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Healthy You

Glass Half Full: Benefits of Positive Thinking

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 8:21 AM

It’s easier to be negative than positive. Not surprisingly, it takes more facial muscles to smile than frown. Though, that’s up for debate. But what’s not debatable? Having an optimistic view of life is beneficial to your health. Robert Farra, PhD, Psychotherapist at NorthShore, addresses the benefits of positive thinking and how they are one of life’s greatest game-changers, if you let them.

PositiveThinking

Benefits of Positive Thinking:

  • Depression Fighter: There’s a direct correlation between negative thinking and depression. Change negative thought patterns into positive ones daily until they become habit.
  • Longer Life: Positivity also lowers stress levels which can help prolong life.  
  • Immunity Booster: Your odds of contracting the flu or bronchitis for longer periods are higher if your mind is constantly negative. Research shows that negative emotions affect the part of your brain that can weaken the immune response. 
  • Stress Reliever: Life can be challenging and we all face difficulties - but positive thinking can help you cope with stress in a healthy way. Think, speak and feel your positive words every day to help face those challenges.

Benefits of Positive Actions:

  • Smile: Science shows that when you smile, the muscles in your forehead are linked to your brain’s emotional center. Smiling sends positive thoughts to your mind. Frowns, just the opposite.
  • Laugh: When you laugh, the body releases endorphins to reduce pain. Laughing improves your oxygen intake, immune system, respiratory tract and mindset, and gives your diaphragm a healthy workout.
  • Positive Company:  Consider who your friends are. Surround yourself with positive-thinking people who have your best interests at heart. 
  • Find Your Zen: Meditation and yoga are great activities to calm your mind, body and soul. If you’re hearing or thinking negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones.
  • You First: Don’t feel selfish by putting your health and well-being first. What good are you to others if you’re no good to yourself? Take control of your life and fill it with positive words and a healthy mind.