part and “will find” part.

So tell yourself, “I will find”.

3. Our thoughts precede our reality

I wanted to take this opportunity to share this with you especially because it’s this time of the year. 2020 is almost over. We all can’t wait for the beginning of the new one because we see it as a fresh start when we are setting new plans. Also, all of us collected a certain amount of frustration, negative thoughts, lack of motivation, and fear, especially this year. I had to face uncertain changes and problems as a PhD researcher and personally as well., in a new environment. My mindset and confidence were challenged a lot .

For all of you, dear readers, I wish to have a fresh start, start with your goals with positive thinking, and, more importantly, to continue with them and create a powerful mindset. Maybe we cannot control what life force brings us, but we can choose how to use this force for our achievements.

As for the picture? This is something a friend of mine has shared with me recently. According to psychology, the first 4 words you found reveals what your subconscious desire. Something you seek? Part of your goals? New year decisions? Find your words, think about them, go to the New Year and own it!

Image source: