Is Your Glass Half Empty or Half Full?
Improving Our Thoughts Improves Our Lives
We all realize that positive thinking benefits our physical health as well as our mental health and recent research has also suggested as much. Here are some benefits to developing a more positive outlook on life:
Positive Thinking Can Counter Stress and Illness
Whether your glass is half full or half empty, how you see that glass and the rest of the world can impact how you deal with everyday situations. Optimistic folks will see the positive in most if not all situations that can cause stress. To complicate things even more, stress directly affects the health of our immune systems.
Recent studies show that negative thoughts can wear down our immunity response to certain conditions. One study showed that the increased brain activity during negative thinking adversely affected the body’s response to seasonal flu vaccination. Further, negative self-talk and emotions play a huge role in the onset of depression.
Positive thinking has helped patients suffering from long term diseases like cancer. Those who were able to control negative thinking experienced reduced bad side effects of treatment and a faster recovery.
The Research is Ongoing
When it comes to the benefits of positive thinking for our health, the research is still inconclusive. The Mayo Clinic cites several benefits, however, of positive thinking:
* Longer life span
* Improved resistance to viruses
* Overall better wellbeing
* Less risk of depression
* Reduced chance of fatal cardiovascular disease
Although many theories circulate as to why positive thinkers experience some or all of these benefits, the bottom line is that they are less stressed than other people. The way they talk to themselves day in and day out has a positive effect on their health.
Most of the time we don’t even notice the thoughts in our head; our stream of thoughts usually runs unchecked and studies have shown that we may have thousands of negative thoughts every day. It’s not hard to see that a stream of negative thoughts can produce a negative perspective on life which, in turn, makes it hard to deal with all kinds of situations.
The benefits of positive thinking includes much more than happiness. If we train ourselves to think positively, we can experience the beneficial effects of positive thinking in all areas of our life including our health.