By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
Do you know someone who always has a smile on their face or puts a positive spin on everything they come across? Maybe you are one of those people brimming with positivity. Optimists tend to view hard times as learning experiences. Even the most miserable days hold the potential for future happiness. If you always look on the brighter side of life, you may notice you experience less stress, better health, and more positive life events. Having a positive attitude can do much more than influence your mood; it can benefit your physical and emotional well-being.
As we grow older, people tend to become less optimistic. While there are many things we face in life that can hinder our positivity, there are substantial health benefits of staying optimistic throughout our life.
After decades of research, a recent study shows the link between prolonged life and optimism. Researchers found that people with greater optimism are more likely to live longer with exceptional longevity, living to eighty-five and older.
A positive outlook equals good health. Optimistic people tend to have better cardiovascular health, a more robust immune system, and lower levels of stress. Being optimistic is a potent health tonic that could help you live a healthier and happier life.
In life, both professionally and personally, there are rough patches. We have difficult days, stressful periods, and hard times. Sometimes it’s tough to spot the silver lining in all situations. That’s where a positive mental attitude comes in. Optimism can help bring about success even in the face of adversity. It allows us to see the lesson in all our experiences and take away something positive.
Your emotional health forms a big part of your well-being. It affects every part of the seven dimensions of the wellness wheel: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, environmental, spiritual, and financial. Each piece connects and interacts with another.
Emotionally healthy people are in control of their thoughts, their behaviors, and how they feel. They still feel stress and sadness, but they know how to manage negative feelings.
A positive outlook expands our mindset and gives us new ideas. It allows us to add to our coping toolkit when faced with obstacles. When we’re emotionally well, we can hold onto positive emotions for longer and appreciate the good times, developing a sense of purpose.
Optimists tend to experience less stress. This is because they believe in themselves and what they are doing, and they expect good things to happen. People with a positive attitude view negative events as minor setbacks to overcome. They believe in their ability, take risks, and create more positive events in their lives through the power of mindset.
Generally, optimists know about their health and, as a result, engage in healthy behaviors. People with a positive mindset are less likely to smoke and are more likely to get better sleep and eat more fruits and vegetables. Healthy actions lead to more positive outcomes, creating a cycle for good health.
An optimist doesn’t give up easily. They keep going; therefore, they are more likely to achieve success. Consider how successful people think and act. Highly successful people like Henry Ford and Walt Disney filed for bankruptcy before achieving their dreams. But they didn’t give up. A positive attitude can set you apart from the competition. It’s one of the biggest predictors of resilience and persistence.
Optimists tend to set more specific goals compared to pessimists. The more specific and concrete goals you set, the more likely you are to achieve them. Setting the right goals that you can commit to can be very beneficial when you’re figuring out how to achieve your goals.
Optimism goes far deeper than just positive thinking. Some of the most successful people have a super positive mental attitude to life. Optimistic people are much more likely to work hard to achieve their goals and dreams. They focus on a positive outcome and work to bring it to fruition.
Like many things, it takes time to create and develop a positive attitude. A positive attitude is not an automatic response. You have to work on it.
Sometimes, the “power of positive thinking” concept can feel a little cliché. But the incredible physical and mental health benefits of a positive mindset have been demonstrated in studies multiple times. All this sounds great, but how do you develop a more positive attitude?
Focus on the good, and practice gratitude. For some, it’s easier to complain than it is to be thankful for what you have. Making gratefulness a part of your daily routine is an important step in retaining high motivation levels and positivity.
To start practicing gratitude, keep a gratitude journal to jot down your thoughts. When you wake up in the morning, think about what you’re thankful for. Always express appreciation to the people you love and try to spread positivity wherever you go.
Focus on uploading positivity to your brain. Read books with a positive message and listen to uplifting music that makes you feel good. Watch movies where the protagonist overcomes obstacles and comes out on top. Actively consume positivity to change your attitude for the better.
A positive mental attitude can lead to healthier behaviors, effective coping methods, and longer life. By being aware of your emotions and thinking positively, you can help yourself and others overcome challenges. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones, and fuel your brain with good information. Having a positive attitude is one of the best ways to lead a happier, more successful life. Things aren’t always sunshine and roses, but looking on the brighter side of the journey helps keep you healthier and happier.