Think back to the last time you had a bad day. Someone probably told you to “keep your chin up” or “look at the glass as half full.” Whether or not you took that advice, it is wise to try to maintain your sense of optimism in spite of obstacles or setbacks. Why? Because the benefits of positive thinking are far greater than you might think.
Positive psychology is a domain that has recently emerged within the field of psychology. It involves the study of the psychological and physiological effects of positive habits, thoughts, and behaviors. Currently, there is a wealth of research to suggest that positive thinkers are far better off than pessimists. When it comes to stress levels, psychological, and physiological health, optimists are ahead of the game. These are the top five benefits of positive thinking:
1. Better stress-coping mechanisms.
We all face stressful situations from time to time. Job loss, trouble at home, conflict with a co-worker, or having to give a high-pressure exam – these are only a few of the stressful situations that an individual might encounter at any time. However much stress there may be in your life, it’s how you deal with those stressful situations that matters. Researchers have shown that self-professed optimists are more likely to approach disappointment by identifying what actions they can take to ameliorate the situation. Instead of rueing what went wrong or wasting energy focusing on things they cannot change, they try to resolve difficult situations. Non-optimists take the opposite approach, by taking it for granted that they cannot change the situation.
2. Better mental health.
Positive thinkers are less likely to experience mental-health problems such as depression, anxiety, and in general, they enjoy better psychological health as compared to pessimists. While it is true that people suffering from mental illnesses such as depression can’t be “cured” by positive thinking, it does contribute to a healthy mind and positive emotions over the long term. When you learn to approach your life with a positive attitude and to explain events in a constructive manner, it becomes easier for you to deal with those events.
If you don’t see yourself as an optimist, you needn’t worry. It isn’t hard to overcome negative thought patterns and start experiencing the benefits of positive thinking. Stillness is one way to help you overcome negativity. Through meditation, you can learn to break away from the way that you have been conditioned to think. Take some time to find out more by clicking on the link below:
3. Better physical health.
It’s not certain whether people who are positive thinkers are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors such as getting regular exercise. Another theory that explains why optimists tend to be healthier is that they experience less stress or are better able to cope with stress, and thus the effects of stress on the physical body are lesser. Whatever the reason, optimists enjoy better health as compared to pessimists.
- Optimists live longer.
- Positive thinkers recover faster from injuries and illnesses.
- Optimists have better immune systems – they’re less susceptible to the common cold.
- Positive thinkers are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease.
- Optimists experience overall better health.
4. Better social life.
This benefit is fairly intuitive. Think of the people you typically want to be around. Are they negative, always complaining, or frequently in a low mood? We’re willing to guess that’s not the case. It’s natural to want to be around people that are cheerful, upbeat, and optimistic. Therefore people that laugh a lot and tend to see events in a positive light are more likely to have more friends.
5. More success.
In general, optimists are more successful – making more money – at their jobs. In a study of insurance salesmen, optimistic salespeople sold 88% more than pessimistic salespeople. They were also less likely to quit their jobs, less likely to give up when they encounter work-related struggles, and more likely to describe a hopeful future when it came to their careers.
If you would like to learn how to improve your sense of optimism, The Stillness Project can help you. Get our three free videos that will reveal how to live a more positive life below.