Positive Thinking Reduces Stress
We all know the power of positive thinking; less stress, more focus, less depression, more fun. But we also know that it’s not as easy as it sounds. It requires renewing your outlook on life on a daily basis because positive thinking takes more than just seeing the cup half full.
Life is full of challenges which can wear down your resilience and spirit. Just as powerful is the voice inside our heads that keeps a tab on all the bad things that happened at work or during a commute. Stress is bad news, and when it’s chronic it can eventually kill you.
“Just saying that you’re stressed can [set] off a cascade of chemicals in the body—epinephrine and cortisol—and neurotransmitters in the brain that make us feel, well, completely stressed out,” says Seth Swirsky, a clinical psychotherapist and author of 21 Ways to a Happier Depression. “Our hearts beat faster, our breathing becomes more rapid, our blood pressure goes up, we can’t think straight, and were filled with fear and anxiety.”
People who practice positive thinking tend to enjoy:
- Increased productivity rate
- Healthier mental well-being
- Increased stamina and energy levels
- Increased resistance to inflammations and diseases
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Increased self-awareness and confidence
- Better psychological balance
- Reduced incidence of alcohol and drug abuse
Looking at things in a positive light helps put things into perspective. Optimists don’t live in a bubble of happiness, ignoring their problems and stressful situations that they experience. Instead, they find a way out. They visualize the outcome as something they’re capable of achieving. They focus on all the possibilities and have faith in their capabilities, rather than think about the negatives that may hinder their progress.
For example, if an optimist gets turned down for a job, they don’t blame the company and their neighbor and parents. What they do is take on an analytical attitude to fix the mistakes that happened.
They accept it then learn how to prevent it from happening again in the future. It’s a non-ending process, that’s why positive thinking requires practice constantly. Even something as easy as a smile sends a positive message to your brain
The whole process of positive thinking diminishes the negative effect of your daily experiences; problems at work or at home, money, and bills, or relationships. But you need to be aware of how much your thoughts affect your overall health. Start thinking of your mind and body as one entity. In other words, when you’re emotionally drained, your body will be drained as well. And when you do your best to reduce stress triggers, such as negative emotions, your body will function in a healthier, happier way.
The stress hormone, cortisol, becomes unmanageable when we repeatedly think negative thoughts. And once that happens, it’s difficult to control it and return it to its steady levels.
When cortisol goes haywire, it affects our bodies in many different ways:
- Increases blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Represses the immune system which means there’s no strong defense against infections
- Decreases levels of the ‘feel good’ hormone, serotonin
- Increases risk of heart diseases
- Heightened emotional instability
Seeing the positive doesn’t need magic potions or superpowers. All we need to do is each time we have negative thoughts is to replace them with positive ones that help keep us moving toward our goals.
Soon, you’ll be able to approach setbacks more productively. Improving your approach to life will gradually be a daily habit. Having a positive mindset means we are strong enough to reach the best potential outcome for ourselves.(Source)
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