Thinking Positively Can Impact Your Health and Well-Being

Brian Junyor
Jun 29, 2017 · 3 min read
Image for post
Image for post

Positive thinking can be an integral part of your stress management toolkit and it can improve your health. Studies show that personality traits such as optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and well-being. [1] [2] [3]

Image for post
Image for post

While research is ongoing, some of the health benefits that correlate with thinking positively include:

  • Increased life span
  • Decreased rates of depression
  • Better cardiovascular health

It’s unclear precisely how positivity impacts overall health. Popular theories include that a positive outlook engenders better coping skills and reduces the harmful effects of stress or that more optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles. While the exact nature of how your mental outlook impacts your physical well-being, there is sufficient evidence that it’s worth trying to maintain a positive mental attitude.

Positive thinking isn’t about ignoring life’s problems, it only means that the way you approach issues in a productive way. It means that instead of immediately focusing on the negative aspects of any given situation, yet take a step back and try to look at the whole picture.

Shift Your Inner Dialogue

Shift Your Focus

Shift Your Body

In conclusion, simply being aware of what is going on inside your head can make a big impact on the direction of your thoughts. Controlling your thoughts is the first step to gaining some control over negative emotions. You may not become an optimist overnight, but with practice you can become more positive.

— -

  1. Carver CS, Scheier MF, Segerstrom SC. “Optimism.” Clin Psychol Rev. 2010;30(7):879–89.
  2. Hernandez R, Kershaw KN, Siddique J, et al. “Optimism and Cardiovascular Health: Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).” Health Behav Policy Rev. 2015;2(1):62–73.
  3. Cohen S, Alper CM, Doyle WJ, Treanor JJ, Turner RB. “Positive emotional style predicts resistance to illness after experimental exposure to rhinovirus or influenza a virus.” Psychosom Med. 2006;68(6):809–15.
  4. Ekkekakis, Panteleimon, et al. “Walking in (affective) circles: can short walks enhance affect?.” Journal of Behavioral Medicine 23.3 (2000): 245–275.
  5. Emmons, Robert A., and Michael E. McCullough. “Counting blessings versus burdens: an experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life.” Journal of personality and social psychology 84.2 (2003): 377.

Originally published at Brian Junyor.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store