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Positive Thinking Improves Health

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession. I enjoy writing, reading historical novels, gardening, and helping people live a healthier life.

positive-thinking-improves-health

Glass Half full?

There has been recent research that shows the way positive thinking actually improves your health. Are you a “glass half full” or a “glass half empty” person? I was teaching a cardiac rehabilitation class as an RN. A nice man who had suffered through several difficult heart procedures came up to me with a disgusted look on his face and said “You're one of those glass half full people!” I just had to laugh, because, yes I am a glass half full girl. I feel better when I have a positive outlook, and I think misery is optional.

Health Benefits of Positive Thinking

If you can have a positive outlook even when you are approaching an unpleasant situation you will typically not be as upset and you may come up with a solution for your problem. There have been several medical research studies that show positive thinking can actually improve your health.

The health benefits provided with positive thinking include:

  • Less depression
  • An increased life span
  • A lower level of distress
  • Improved psychological and physical well-being
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Improved cardiovascular health and a reduced risk of cardiovascular death
  • Improved coping skills during hearships or times of stress
  • Faster recovery from injuries or illness
  • A better immune system

People with a positive outlook tend to have more physical activity, follow a healthier diet, and they often do not smoke or drink alcohol in excess. Thinking in a positive manner makes you less likely to experience anxiety, and you will generally experience better psychological health. Optimists also tend to make more money.

positive-thinking-improves-health

Types of Negative Self-Talk

Some of the common forms of negative self-talk include:

  • Magnifying the negative aspects of any given situation, while filtering out the positive aspects. An example might be filtering out all the positive aspects of a work day while focusing on some minor thing you may not have completed.
  • You automatically blame yourself for any bad outcome even when it is not your fault.
  • Automatically you anticipate the worst outcome in any situation and then think the rest of the day will be disastrous.
  • You polarize and only see things in black or while and there is no grey. You think you need to be perfect, or you think you are a failure.

Control Your Thoughts By Doing This!

Changing Your Outlook

It is possible to become a more positive person if you truly want to change. There are some specific things you can do to change your outlook on life.

These things include:

  • First, identify areas you would like to change. Try positive thinking and identify the areas of your life that you know are negative.
  • Throughout the day try stopping long enough to evaluate what you are thinking and if your thoughts are negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on things.
  • Try smiling or laughing, particularly during a difficult time. See humor in ordinary happenings each day.
  • A healthy lifestyle will help.Try to exercise for thirty minutes on most days, although you can break that timeframe up into ten minutes at a time.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Find supportive people you can depend on that will provide you with positive feedback. Know that negative people will increase your stress level.
  • Practice positive self-talk by following a simple rule: “ Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else.” Evaluate any negative thought that comes into your mind, then evaluate it rationally and respond with something positive. Think good thoughts.

Use loving-kindness medication (LKM) that will let you sit quietly while thinking loving, warm thoughts. Researchers have found that exercise will contribute to your overall health, and that can be as easy as a nice walk each day.

Do This For 7 Days and You Will See Incredible Results

Recent Research

There is a recent medical study that found people who feel cheerful and enthusiastic have what researchers call a “positive affect”. Their memory declined less as they aged, and they were much happier.

One research team analyzed 991 middle-aged and older American citizens in three time periods, including 1995 and 1996, 2004 and 2006, and 2013 and 2014. In every assessment the participants reported on a range of positive emotions they experienced over a 30 day period of time. In each assessment, the participants reported a range of positive emotions they experienced during the previous 30 days.

The researchers found that while memory declined with age. "However, individuals with higher levels of positive affect had a less steep memory decline over the course of almost a decade," according to Emily Hittner, a PhD graduate of Northwestern University and the paper's lead author.

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In Conclusion

A positive attitude has numerous benefits, and you will feel better each day as you go to work or just complete daily commitments. There have been several medical studies that prove a positive attitude will extend your life and make each day more pleasant.

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 21, 2020:

Hi Liz,

I remember and like that song. I thoght this was a perfect time for an article with this topic. It helps to try and think positive, I appreciate your comments. I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 21, 2020:

This is a very timely article. As we head into the winter and the pandemic shows little sign of ending soon, the foretellers of doom and gloom in the media can easily get people down. I once attended a church where there was a notice pinned on the door to a room where business meetings took place. It said 'This is a positive thinking zone'. I am not sure how much effect it had, but the sentiment was there. Your article reminds me of the words of a song 'Always look on the bright side of life'.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 19, 2020:

Hi Devika,

I'm glad you like the article. This seems like a good time to address positive thinking. I appreciate your comments. Stay safe and healthy.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 19, 2020:

Pamela99 a great idea for a hub. Positive thinking is what owrks for me at any time and it makes me feel better. I like your well-inforemd hub. Lots to grasp from this topic.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 19, 2020:

Hi Linda,

This has been a tough year to feel positive. I appreciate your comments.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 18, 2020:

Thanks for this encouraging article, Pamela. I need to do more positive thinking in my life.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 17, 2020:

Hi Adrinne,

It did seem like a good time for this article. I am glad you like this article. I appreciate your comments.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 17, 2020:

Hi Rymond,

It sounds like you have a positive attitude. I am glad you liked the tips.

Thank you for your comments.

Adrienne Farricelli on November 17, 2020:

This is a great article and I am sure very helpful for those in need of seeing through rose-colored glasses. During these difficult times, optimism is important.

Raymond Philippe from The Netherlands on November 17, 2020:

A have to agree for 100% based on my personal experience. (I know that has no scientific value whatsoever). But science is indeed providing proof of this. The tips you gave are useful and doable.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 17, 2020:

Hi Vidya,

I am glad you liked this article. Self-talk is something that I find useful also. Thank you for your comments.

