How Positive Thinking Reduces Stress And Improves Health

According to the Global Organization for Stress, adults continue to report high levels of stress with many reporting increased levels of stress over the last year. Stress is an even greater concern for teens in grades 9-12 which psychologists say unless managed, could be dealing with long-term health implications. So how does one reduce levels of stress? One answer may be as simple as retraining the way you think. 

What Does Positive Thinking Look Like

Oftentimes we associate positive thinking with one who is naturally optimistic or has a bubbly personality eliminating or at least hindering our own ability to see ourselves as a person who can attain such a trait. As much as personality may play a role in positive thinking, everyone has the ability to practice being more optimistic because positive thinking starts with how we speak to ourselves

All throughout the day, we have silent conversations with ourselves which either feed us positive or negative food thoughts. Depending on how we talk to ourselves will determine how we see who we are and the world around us. A constant flow of negative self-talk naturally produces a negative mindset towards us and our circumstances. Where we have the ability to see the best in things we will instead revert to seeing and expecting the worst in things. 

So what does positive thinking look like exactly? Well, it certainly does not mean that you should become mute from self-expression but it does mean that your approach has to be intentional with the goal of retraining how you speak so that you can retrain how you think. Questioning your negative thought processes may provide you insight into why you lean towards thinking negatively. Digging into understanding why you believe what you believe can help you gauge your perspectives by figuring out if they are healthy or not.  Misconceptions can even be brought to light by evaluating your thought processes. Sometimes we find ourselves stuck in habits of thinking a certain way simply because we have not challenged them with new insights and wisdom so taking the time to ask ourselves why we believe what we believe can completely change our outlook on ourselves and the world around us.  

Health Benefits That Can Come From Positive Thinking

The health benefits of positive thinking continue to be researched but it’s clear that a positive mindset does have an impact on one’s overall health. Currently, research shows that those who operate in a positive mindset are less likely to be depressed, have lower levels of stress, have a greater ability to resist colds, have better coping skills during times of hardship or stress, have a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, have better cardiovascular health as well as psychological and physical well being overall and have greater odds of living a longer life. The theory behind these health benefits is that a person who engages in positive thinking can handle and cope with stressful situations reducing the effects of stress on the body along with gravitating towards healthier life choices. Though there are many factors that play a role in our overall health, building the habit of positive self-talk is one way to impact your health for the better. 

Ways To Reduce Stress And Improve Your Health

Stress comes in many forms and has a way of moving in and out of our lives in different seasons. Learning how we can manage stress by making healthier life choices will not only reduce stress in our lives but improve our health. 

  • Drink Lots Of Water 
  • Exercise On A Routine Basis
  • Eat Foods That Provide You With Nutrition
  • Consume Less Alcohol And Tobacco Products
  • Practice Meditation Techniques
  • Set Realistic Goals And Expectations
  • Make Time For Yourself
  • Don’t Overload Your Plate
  • Practice Good Time Management
  • Set Boundaries And Be Okay With Saying No
  • Know Your Values And Live By Them
  • Surround Yourself With Positive People
  • Check Your Thought Process 
  • Focus On What’s Positive

Positive thinking is not something that can be achieved overnight. It’s a habit that takes time, patience and persistence. It takes roughly two months to establish a new behavior and that is dependent upon how much effort is put into establishing it so it’s important to begin the journey of positive self-talk by taking one step at a time and understanding that each step will bring you farther into a positive mindset than when you started. Every step counts. Even the missteps. 

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