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Positive Thinking – What is it and How does it Boost your Health

Positive thinking is being optimistic in every situation. A positive mind looks forward to the opportunities and develops a positive attitude that manifests it to happen. If you pay attention to the negatives, you will never find the positives.

An individual with a positive approach attracts more success both in personal and professional life. No matter how difficult things turn out to be, positive thoughts never tend to hold you back. Positive thinkers never allow defeats to block their way.

What is the power of positive thinking? 

Several studies suggest the significance of positive thinking and how it helps the well-being of an individual. Psychological studies show positive thinking leads to improved health and wellness. Positive thinking benefits you in many ways; both positive and negative thoughts affect your brain differently 

  • Positive thoughts expand your focus, and negative thoughts narrow down your focus 
  • A positive attitude towards life directly influences your body, both physically and mentally
  • A negative thinker always focuses on the problem. However, positive thinkers aim at finding solutions to those problems

A positive mindset brings harmony and happiness. It also improves relationships and attracts success in your life.  To stay positive, you must work towards changing your mindset. You can make an enormous difference in your life by changing your thought, attitude, expectation, and approach 

What causes negative thoughts?

Negative thoughts result from thinking patterns. The common forms of thinking patterns are as follows.

  • Black and white thinking: A distortion that makes you think if something is not all of what you want, then it is none of what you want. It is thinking that relies either on perfectionism or a total failure
  • Magnification: You imagine the worst all on your own. If you do not get your expected praises, you would spiral and blame yourself. Taking a problem and making it more serious than it is
  • Filtering out the positive aspects: Developing a habit of overseeing positive thoughts and only focusing on negative thoughts  
  • Perceiving things negatively: When you think of the future, it is always in an adverse way, and that makes you more upset 
  • Blaming yourself for something not under your control: This includes personalization or making things all about you in a negative way. Taking things personally and blaming yourself
  • Overgeneralizing: Taking one negative point and making it a truth for the entire life. This is an overthinking pattern

How to replace the negative thought pattern?

  • Find opportunities to turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts: Train your brain to think positively. Rather than thinking about a negative quality in a person/situation. Look for things you feel positive about. Reframing your thoughts helps and is an excellent exercise to practice.
  • Aim for neutral thoughts: If you are feeling low and positive thoughts feel out of reach, go for a neutral thought. Replace negative thoughts with something positive or not so positive.
  • Be grateful for things you have: Flooded with negative thoughts? Try the writing technique. Get a notepad and write 3-5 things you are grateful for. If you continue this practice daily, it’s a tried and tested approach to improve thinking. 
  • Practice meditation: Meditation is an age-old therapy. People who meditate regularly possess a more positive approach than those who do not. It also improves spiritual and mental health. Start with 15 minutes a day, start with deep breathing to let go of negativity.
  • Crack jokes: Humor increases endorphins, relieves stress, and also fights off other negative thoughts. It can also help you cope up with difficult situations and make you feel happier. At the same time, it prepares your body for a positive mindset.
  • Start your day with affirmations: Feel thankful for the new day, your job, the people around you, and yourself! Keep yourself open to inspirational ideas. Remember, positive thinking is a daily exercise; you must practice and win.
  • Be creative: Doing activities you enjoy would increase endorphins, and you’d feel lighter and better. When you process emotions through creativity, you feel relieved. 
  • Spend time outdoors: Sometimes, the environment or vibe plays an important role—the people you surround yourself with matter a lot. Go outside to purge yourself of negative emotions. Spend time quietly. Reconnect with nature. Head to a park or museum to give yourself a space of tranquility
  • Talk it out: If something is bothering you, you shouldn’t bottle it up. Talk to your close ones, friends, or family. By talking it out, you’d feel light.  
  • Smile more: It is the last thing one could think of when feeling low. But smiling can change your mood. If you do not find it easier, take a minute and think of all the good times- that can make you smile. It’s always better to have more laughs in the conversation and more smiles in life than negativity.

How positive thinking boosts your health? 

  • Boosts mental health: If you think positively, you are less likely to experience mental health problems. Your life becomes peaceful, happy, and stress-free. Positive thoughts keep depression, anxiety, or restlessness at bay.
  • You also live longer: Positive thinking contributes to you living longer. People with an optimistic mindset have a longer lifespan than those with a negative mindset. This happens because a positive outlook uplifts physical and mental well-being.
  • Positive thinking enhances the immune system: A positive attitude helps you fight off illness. There is an intense connection between brain, behaviour, and immunity. People who approach life positively are less vulnerable to immune diseases.
  • Keeps heart diseases away: Adding positive thoughts into your life reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks because you are stressing less about everything. When you have good thoughts, you eat healthy food and exercise properly. All this contributes to better immunity against heart disease.
  • Resistance to depression: Depression is a serious issue. However, if you are a positive thinker, you can deal with problems optimistically. Yes, you feel down for some time, but your positive nature will always get you out. A literature review published in the Journal of Research and Reflections in Education (2015) shows that thinking allows you to come up with healthy aspects of dealing with stress positively.
  • Healthy and glowing skin: Your skin will look healthy if you follow a proper diet along with exercise. Having healthy skin makes you look fresh and young. This means positive thoughts help in ageing delays.
  • Better resilience: If you stay resilient, you can easily cope up with depression or anxiety. You learn to deal with situations, even in the worst case. Positive mindsets bring out the best in you and make you believe that you can achieve your goals, making you less anxious and sad. 

Other proven health benefits of positive thinking are:

  • Resistance to breast, ovarian, and lung cancer.
  • Reduces risks related to respiratory diseases.
  • Enhances energy level.
  • Offers a better quality of life.
  • Better stress management skills.
  • Ability to recover quickly from illness.

When to see your Doctor?

Every mental illness has its level. But there are common ones that require immediate attention.

  • Anxiousness
  • Irritability or moodiness
  • Sleepless nights
  • Imagining things that don’t exist
  • Poor concentration

If you notice any of these symptoms over time, consult your doctor. Seeking medical help is extremely important. Once you receive a diagnosis with any of these symptoms, your doctor will create the best plan that works for you.

If left untreated, mental health issues might lead to other health problems.

Conclusion

It is not possible to transform a negative outlook into an optimistic approach overnight. But with consistent efforts, dedication, and patience, you will learn to approach things positively.

 Remember, you can always change your attitude towards life to have a happier and healthier life. The more optimistic you are, the better you will be at managing stress.

This eventually, leads to a positive thought process. Being positive needs continuous practice. And once you are stable, you can change your luck upside down.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there any treatment options available?

Yes, just like physical wellness, there are options available for mental health too. These options work differently for different people. Your doctor will help you decide the best treatment for your illness.

How successful is the treatment process?

Early treatment is helpful in quick recovery. Proper medications, a healthy diet, exercising with meditation programs are useful in the treatment process. Immediate diagnosis is crucial. A continuous follow-up ensures a successful treatment plan.

What causes mental illness?

Mental illness can result from a combination of various factors. These reasons can be an individual’s life-changing events in the past, inherited genes, or exposure to environmental stressors. 

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