These unprecedented times with ever-changing rules, restrictions, and guidance have made life especially challenging for those dealing with sickness or advancing in age. This often extends to the caretakers and nurses who are struggling to keep their own spirits uplifted, while focusing on the wellbeing of others. Believe it or not, one of the best ways to stay healthy and happy is to remain optimistic. Many studies have shown that keeping a bright outlook can help you to navigate life in a much more stable way. Read below to find out the top six surprising ways a positive attitude can improve your overall health.
Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you ignore the difficulties of life, it simply means that you approach unpleasantness in a more productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst. Instead of dwelling on what makes you unhappy or the things that you cannot change, optimists will create a plan of action and are more willing to seek advice and help from others. So, when stressful situations inevitably arise, those who are proactive and utilize their resources, will not feel the same burden and fear that negative thinkers often do.
Improves Immune System
Researchers have found that older people who focused on positive information were more likely to have stronger immune systems and negative emotions were linked to a weakened immune response.
Longer Life Span
Plenty of studies suggest that optimistic people have a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and decreases in lung capacity and function. Optimism is also associated with a lower risk of early death from cancer and infection, and now new studies link optimism to living a longer life. One of the most common explanations for this is that a long-term effect of a positive mindset is less stress. Stress is known to trigger internal inflammation, which speeds up the aging process. Less stress means less inflammation, which can result in longer life.
When you think optimistically, you approach situations with more hope and feel more empowered to handle hard things, thus you tend to embrace challenges more openly and feel more motivated to take action.
Supports Mental Health
Positive or negative emotions can directly affect your brain chemistry and actions. People who regularly include self-care practices and maintain a hopeful mindset have a much lower risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. Additionally, when you have tools for self-regulation and are mentally more at ease, you are more able to deal with challenges.
It’s Contagious! (In a great way)
For hundreds of years, researchers have studied the tendency for people to unconsciously and automatically mimic the emotional expressions of others, and in many cases, actually feel the same feelings simply by exposure. Therefore, leading with a smile and a positive attitude will help your clients see there is another (and far more beneficial) way to move through life.
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