Positive Thinking – A Tool To Improve Your Health!

It sounds simplistic to say that positive thinking can actually make a difference in your physical health.

More and more medical studies are finding that is exactly what happens. When people develop habits of thinking about the good things in their lives, focusing on the moment they are living, stopping to be grateful, helping others, and writing down their blessings a number of specific health metrics improve.

Some of those benefits are their immune system becomes stronger, blood pressure comes down and blood sugar comes into control, not the mention lower stress levels, lower cortisol and people reporting more positive feelings about their lives and less depression.

Here is one look at why positive thinking can improve your health!

Why You Should be Optimistic

No one really understands how or why a positive attitude helps people recover faster from surgery or cope better with serious diseases — diseases as serious as cancer, heart disease, and AIDS. But mounting evidence suggests that these effects may have something to do with the mind’s power over the immune system. One recent study, for example, polled healthy first-year law students at the beginning of the school year to find out how optimistic they felt about the upcoming year. By the middle of the first semester, the students who had been confident that they would do well had more and better functioning immune cells than the worried students. (See Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Ph.D., et al., “Optimism is Associated With Mood, Coping, and Immune Change in Response to Stress,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Volume 74, Number 6, June 1998.)

Some researchers think that pessimism may stress you out, too, boosting levels of destructive stress hormones in your bloodstream. Of course, it’s also possible that having a positive attitude toward life makes you more likely to take better care of yourself. And you’re more likely to attract people into your life (and keep them there) — which in and of itself may boost your health. – Psych Central 

You Can Develop Skills To Increase Positive Thinking

Even if this sounds impossible to you, the truth is that anyone who is willing to learn a few skills, and apply them regularly can change the way they think to a more positive perspective. It will take some effort to change your thinking from negative to positive, but the benefits are so many that you will find it well worth the effort.

Here is one approach to switching your thinking from negative to positive.

“Look on the sunny side of life.”

“Turn your face toward the sun, and the shadows will fall behind you.”

“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

“See the glass as half-full, not half-empty.”

Researchers are finding that thoughts like these, the hallmarks of people sometimes called “cockeyed optimists,” can do far more than raise one’s spirits. They may actually improve health and extend life.

There is no longer any doubt that what happens in the brain influences what happens in the body. When facing a health crisis, actively cultivating positive emotions can boost the immune system and counter depression. Studies have shown an indisputable link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels…

…Judith T. Moskowitz, a professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, developed a set of eight skills to help foster positive emotions…

…The eight skills are:

■ Recognize a positive event each day.

■ Savor that event and log it in a journal or tell someone about it.

■ Start a daily gratitude journal.

■ List a personal strength and note how you used it.

■ Set an attainable goal and note your progress.

■ Report a relatively minor stress and list ways to reappraise the event positively.

■ Recognize and practice small acts of kindness daily.

■ Practice mindfulness, focusing on the here and now rather than the past or future.  – New York Times Well

Do you find that at any given moment during the day if you evaluate your thoughts they will lean toward the positive or negative?