Positive thinking isn’t the same as trying to gloss over the negative things in life or ignore your problems. Positive thinking is approaching the challenges life throws at you with a positive attitude.
There are basically two kinds of people: positive thinkers and negative thinkers. Having an optimistic view of life can affects your health. Optimism doesn’t mean that you have a constant grin, but it does mean remaining positive about what’s to come.
Here are some of the health benefits of positive thinking.
YOU WON’T GET SICK AS OFTEN
Segerstrom completed a study, published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, to investigate the connection between optimism and immunity. She recruited 124 incoming law students and had them complete five questionnaires and immunity checks over the course of a year.
Segerstrom found that when a student displayed optimistic thinking, he or she also showed greater cell-mediated immunity. A pessimistic thinking, on the other hand, had an actual negative effect on the response of immune cells.
“When you feel optimistic, immunity-boosting hormones like oxytocin and growth hormones may get activated,” says study author Suzanne Segerstrom.
INCREASED LIFE SPAN
Optimistic people are more focused on their work and hence more successful compared to pessimists, researchers say. A Dutch research study found that those of a pessimistic disposition were 55% more likely to die during the nine-year follow-up period. If you changed your perspective on your stress to a positive vs a negative, the stress would be a lot less, and could prevent you from getting sick.
YOU’RE LESS LIKELY TO HAVE A STROKE.
“Optimism is associated with a slower buildup of the plaque in your arteries that can lead to a stroke,” – says Eric Kim, lead author on the University of Michigan study that found that the more positive people were, the lower their odds of having a stroke.
Make positivity a part of your arsenal against it: An optimistic approach lowers your chance of heart disease. A study found that optimists were less likely than pessimists to develop coronary heart disease.
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.
Whatever you believe in your heart to be true is a reality in your life. As a result, you then attract events, experiences and people in your life to match your ‘loves’ or ‘beliefs’.