Some of us are natural optimists, and others are pessimists. But there is no doubt that having a positive mindset is ideal when faced with stressful situations. Approaching life with a doomsday attitude will make difficult situations more stressful—and bring down both your physical and mental health.
Studies have shown that optimism improves your mental health and is also advantageous to your physical well-being. Don’t worry if you’re a natural pessimist—you can quickly learn how to embrace more positivity.
Explore the many helpful health benefits of positive thinking and find ways to become pragmatic!
There are numerous physical health benefits when we swap out negative thinking for optimism:
- We strengthen our immune systems and develop more resistance to common illnesses like a cold.
- We lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease or suffering a heart attack.
- Our lifespans increase.
Learning to reset your mindset and transitioning from a pessimist to an optimistic can overhaul your mental health, too. Here are a few ways you’ll feel transformed:
- You’ll have a lower chance of developing depression and anxiety.
- You’ll develop coping skills to deal with stressful situations.
- You’ll cultivate deeper connections with loved ones.
Some of us are more likely to have negative thoughts than others, but we all can transform our negative inclinations into more positive ones. The first step is to identify pessimistic thinking.
Are you wondering if you’re overly pessimistic? These are the tell-tale traits:
- Magnifying: Your mind always jumps to the worst-case scenario and eliminates all the positive outcomes.
- Blaming: If something awful, or even inconvenient, does happen, you blame yourself every time.
- Polarizing: There is never a middle ground: everything is good or bad—usually bad.
Changing Your Mindset
Like other muscles in your body, your brain is another muscle you can train. Incorporating positive thinking into your life is done with simple but effective strategies:
- Start Small: Pick one area of your life to positively approach: work, your health, or your relationship. Then, start to apply the same thinking to other areas.
- Check in With Yourself: Throughout the day, periodically check in with yourself and your thoughts. Are you going to the worst-case scenario constantly? Think of positive outcomes as well and speak to yourself with kindness.
- Humor: Seek out humor throughout your day! Whether it’s because of a friend’s joke or something online, laughing reduces stress levels and releases endorphins.
- Lifestyle: Adjust your lifestyle to add more exercise, healthy foods, and positive people. Ask for support from loved ones in your life to help you become more optimistic!
There are numerous helpful health benefits of positive thinking, both physically and emotionally. Treat yourself with kindness, and you’ll see positive changes in all areas of your life!