Positive thinking and optimism are words often thrown around when thinking about being happy and cheerful. But what do they really mean?
Positive thinking means approaching life in a positive and productive way instead of focusing on the negatives. Meaning you’re hopeful for the best and don’t focus on the worst. Sounds good in theory, but how can you start to think positively?
Here are seven reasons why positivity is so good for you, and some tips on how to remain positive everyday:
Positivity and Better Health
Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you don’t believe you’re sick, you won’t be sick?” Well, there may be some truth to that. Research shows that if you experience negative feelings for long periods of time, you may be at higher risk for numerous mental and physical health problems including: phobias and anxiety disorders, aggression and violence, depression and suicide, eating disorders, sexual dysfunction, and stress-related physical disorders.
By thinking positively, you can avoid many of these potential health problems and enjoy greater health.
Higher Motivation and Productivity
Do you ever notice that when you’re feeling good, you become more productive? That’s because positive emotions increase something called continued action. This means that when you experience positive emotions, you feel more motivated to engage with your environment and seek more goals and successes.
Greater Thought Processing Abilities
Research has shown that experiencing positivity can lead to increased creativity, flexibility, and open-mindedness. Basically, this means that when you’re thinking optimistically your mind is more open to thoughts and actions that you might have been closed off to before. For example, joy creates feelings of playfulness and creativity in social, physical, intellectual, and artistic behavior.
Stronger Coping Skills
We all know how important it is to handle moments of intense stress with a level head. You can actually build up your resiliency and coping skills by using positive emotions during negative experiences over time.
Thinking positively and having positive beliefs can greatly help during times of chronic stress and negativity. So, during your next bad day, take a deep breath, clear your mind, and remember you’ll get through it.
Increased Psychological Well-Being
It’s no secret that when you are optimistic about the future, you actually feel better. Thinking positively can boost your mood and increase feelings of happiness, joy, and love. At the same time, you can decrease the risk of depression, anxiety and other psychological disorders just by approaching life in a positive way.
Greater Performance at School and Work
You can boost both your attention and cognitive abilities by thinking positively. This can really help in school or at work when it comes to learning new concepts, meeting deadlines, and managing your time. Furthermore, positive thinking might even open your mind to learning things you never even dreamed of before, like a new language or a fun new hobby.
Positivity and Greater Lifespan
It sounds crazy thinking that just by thinking positively you can actually increase how long you live! Research actually shows that both men and women with higher optimism levels have longer lifespan and lower risk of premature death.
Tips on How to Think Positively:
After reading about the amazing benefits that positivity can bring about, you may be wondering how you can start being more positive today. Here are a few tips that might help:
- Practice daily gratitude and avoid negative thinking. Writing down just three reasons why you’re grateful each day can greatly improve positive thinking and help you to be more present in the current moment and open to everything good in your life. In addition, it doesn’t do anyone any good thinking about the various possible negative outcomes that could happen. So banish those negative thoughts and focus on what you can be thankful for in your life.
- Connect with others. Going out with your partner, friends, or family can create feelings of connectedness, warmth, and love. The important people in your life can help show you the positives in your life and support you when you can’t see them yourself. So go grab a coffee with a friend and call your parents, I’m sure they’ll be happy to see you.
- Practice daily self-care. You can’t bring positivity out into the world when your glass is running on empty. You need to take care of yourself above all else before you can even think about spending any of your energy on other people or other commitments. Some ideas could be: taking a nap, avoiding toxic people, finding a new hobby or going back to a hobby you’ve neglected, or reading a good book. Don’t forget to take care of yourself -- your mind and body will thank you later!
About the author: An introvert in real life and quite the opposite behind the screen, Aron Hayes is a freelance writer and an eager learner who has a fondness for anything related to neuroscience and mental wellness. He writes for morris-health.com and a couple other blogs.
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