VIDYA D SAGAR on November 17, 2020:

Hi Pamela, Once again a wonderful article, very useful and necessary during this time. I liked the tips for changing our outlook, especially practicing positive self-talk which I often indulge in when I feel low or face difficulties.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Alyssa,

You have always seemed like a positive person to me. I am glad you already believed this and that you enjoyed reading the article. Your comments are appreciated.

Alyssa from Ohio on November 16, 2020:

Yes, yes, yes!! I've always believed this and I love that you brought studies and science to the argument. I enjoyed reading this!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Brenda,

I'm glad you loved this article. I pray daily and that in itself makes me feel happier. If we do get to feeling down about something in life there are ways to change the negative thinking, and I am glad you already knew that. I appreciate your comments. Have a wonderful week.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Linda,

There is so much that is negative in our world this whole year and I thought this was a good time for this topic. I'm glad you found this article interesting. I appreciate your comments and I'm glad there is still away to make them. Have a good week, Linda.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Chitrangada,

I'm glad you liked this article. I think my personal experience is like yours and it is wonderful to get to the positive side of life. Thank you so much for your generous comments. Have a good week.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Ann,

Of course, I agree with your very nice comments. Depression is awful and being around someone that is depressed is also difficult. I think you are a positive person as you always seem so pleasant, Ann. I appreciate your comments and I hope you have a very good week.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Peggy,

It is so important to have a positive attitude to have a happier life. I appreciate your comments. Have a wonderful week.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I'm sure you understand negativity and isn't it wonderful to have a positive person to live with. No doubt that Bev is a blessing. :) I appreciate your comments. Have a good week.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Linda,

I'm glad you liked the article. Thanks so much for your commnts. Have a great week.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 16, 2020:

Pamela,

I love this article!

Staying positive and keeping a positive outlook on life absolutely makes one feel better.

You have great points here. It is always best to have a glass half full rather than empty.

And I know God refills it for me.

Have a great day. So glad I got to comment.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on November 16, 2020:

Hi Pamela, I'm writing this comment from the HP feed. At least THAT is still possible. Thank you for this very timely article. We all need this reminder and you've given us some good advice. A positive outlook certainly does help us mentally and physically.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 16, 2020:

Hi Pamela!

I liked reading this article, as I firmly believe, that positive thinking is important for good health. I can say this from my personal experience. There have been phases in my life, when I was hurt and broken, and it did impact my health. It's then that I consciously practiced this, and have always been positive in my life since then.

You have highlighted some important points in your article. I wish many people read this and get benefited.

Thanks for sharing another wonderful article.

Ann Carr from SW England on November 16, 2020:

Positive thinking makes such a difference. It's not always easy but what's the point in being negative? It harms ourselves just as much as others. Depression is an awful thing so the more we can help others be positive, the better. You do a great job on that score!

Ann

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 16, 2020:

You have given us many reasons to focus on the positive and avoid negativity as it pertains to our health. Thanks, Pamela. Wishing you health and happiness!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 16, 2020:

I am living proof of this statement. I've seen, firsthand, the effects of negativity. Thankfully I'm married to Mary Poppins, so chances are good I'll remain positive. :)

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Eric,

You have been through so many unique and some very tough experiences. It seems that you have a positive attitude all the time. I think you got some good advice. Your comments are appreciated. Have a wonderful week, Eric.

Linda Chechar from Arizona on November 16, 2020:

The good article, Pamela! The best thinks that is certainly wonderful for health. Thanks for your detail information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Manatita,

I am glad you liked those videos as I looked at several before I chose those two. I'm glad you liked the hub and I appreciate your comments. Have a good week!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Sp,

It is draining to be around negative people. I am gad you know that you can train yoursef. Thank you for your comments, and I hope you have a good week.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Dora,

I hope you always try to look at te good. I appreciate your comments, and I hope you have a good week. I hope you have a good week.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Cheryl,

Thank you so much for your very nice advice. Have a wonderful week, Cheryl.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 16, 2020:

Wonderful. Most conclude I am Pollyanna in the flesh. I don't even see the glass half full. I see it full with both air and water. Someone once told me to accept responsibility, not blame, for screw ups no matter who is at fault. Because then you can control to solution.

I have attended classes like you taught. Thank you for your service to others, I can testify it often is a life or death situation.

manatita44 from london on November 16, 2020:

Both videos are super-excellent, as is your very timely article. I see clearly that humans are seeking for meaning and it makes me happy. I'm searching for meaning too, purpose ... perhaps just an older brother to some. Great Hub! Peace!

Sp Greaney from Ireland on November 16, 2020:

I try to have a postive outlook in most situations. It isn't always possible. I like the idea that you can train yourself to be a more positive person. I do know from working with people who are always down on themselves that it is draining being around them.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 16, 2020:

Thank you for the reminder. I know that your message is true and it works. I'm getting better at looking for the good instead of complaining, Happy thoughts keep us happier and healthier.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on November 16, 2020:

Thank you for this powerful hub. It’s well written and detailed. You should write a book.

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 16, 2020:

A wonderful article with excellent advice, Pamela. Positive thinking most certainly does improve health. Thank you for the research and sharing this important information.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on November 16, 2020:

Hi Rosina,

I think your positive attitude is reflected on everything you write on Hubpages. I like the things you do to stay in that positive frame of mind. I appreciate your comments, and I hope you have a wonderful week.

Rosina S Khan on November 16, 2020:

I am a fan of positive thinking and I think it does improve health. I agree with your views 100%, Pamela. I always try to keep myself busy reading self-help material, motivational quotes, and affirmations. They help to better my days and help to maintain an overall positive attitude in my daily life. I really loved reading your article.