Intentional Thinking Matters More Than You Realize

January 16, 2024

Have you ever come home from a mostly positive workday still obsessing over a single negative comment from a coworker?

You probably know people who focus on the positive. They don’t let a single rude remark ruin their day. They’ve discovered the value of intentional thinking.

Intentional thinkers:

  • Take a cup-half-full approach to life
  • Choose to see the best in others and “let the little things go”
  • Appreciate what they have but believe the best is yet to come
  • Manifest good things and are almost always seen as a pleasure to be around

Positive, intentional thinking releases more serotonin into the brain. Serotonin, the “happy hormone,” is a neurotransmitter that reduces depression and induces feelings of satisfaction, joy, and optimism. Looking for the positive in any situation is a natural way to achieve higher levels of serotonin.

(Note: Depression is real and should be treated by a healthcare professional, but a positive outlook is a helpful step toward relief.)

All of us engage in intentional thinking occasionally — take New Year’s resolutions, for instance. Our resolutions demonstrate positivity and the confidence that we can achieve a better outcome. They’re windows into how we view the world and our potential within it.

Here’s how to carry that positivity through the rest of the year.

Quote: Intentional Thinking Matters More Than You Realize

“Things perceived as real become real in their consequences.”

That’s one of my favorite sayings, and its meaning is profound: How you perceive things becomes how you act on them.

If you view the world as a good place with pleasant, supportive people and abundant opportunities, you’ll approach life with a similar attitude. If you see the world as a bad place with unkind people out to get you and little chance to advance, it’s likely you won’t take that next step to start a business or to reach out and help others. You may miss great opportunities.

Yes, the world is not perfect. Bad things occasionally happen to us all. But there’s a time and place for accepting misfortune.

Avoid becoming mired indefinitely in anger, pain, or grief. Choose intentional thinking. See the world through a fresh lens and move forward. The world is better when you believe it’s better.

That conscious shift has a ripple effect on everyone around you. You become a person others want to be around. You attract like-minded individuals and inspire others to be positive, too.

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

Are some people just lucky?

It may seem like certain successful people around you are “lucky” or “privileged” (although, interestingly, many “lucky,” “privileged” people don’t view themselves that way). People may have sudden good fortune or benefit from early advantages in life. But everyone’s reality is unique, and one thing is certain: Comparing your reality to someone else’s breeds negativity.

Be aware of how you frame your situation. Feeling “stuck” in a certain scenario? It may be true that you can’t change it or the surrounding people. But don’t focus on where you started or what’s happened to you in the past. Focus instead on the one thing you can control — yourself. Through intentional thinking, you can change how you react to difficult or restrictive situations.

You may hear pessimists argue that they’re actually “realists” who choose to face the world “as it is.” We’re not neutral beings; we’re all biased toward certain forms of thought. But our perception of each situation — the story we tell ourselves — is completely within our control. Our interpretation makes a difference.

Those with a pessimistic slant tend to have negative outcomes. You, on the other hand, can choose to see things in a better light, and your worldview will improve from there.

Infographic: Intentional Thinking Matters More Than You Realize

The Power of Intentional Thinking

The world is a better place when you believe it’s a better place.

Practice intentional thinking. You’ll improve your prospects and get the ball rolling in the right direction.

We understand, though, that it’s hard to let go of past traumas. If you struggle to view your world through a more positive lens, your Priority Physicians are here for you.

Schedule a chat with a member of our team. We’ll help you move toward the optimistic path you deserve.

Dr. Jonathan Schmidt

Dr. Schmidt is a board-certified family medicine physician with undergraduate degrees in Microbiology and medicine from Southern Illinois University and the University of Illinois. He completed his residency at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in South Bend, IN and has a passion for putting his patients first in his practice. In his free time, Dr. Schmidt enjoys spending time with his family and participating in outdoor activities such as water sports and woodworking.

Learn more about membership
with Priority Physicians

For more details on our services and the concierge care we provide to our members, contact us today.