A positive attitude doesn’t just endear you to the people you love or increase your happiness. It can also improve your overall health and lessen your likelihood of developing certain diseases and conditions. Of course, negativity can have the opposite effect.
If you’re plagued by negative self-talk or if you struggle with thinking positive thoughts, consider these three health benefits of adopting a positive mind-set.
Protect Yourself from Cardiovascular Disease
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A study conducted by Johns Hopkins researchers revealed that, even for people with a family history of heart disease, qualities like hopefulness and optimism made them less likely to experience cardiovascular issues. While you can’t change your genes, you can focus on positive thoughts and practice gratitude to improve your outlook on life. Your attitude changes might help you protect yourself from heart-related conditions.
Johns Hopkins recommends reframing as a technique to help you escape negative thoughts. When you’re faced with a stressful situation, such as a reprimand from your boss, take a moment to reframe the circumstances in a different context. For instance, you might feel gratitude that you have a stable job or express your appreciation for the constructive criticism your boss offered.
Experience Fewer Illnesses and Symptoms
When positive people come down with an illness, such as the common cold or the flu, they show fewer or less serious symptoms. Additionally, when exposed to viruses, people with positive mind-sets were less likely to get sick at all. If you develop a positive attitude, you might not have to deal with symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, or chest congestion.
Experts have also linked positive mind-sets to longevity. People who see the glass as “half-full,” so to speak, tend to live longer than people with more pessimistic outlooks on life. While many factors can impact life expectancy, a positive attitude seems like a simple way to keep yourself healthy for as long as possible.
Reduce Your Risk of Depression
The National Institute of Mental Health reported that in 2014, nearly 16 million American adults experienced “at least one major depressive episode” in the previous year. Depression is a significant threat to your mental health, but adopting a positive attitude can help keep it at bay.
Positivity isn’t always enough to prevent episodes of chronic or situational depression. If you struggle with this condition, see your doctor or consult one of the health professionals on Curely.co for guidance. You might need additional treatment to help you cope with your symptoms, but a positive mind-set might help you ease your discomfort or avoid recurring episodes of depressive thoughts.
Positivity can also help reduce the effects of anxiety, frustration, and other issues related to mental health. You might notice that you don’t dwell on problems as long or that you fall asleep easier at night if you make a conscious effort to think positively.
Adopting a positive mind-set takes practice for people to whom it doesn’t come naturally. The positive health benefits a positive attitude, however, make the effort worth your while.