The vast majority of people understand that negative thinking promotes depression and low mood. According to recent studies, however, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Research has shown that negative thinkers tend to experience more health problems and shorter life spans, when compared to those who enjoy a more positive outlook on life. If you’d like to improve your mental well-being, learn some effective positive thinking tips that can change your attitude and your health.
The Power of Positivity
A growing body of research has shown a startling link between optimism and good health. Among the many benefits of positive thinking include:
- Lower levels of distress
- Lower rates of depression
- Increased overall life span
- Stronger immune system
- Better physical and psychological well-being
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Better coping abilities during times of stress
While they can’t say for certain, researchers believe negative thinking promotes poor health by triggering the fight or flight response, which exposes the body to hormones that promote inflammation over time.
Changing your Outlook
Positive thinking doesn’t mean you ignore life’s unpleasant aspects by keeping your head in the sand. It simply means you perceive and approach unpleasantness in a more productive and positive way. You can nurture a more positive outlook by employing the following strategies:
- Identify areas to change. Think about aspects of your life that conjure negative emotion, whether it is work, your commute or a relationship. Focus on ways to approach these specifics in a more positive way.
- Monitor your thought process. Check yourself throughout the day to see if you are stuck in a negative-thinking cycle. Break the pattern by putting a positive spin on your thoughts.
- Surround yourself with more positive people. Supportive people can make all the difference, especially for those who feel dragged down by negative family members and friends.
- Practice positive self-talk. Try to go all day without saying anything negative about yourself or anyone else.
The Importance of Gratitude
Studies have shown that people who keep gratitude journals enjoy a better outlook on life. Before going to bed, write down five things that made you happy during the day. You can also try to remember that many unfortunate people in other parts of the word would consider their dreams answered if they could live as you live now.