Positive Thinking May Improve Your Health
Positive or Negative Reactions
Do you tend to react in a positive or more negative fashion to problems? Is your glass half full? Attitudes obviously affect people on an emotional level, and they can affect people on a physical level in many instances. If health can be affected by emotions, then what can a person do to change this narrative?
Some research studies have shown that optimism and pessimism will both affect your health. Effective stress management involves positive thinking. Pessimistic people can learn positive thinking skills. This does not mean that you simply ignore life’s unpleasant situations, but you learn to deal with them in a different way.
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.— Helen Keller
Positive Thinking Impacts Some Diseases
People that have a family history of heart disease can reduce their risk of heart attacks with a positive attitude. A study confirmed that a person with a positive attitude was one-third less likely to have any cardiovascular incident within 5 to 25 years compared to those with a negative outlook.
Scientist do not fully understand why they got these results, but the consensus is that stress and negativity causes inflammatory damage. Other studies show that negativity with regard to emotions can weaken the immune response, thus leaving the body open to diseases.
What About Age?
People of 50 years or older were assessed in a Health and Retirement Study. Inflammation was measured by assessing the blood level of CRP. Over a 6 year period of time the result showed that people with lower CRP survived longer.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.— Willie Nelson
The Benefits of Positive Thinking
If you can be optimistic by thinking positively concerning your health and life, there are several benefits according to researchers.
Some of the benefits include:
- Better resistance to the common cold
- An increased life span
- A lower rate of depression
- Improved psychological and physical health
- Better cardiovascular health with a lower risk of death from any cardiovascular disease
- Improved coping skills that help during times of stressful situations
Scientist do not fully understand why we experience health benefits through positive thinking. They know positive thinking helps people to cope more effectively with stressful situations. This negates the harmful inflammatory response. Scientist also think positive thinking people probably live a healthier lifestyle, which includes exercising, eating healthy and not smoking or drinking alcohol to excess.
Other Disease Reactions
According to a University of Kansas study, people who smile, even with a fake smile, had a reduction of their heart rate and blood pressure during times of stress.
Another study of people with HIV who had received training for eight “positive thinking skills” were less depressed, and they were more compliant about taking their medications.
There is no real evidence that positive thinking or the emotional well-being of cancer patients helped them live longer or stopped the progression of cancer, although it may help them cope with their cancer treatment more effectively. A quality of life questionnaire was sent to 1,093 cancer patients by Dr. Coyne and his associates. These patients were part of a clinical trial. This ruled out other health disparities, and it ensured the uniformity of treatments.
Additionally, a 2010, study of 60,000 people who were followed for 30 years found no particular personality trait linking the risk of cancer or for cancer survival. Factors such as, smoking alcohol consumption and other known risk factors for cancer were taken into account.
Studies have shown that people living with chronic stress will ultimately “manifest a disease”. Chronic stress causes an increase in catecholamines, which can lead to severe bronchoconstriction in asthmatics, and it can cause an increase in stomach acid. This can lead to a peptic ulcer and other GI system diseases. The stress can also build up plaque in the coronary arteries.
The Power of Positivity
Improving Positive Thinking Skills
Thinking is the keyword, as our thoughts determine our actions and reactions. If you are a negative thinker, it is possible to create some new healthy habits.
Some the ways to think in a more positive fashion include:
- Always be open to humor and laugh at yourself.
- Occasionally during the day stop and evaluate what you are actually thinking and put a positive spin on your thoughts.
- Choose a healthy lifestyle with exercise and a healthy diet.
- Learn stress management techniques.
- Keep positive people close by, and avoid negative people as they increase stress.
- Practice positive self-talk by not saying anything to yourself that you would not say to someone else.
- Think about the positive things in your life to increase gratitude.
If something comes up that you have never done before, do not automatically think it will be too hard. Use the experience as an opportunity to learn something new.
Practice meditation or prayer daily. Yoga is also something that will strengthen and give flexibility to your body, and it will also be relaxing.
Changing Negative Thinking
Do not magnify any negative aspects of your life, any chore or job. Find the positive aspects of any given situation if possible. Remember life keeps changing with ups and downs, but the the tough times typically do not last. If you see everything as black or white with no gray it does not help. Listening to those close to you when they try to encourage you, and do not think you have to be perfect.
Keep Working Towards Positivity
If you do have a more negative attitude and worry about every little thing, you will probably not change overnight. Just work to be less critical and accepting of circumstances in your life. If can you develop the ability to become more optimistic, you will be more capability of handling everyday problems without anger or stress.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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© 2019 Pamela Oglesby