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Is Positive Thinking Good for Your Health?

By Pamela Shenk, CHt


Are happy people healthier? Scientists are finding more and more proof that a positive outlook can affect your physical health. According to a growing body of data, a person’s positive mindset can have healing effects on the body.


You see, it turns out that negative feelings like stress and anxiety can influence your immunity and a host of other related mechanisms in your body. Even though scientists are not yet fully aware of how it works, they say that our level of optimism is an important part of how healthy we are.


The Mayo Clinic researchers have found that when you’re positive, you have a longer life span, lower rates of depression, increased resistance to the common cold, better stress management and coping skills, lower risk of cardiovascular disease related death, increased physical well-being and better psychological health.


So how can you use this information to your advantage? Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote a book The Power of Positive Thinking in the 1950’s and to this day, it is a very popular book. He talks about having belief in yourself and faith in your ability. Let’s face it, if you don’t have faith and confidence in yourself, why should anyone else? The one thing you can control is your thoughts and your thoughts will determine how you feel. Over the past few years there have been many popular self-help books that focus on the power of positive thinking. You know that when you’re feeling good, life is good. When you’re down in the dumps, everything appears miserable to you. 


Now what do you do when everyone is telling you that you’re negative? First of all, you have to want to change. No one can change you, but yourself. Should you really want to change, the first thing is to become aware of your thoughts. When you catch yourself making negative statements, or having negative thoughts, change them. The first step in becoming positive is becoming aware of your thoughts. The more you become aware of your thoughts, the easier they are to change. All too often we have the same negative thoughts playing over and over and we don’t even realize it. Also, practice being a positive person. When you’re out with friends, think of something positive to say to each person, and say it! Once this becomes a habit, you’ll find that life just gets so much easier each and every day.