In our last Positive Thinking blog article, Positive Thinking…Can It Be Learned?, we discovered we could choose to be more positive by rewiring our brains (mindset) and thought processes to positively transform our lives. In today’s blog post, let’s do a deep dive into 4 Ways Positive Thinking Will Improve Your Life.
What’s In It For Me?
Have you heard of WIIFM?
What’s In It For Me?
Why work to rewire your brain and change your mindset to focus on the positive? Important: Read to the end to get your free Sleep Better Tool!
You may be thinking:
- I’m too set in my ways to change now!
- I was born with certain mindset characteristics…why change now?
- I’m too busy to concentrate on changing my mindset!
- I’m healthy enough…why change?
On the other hand, Can you answer YES to any of these questions? If so, which ones? How many Yes answers did you have?
- Do you ever feel depressed?
- Do you ever feel like you want more energy?
- Do you wish you had happier connections with others?
- Do you wish you enjoyed taking better care of yourself?
- Do you have an illness you can’t heal or control?
- Do you ever have trouble getting restful sleep?
If you answered YES to the question/questions, keep reading.
4 Ways Positive Thinking Will Help Improve My Life
Willie Nelson says,
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
What positive results will we have?
Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Positive Thinking
For example, here are four ways to improve your health with positive thinking.
I. Positive Thinking = Longer Life
Scientific studies have shown “people who tend to be optimistic are likelier than others to live to be 85 years old or more.” If you want to read the details…
In a classic study, nuns with the highest amount of positive emotions lived 10 years longer than those with the lowest amount of positive thoughts. Their handwritten autobiographies were used to find that positive emotional content from their twenties was strongly tied to their longevity six decades later!
II. Positive Thinking = Stronger Immune Systems
In a University of Kentucky study with a group of law students, those who were more optimistic had more robust immune systems and could better fight off bacteria and viruses.
III. Positive Thinking = Less Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
When we think positively instead of negatively, we feel better about our circumstances, situations, life, and ourselves.
This,in turn, allows our bodies to release hormones like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Serotonin is the “happy” hormone that improves your mood and creates a sense of well-being.
When more of these hormones are released, cortisol in the brain decreases, and you feel happier, calmer, less anxious, more focused, and emotionally stable.
Positive emotions help us become more resilient and help us bounce back from difficult moments in life.
On the other hand, too much cortisol in the brain (caused by focusing on negative thoughts, for example) can lead to slower brain function and possible depression.
IV. Positive Thinking = Better Sleep
“A study published online in 2017 concluded that people who appreciate what they have and have a positive outlook on life were 63% less likely to display sleep apnea as well as 52% less likely to show signs of restless legs syndrome.”
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for feeling refreshed and alert during the day. When we sleep, our body rests and restores energy levels. When we sleep better, we tend to be a healthier weight, have less anxiety, and it increases our ability to meet our goals and obligations in life.
5 Ways to Sleep Better Every Night
1. Change your “What if this happens?” thinking before bedtime by:
saying these positive affirmations out loud to yourself before bedtime. Positive affirmations are all about how you see and view yourself.
Examples of positive affirmations or positive thoughts before bed can be:
‘Everything will be okay’
‘I am in control of my life and feelings’
‘I have people that love me’
‘I have a lot to be grateful for’
‘Tomorrow will be better’
‘I have done my best today and now deserve to sleep’
‘Everything I need is within me’
2. Prioritize your sleep by sleeping at least 8 hours at night. Create a clean, decluttered bedroom space that invites rest.
3. Engage in relaxing activities such as calming, soothing music, warm baths or showers, light walking, essential oil aromatherapy, tai chi, meditation, stretching, or yoga.
4. Avoid television, internet, electronics, and social media, at least 2 hours before bed to give your brain a chance to unwind and relax so you can easily drift off to sleep at bedtime.
5. Maintain a gratitude journal or a sleep diary. Jot down all the things you loved about your day and feel grateful for. Thinking happy thoughts at bedtime will have you drifting off to dreamland in no time.
Sleep Better…Feel Better
To sleep better:
- Repeat one or more of these affirmations just before bedtime.
- Before you start, breathe in slowly and deeply making sure your abdomen swells as you breathe.
- On your inhale, count to at least 5 and breathe out slowly counting to 5.
- If you place your hand gently on your abdomen, you can feel if your breathing is deep and restorative.
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