Psychologists extol the virtues of positive thinking for good reason. It is indeed healthy to feel optimistic about your life and future. Read on to know why and learn about the many health benefits of positive thinking.
Increases Life Span
Researchers say optimistic people are more focused on their work and hence more successful compared to pessimists. A Dutch research study found that pessimists had a much higher chance of dying during the follow-up time span of nine years. In another study, optimistic postmenopausal women were found to have reduced hypertension and death rates compared to pessimists.
Reduces Risk of Death Due to Heart Disease
Positive thinkers are more immune to heart disease which is a leading cause of death in the U.S. Research shows that optimists are less likely to contract coronary heart disease compared to negative thinkers. Another study found that optimistic thinkers were much less susceptible to heart failure compared to pessimists. This is because optimists lead healthier lifestyles paying attention to diet, exercise, and stress management which makes a big difference.
Raises Resistance to Depression
Optimists are likely to be more resistant to physical and mental health problems as they grow older. In a study, optimistic teens enjoyed more protection against depression and were less likely to indulge in antisocial behavior and substance abuse. The study reveals that optimistic kids are better able to avoid behavioral and emotional problems as they grow up. Pessimists are more prone to depression reports the journal Psychology Today. Cognitive therapy, which involves altering thinking patterns to cultivate positive mood, is widely used to treat depression.
Helps to Combat Aging
A Canadian study found that pessimistic seniors experienced decline in mobility and functioning ability while doing daily tasks. Thus, optimism can not only help you live a longer life, but also help to delay the impact of aging.
Positive thinking can act as a defense against ailments like common cold. Negative thinking can reduce the body’s immune response to flu shots. A study found that optimistic students had healthier immune cells compared to worried students. Psychologists say positive thinkers also recover more quickly from surgery, and are able to better manage serious diseases like AIDS, heart ailments, and cancer.
Do not let your spirits go down if the going gets tough. Train your mind to think positively even in hard times to enjoy the physical and psychological benefits revealed in this article.