Positive thinking does not imply ignoring life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking simply means approaching unpleasantness more positively and productively. You expect the best, not the worst to happen.
Firstly it can be said that positive thinking frequently begins with self-talk. Self-talk is the unspoken stream of thoughts that runs through your mind. Positive or negative automatic thoughts can occur. Secondly, logic and reason play a role in some of your self-talk. However other self-talk may result from misconceptions you create due to a lack of information or expectations you have based on previous experiences.
In other words, if the majority of your thoughts are negative, your outlook on life is likely pessimistic whereas if your thoughts are mostly positive, you’re probably an optimist — someone who believes in positive thinking.
Health benefits of positive thinking
Researchers are still investigating the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Positive thinking may provide the following health benefits:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress and pain
- Greater resistance to illnesses
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke
- Reduced risk of death from cancer
- Prevent of death from respiratory conditions
- Reduced risk of death from infections
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
It’s unclear why people who think positively have these health benefits. According to one theory, having a positives attitude allows you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the negative health effects of stress on your body.
Optimistic people are also thought to live healthier lifestyles — they engage in more physical activity, eat a healthier diet, and do not smoke or drink excessively.
However yo can learn to change your negative thoughts into positives ones. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — after all, you’re forming a new habit. The following are some strategies for thinking and acting more positively and optimistically.