5 Ways Positive Thinking Impacts Your Health
The Mind-Body Connection
The power of positive thinking has been studied and the results are clear: the mind and body are connected. Research is showing that your mental attitude can have a big impact on your physical health.
This doesn’t mean that you can cure illnesses with just the power of positive thinking, but there is some evidence that reducing stress and directing your attention to positive thoughts can change the way the neural pathways in your brain fire, resulting in a release of feel-good neurochemicals. Over time and with repetition, this can result in greater physical health and well-being. .
Better Heart Health
A comprehensive study that included more than 70,000 women found that women who maintained a positive attitude were significantly less likely to die from heart disease. Women who practiced positive thinking also had lower rates of serious illnesses like cancer and lung disease. In a study conducted on 8,000 people in the U.K., researchers found that people of both sexes who kept a positive attitude had a 30% lower chance of developing heart disease. That’s pretty strong evidence that spending a few minutes a day cultivating a positive attitude can have a impact on your health.
Stronger Immune System
Studies have also shown that people who are positive have fewer colds, get the flu less often, and are generally healthier than people who have a negative mindset. That’s because your mental attitude can impact your immune system. When you’re happier your immune system is stronger and will protect you from things like viruses and colds better. Having a positive attitude is like drinking a tall glass of orange juice when it comes to boosting your immune system.
Better Oral Health
Staying positive can affect your teeth? It really can! People who are stressed out or feeling a lot of pressure often grind their teeth. Bruxism, which is the official term for grinding your teeth, can lead to worn down teeth, broken teeth, cavities, and gum problems. If you grind your teeth at night while you sleep, you may also develop jaw problems.
If you’re currently having a problem with grinding your teeth call us at Monroe Family Dentistry today to have a dental exam and see if a custom dental appliance for bruxism can help prevent damage. We can help you protect your teeth while you are learning to be more positive and reduce stress levels in your waking hours.
Better Mental Health
Practicing positivity can improve your mental health too. You can’t think your way out of a mental illness with positive thoughts, but positive thinking can make it easier to deal with the symptoms of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Positivity practices and reducing stress can also help people who struggle with mental health disorders like PTSD.
Longer Life Expectancy
Happier people live longer. That’s because a positive mindset can improve your coping skills, make you better at communicating, reduce stress, increase your likelihood of making healthy diet and exercise choices, and improve your brain function. If you want to live as long as possible, one of the keys to longevity seems to be choosing to think positively. That doesn’t mean that life is always a bed of roses, but it means that you choose to tackle adversity with a hopeful, optimistic attitude.
Tips For Thinking Positively
For many people the hardest part of being more positive is learning how to cultivate positivity. After all, you can’t just will yourself to be happy all the time. But you can create routines and engage in practices that are designed to increase positivity and boost your mood.
Positivity, like exercise, is something that will get easier the more you make it part of your daily routine. Some things that you can do to get yourself thinking positively include:
- Journaling for 30 minutes every day
- Spending time in nature at least three times a week
- Going for a walk every day to reduce stress levels
- Finding a hobby that you love and doing it at least twice a week
- Adopting a pet or volunteering at an animal shelter
- Writing out your goals in a positivity journal
- Starting a gratitude journal and every day write down 5 things that you’re thankful for
- Getting more sleep
- Taking naps
- Eating healthy food that will nourish your body
- Receiving routine medical or dental care
- Spending some time doing nothing each day
- Playing sports
- Spending time with your loved ones
- Smiling more
Taking good care of your physical health matters too!
If you haven’t been taking care of your medical or dental health that’s a great place to start. Call us today so we can schedule you for a cleaning and exam and address any dental pain or concerns that you’ve been having. Good health care means looking after the body and the mind – and together this can help you live a longer, happier life!