Improving your health is more than just taking care of your physical body. Exercising, dieting, and being aware of your body’s capabilities all lend themselves to improved health, of course, but there is a mental aspect as well.
Studies have indicated that having a positive outlook greatly increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
Specifically, a September 2013 research paper in the journal of the American Heart Association clearly showed that positive thinking promoted better health.
The study sampled 607 patients in Denmark, whose positive thinking led to a 58% correlation to a likelihood of living at least another five years. The same patients were exercising more, too. Whether the optimistic mental state or the increased physical activity led to the improved mood, the study cannot indicate. However, what is clear that the resulting positive thinking and exercise play an important part of increasing your health.
As a species, humans are actually wired as a defense mechanism to have negative thoughts at the forefront of your mind. Going back in history, we were always on the prowl for potential threats, and this way of thinking has been passed down through the generations. We can change this, however, through neuroplasticity (changing neurons and neural networks’ connections and behavior in response to new stimuli).
First, be aware of your negative thoughts and what triggers result from them. Next, take responsibility for your actions instead of allowing outside forces to control you. Make personal time for you to reflect. Practice your affirmations on how you want to grow as a person. Remove negative talk with positive reinforcement.
According to the National Institute of Health at Georgetown University, positive thinking (and emotions in general) plays a huge role in maintaining health bodies. Make a dedication to yourself to work toward the goal of a healthy body through positive thinking!