Optimism & Gratitude: The Power Of Positive Thinking
Optimists tend to explain bad events as due to a temporary external cause and have a generally positive view of life’s ups and downs. Because optimists tend to actively engage in planning and problem solving, they may experience less anxiety and stress than pessimists. Research suggests that positive thinking and optimism can impact health. Positive emotions are associated with a decreased production of the stress hormone cortisol, along with improved immune function, and reduced disease risk. Even simple laughter may boost immunity, relieve pain, lower stress, and even help protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure.
Here are several proactive, health-beneficial steps to feeling more optimistic:
- Take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting adequatedeep sleep.
- Consider writing in a gratitude journal. Make mental or actual notes throughout the day of things you are grateful for or text yourself as they come to you or occur. At the end of the day, spend a few minutes before bed writing these down in a journal. Both feeling and expressing gratitude can go a long way to affect positive mental change.
- Breathe! My breath exercises are just the ticket to help activate your parasympathetic response and promote calm in stressful events.
- Confide in someone – your significant other, a good friend, or a trusted family member. And don’t be nervous if you feel you need professional help in problem solving or just need a trained ear to speak with.
- You’ve all heard the saying: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Instead of bristling at life’s annoyances, try to view them calmly and curiously.
- Look for humor in difficult circumstances. It can help brighten situations and keep negative emotions at bay.
- Truly try to view the cup as half full instead of half empty.
- In appropriate situations, relinquish control and learn to just go with the flow! This can be quite liberating.
- Take a news detox. Too often the news media and social media lead toward a focus on the negative. Spend time unplugged from these sources and instead invest in positive stories or experiences.
Learn more: How to address anxiety symptoms naturally.
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