We are all born with a unique temperament. Most of us naturally sway toward either positive thinking or negative thinking. Which state you spend most of your time in can affect your life. And your health.
Studies have shown that your thoughts, and whether they are optimistic or pessimistic, affect your health and well being. Are you a glass half empty kind of person by nature? The good news…you can change that negative way of thinking and learn to be more positive.
Positive mental attitude, or PMA, is shown to hold mega health benefits. It reduces stress, boosts immunity, reduces risk of heart disease, lowers chance of depression, improves coping skills, and could even increase your life span. How about that for a list of kudos?
For those who veer toward the positive end of the spectrum this is good news. By making a few adjustments to their thoughts and retraining their frame of mind, those who tend to look at things in a more negative light can also reap these amazing advantages.
First, let’s get something straight. Developing PMA does not mean you hide out in denial. Not even the most sunny amongst us are positive all the time. We are not talking constantly upbeat and happy, happy, happy. It’s more about perception and expecting a good outcome. That is the real goal here. Difficulties and annoyances are going to come up in life. It is how you deal with them that is important.
A study on the effects of positive thinking on heart patients shows that an upbeat outlook is essential in improving long term health. Those with a more optimistic attitude tend to have more energy and confidence, which means they are more apt to eat right, exercise and take care of themselves in general.
But can positive thoughts help you in ways other than motivating you toward a healthy lifestyle? Experts say they can. The placebo effect has proven it is so. While it may be largely up to the individual, an average of 30 percent of people who are given a placebo by a doctor in studies report a positive response to the “medication”. Of course, a sugar pill cannot do anything to you physically. It is the mind telling you that you feel better. However, we cannot placebo ourselves. If we give ourselves a sugar pill we are on to it. It does not have the same effect as when delivered by a doctor.
Still, this mind body connection is hard to deny. Many experts, like Deepak Chopra, believe the mind has the power to heal. Chopra advises relaxing the mind to a more peaceful state, rather than constantly trying to think positive thoughts. He advocates meditation as a great way to calm the mind and gain focus.
Positive thinking is a powerful tool in prevention of disease. It also helps you to enjoy the moment, take things as they come, and set desired results in motion.
Of course, there are skeptics. Some professionals believe there is no significant health benefit to a positive outlook. This is something you will have to decide for yourself. Either way, it certainly feels better to enlist a little PMA.
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