Are your thoughts hurting your health? Yes, it’s true that you are what you eat. However, it’s becoming clearer that you are also what you think.
Let’s break down how a positive attitude can eliminate stress, make you feel more optimistic, and banish the negative talk that is dictating your life.
Pessimism can bring stress to your life. We tend to focus on the negative aspects of life using four different patterns. Those patterns are: filtering, personalising, catastrophising, and polarising.
Do any of these sound familiar? Unfortunately, these practices don’t actually allow us to manage stress in proper ways.
Many people who live with persistent negative thoughts eventually go on to exist in a state of constant anxiety. This can manifest physically in headaches, digestive issues and panic attacks. Unfortunately, stress and anxiety can also reduce our cognitive abilities because they create brain fog, exhaustion, and memory issues.
Health benefits of positive thinking
Staying on the runaway train that is negative thinking for too long can put you on a path to poor health and reduced quality of life. The good news is that we can take some steps to introduce positive thinking into our lives. Positive thought is associated with a number of health benefits.
Positive thinkers enjoy increased lifespan, reduced rates of depression, lower levels of distress, greater resistance to the common cold, better psychological health, and improved physical well-being. Positive thinkers also enjoy better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease. That means that thinking positively can very truly save your life.
Identifying negative thinking
How can you know when you’re falling into the trap of negative thought? The first clue is that you’re focusing on the negative aspect of the situation. In addition, we know that generalising, seeing situations in all-or-nothing terms or blaming yourself every time something negative occurs are all signs that you’re caught up in negative thinking.
People with negative thought patterns also spend a lot of time ‘living in the past’ or replaying scenarios. Are you constantly dwelling on what you ‘should’ or ‘could’ have done?
There’s a good chance that you’re caught up in negative thinking if you’re always imagining the worst scenario possible whenever you weigh your options or attempt to make plans. There’s also a good chance that you’re beginning to feel some physical symptoms related to stress. In fact, most people don’t connect with the fact that some of the ailments they’re experiencing are actually symptoms of stress.
Repeated stress can cause body aches. If you’re at this point, self-care is vital. It may be time to evaluate your diet and exercise patterns. It’s also important to make sure you’re actually taking time to unplug instead of assuming that the world ‘rests on your shoulders” at all times. Some people who experience stress-related body aches have good results when using the CBD product of the year bundle to soothe body aches and encourage restful sleep.
Focusing on positive thinking
A mind shift really can lead to a life shift if stress is dictating how you live and feel. The best piece of advice is to choose your next thought carefully! Here’s a rundown of the best practices for bringing more positive thoughts into your life:
- Identify the areas of your life where more optimism is needed.
- Stop during the day to evaluate the number of positive thoughts you’ve had.
- Evaluate the root of the negative thoughts that pop into your mind.
- Practice self-care through good lifestyle, exercise and eating habits.
- Bring tools into your life that promotes relaxation.
There’s no need to put pressure on yourself. You’re not ‘messing up’ if a negative thought pops into your head. Simply allow yourself to acknowledge the thought before framing it into something more positive.
Begin a path to a more positive life today
Being a positive thinker isn’t about burying your head in the sand to ignore all of the realities of the world. The point is to create positive thought patterns that make you more capable of tackling actual problems when they do pop up.
Getting your mind and body in relaxed states is one of the best things you can do for your health! You might just find that you feel better, make better decisions and enjoy life more once the weight of negative thoughts is lifted.
Image credit: Freepik
Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.