Part of creating a healthier lifestyle as a whole is addressing our thought lives. There are studies that back up what many of us have known all along – your thoughts often hold great amounts of sway over your health and wellbeing.
There are tons of both physical and emotional benefits to increasing your positive thinking. Below you’ll see some of the most common results seen in studies of people who are actively cultivating positive daily thoughts and affirmations.
Ready to improve your health and start turning your life around?
Physical Benefits of Positive Thinking
There are a surprising number of benefits offered by positive thinking, and you’d be amazed by how positivity can affect your health for the better!
Did you know that stress can reduce your body’s natural immunity to disease? Positive thinking helps to fight stress, thereby preventing it from messing with your immune system. In fact, positive thinking has actually been found to boost your body’s ability to fight off disease.
Improve Heart Health
Your heart is a surprisingly delicate organ considering all the hard work it does, and both stress and anxiety can mess with your heart function. However, positivity can lower your risk of heart disease, including stroke and heart attacks. People who think positively tend to exercise more, eat healthier, and live happier lives!
As you read above, stress can lead to all kinds of health problems. Not only are there health problems CAUSED by stress, but nearly every disease and disorder on the planet is made worse by anxiety and stress. Positive thinking can help manage stress, thereby preventing a wide range of health problems!
Studies have found that positive thinking has helped victims of crises recover more quickly. Thinking positive thoughts helps you to be more resilient, enabling you to bounce back even from serious or traumatic experiences.
A study conducted at the University of London found that seniors who thought positively tend to age healthier. This means that they suffered from fewer physical and emotional health problems as they got older. They even had a longer life expectancy than their negative counterparts!
In one study published in Science Direct, positive thinking was proven to help people tolerate pain. Considering that stress and negativity causes pain sensations to be stronger, it’s easy to see how positive thinking can help reduce the pain–but it also helps you to take your mind off the pain, and thus tolerate it better.
Makes You Healthier
In numerous studies published online, researchers have found that people practicing positive thinking tend to be healthier thanks to the fact that they take care of themselves. They do more exercise, eat better, enjoy their hobbies and recreational activities more, are more socially connected, sleep better, and life better lives.
– via Health Ambition
If you’re ready to start putting the power of positive thinking into your own life, try a few of the ideas below. Equally as important as thinking positively is catching yourself stuck in negative patterns.
They say that we trust our own voice more than any other, so if your own internal voice is only repeating negative, hurtful thoughts over and over, what do you imagine that is going to do to your sense of peace and confidence?
Identifying Negative Thinking
Not sure if your self-talk is positive or negative? Here are some common forms of negative self-talk:
- Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, you had a great day at work. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. That evening, you focus only on your plan to do even more tasks and forget about the compliments you received.
- Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an evening out with friends is canceled, and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
- Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. The drive-through coffee shop gets your order wrong and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
- Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or you’re a total failure.
Focusing on positive thinking
You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you’re creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:
- Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it’s work, your daily commute or a relationship. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
- Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.
- Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
- Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn techniques to manage stress.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.
- Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.
– via www.mayoclinic.org
Have you noticed a difference in the way you feel based on how positively or negatively you’re thinking?