With all of the new changes that have been going on in my life and all of the associated stress, I have been very anxious and completely exhausted. Many times, when I become overwhelmed with life I tend to be more pessimist about things in general and a little bit cranky.
This past week there was one night in which I was particularly cranky and was laying in bed whining to the fiance when I realized that there was no real reason for me to be so negative. Yes, I moving is a lot of work and yes, I work all week and it wears me out, but that is no reason to be so cranky. At this particular moment there is nothing horrible going on in my life and being negative does nothing for me. In fact, negative thinking can be quite destructive to your life. With all those negative thoughts floating around in your head there is no room for positive ones and who wants that?!?
With this realization I decided that I am going to make more of an attempt to be aware of my thoughts and try to focus on positive thinking. Speaking of positive thinking, I thought I would share a small article I wrote about how powerful positive thinking can be. Enjoy!
Can thinking positive really help you live longer? Many aging researchers think so. In fact, studies have found that individuals who have more positive perceptions of their own aging lived on average seven and a half years longer than others.(Seven and a half years!) Furthermore, having a positive attitude has been known to help improve interpersonal relationships, increase self-esteem, and lower a person’s risk for the development of heart disease. These individuals also tend to have less stress, are less likely to become depressed, have a stronger immune system, and better overall psychological health.
Clearly there are a large number of benefits that come along with positive thinking, but what exactly is it about thinking positively that has such a large impact on a person’s physical and mental health?
While no one knows that exact answer to this question, there are a few ideas that have developed. One of the most common theories is that positive people are not as affected by stress. When an individual is stressed they will experience more inflammation on the inside of the body, which has been known to speed up the aging process. Less stress means less inflammation on the inside of the body, promoting a longer life. Another theory is that those who are positive tend to lead healthier lives in general, meaning that they more likely exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and engage in less harmful behaviors such as smoking or drinking.
We all get older, there is nothing we can do to stop the aging process, but there are some things you can do to increase your positive thinking and increase your overall well-being. Consider the following tips that can help you identify your negative thinking and replace them with more positive thoughts:
- Avoid negative self- talk or thinking critical thoughts about yourself.
- Try using humor and learn to recognize the potential for humor in each situation.
- Take a moment to analyze each event in your life and give yourself credit when it is due. Attribute the good things in your life to you own skill and do not blame yourself for the things that are out of your control in order to become more optimistic.
- Continue to work on positive thinking, the more you practice it the better you will become about it.
Changing negative thinking can be extremely challenging and it can take practice to learn how to think positively. Positive thinking is more about taking a proactive approach to life instead of letting life’s challenges get in the way of your happiness. While transforming your thought process may not be easy the positive influence that it has on you emotional, mental, and physical health is well worth the effort. So while you can’t stop yourself from getting older you do have control over how you age. The key to living a longer, happy life may actually lie within positive thinking.
Would love to hear any other thoughts about positive thinking! Have a good rest of the week, it’s almost Friday!