Practicing positive thinking could reap health benefits.
We’ve all heard it a million times, ”think positively” or “look at the bright side.” This is sometimes the last thing you want to hear when all you want to do is mope about something bad that has happened in your life. The people who encourage positive thinking may be on to something greater than we realize, according to science, so it may be time to take their advice.
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2017 found that people who had more optimism about life have a lower risk of dying from causes such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, infections, and respiratory diseases.1
A literature review that was previously published in the journal Psychiatry, concluded that people who practice gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation have a better overall sense of well-being.2
Another article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, studied the concept of self-talk which is the internal monologue that everyone has with themselves. The authors of the study believe that small shifts in the positivity of a person’s self-talk can change their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.3
If you like, you can start your positive thinking right now while reading this article. Think or write down three things that you are thankful for. Need some ideas? It could be as simple as the weather, your comfy bed, or a good person in your life.
Some people like to practice positive affirmations every day to help them. These are positive statements that you say every day to yourself to fight off negative thoughts. Some positive affirmations you can start with now include:
- I am talented and today I will use my talents
- I will be successful
- I am going to enjoy today
- I am healthy and happy
Starting positive thinking is easy but you have to stick with it to reap the benefits. The power of positive thinking can help everyone in some way. Give it a try and stick with it even when you are having a bad day. Positive thinking will not change your life overnight or heal disease but it is worth a try and could impact your life in a good way. There are several resources available on how to consistently think more positively but like anything worthwhile, it is going to take work and time.
- Eric S. Kim, Kaitlin A. Hagan, Francine Grodstein, Dawn L. DeMeo, Immaculata De Vivo, Laura D. Kubzansky, Optimism and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Prospective Cohort Study, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 185, Issue 1, 1 January 2017, Pages 21–29
- Sansone RA, Sansone LA. Gratitude and well being: the benefits of appreciation. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2010 Nov;7(11):18-22. PMID: 21191529; PMCID: PMC3010965.
- Kross, E., Bruehlman-Senecal, E., Park, J., Burson, A., Dougherty, A., Shablack, H., Bremner, R., Moser, J., & Ayduk, O. (2014). Self-talk as a regulatory mechanism: How you do it matters. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(2), 304–324
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