In 2012, Harvard researchers found associations between optimism, hope, and overall satisfaction with life with reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
According to latest findings, researchers at the University of Illinois found that an optimistic outlook on life might be good for your heart.
The study analyzed the mental health, physical health and levels of optimism of 5,100 adults ranging from 45 to 84 years of age.
Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:
· Increased life span
· Lower rates of depression
· Lower levels of distress
· Greater resistance to the common cold
· Better psychological and physical well-being
· Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
· Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
HOW TO LIVE POSITIVELY
If you tend to have a negative outlook, don’t expect to become an optimist overnight. But through practice, you can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking.
1. To truly be happy, you have to stop trying. Even stop analyzing or monitoring how positive you are.
2. Start acting like (or at least assume that) you are an optimism. Studies looking at the "fake it till you make it" approach show that it can have a surprisingly strong and immediate effect on your emotions.
3. If you’re not in the mood for “faking it”, make friends with an optimist. He/She will pull you up.
4. If alone, substitute your thought or action with a positive one whenyou realize you’re stuck on the same negative thought.
5. Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging to yourself.
6. Start small: focus on one area to approach in a more positive way.
7. Logically realize that everyone and everything as an end. So you are on a journey. And you can either choose to be happy or sad. If so, you might as well choose to be happy.
8. Just as the Percy Bysshe Shelley poem Ozymandias says, every good or bad phase has an end. “This too shall pass”.
9. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.
10. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn techniques to manage stress.
11. When a good thing happens, pessimists dismiss it as a one-off-event; optimists take the credit. When bad things happen, pessimists blame themselves and expect to suffer a long time, while optimists see bad events as having little to do with them, and as one-time problems that will pass quickly.
12. When you see yourself slipping to pessimism, reframe the problem so that it’s not all your fault. Think of it as a problem to solve. Studies show that persistence leads to more success in school, a fatter paycheck, and a host of other perks.
13. One way of bringing joy, pen a letter of gratitude to someone who has helped you.
Source: Mayo, Prevention, Huffington