Updated 18 March 2015

The power of positive thinking

Do you concentrate on your problems, or your blessings? If you consider yourself an optimistic person, it is good news – your sunny outlook could keep you healthy.


What if you had the ability to heal your body just by changing how you think and feel? Do you view your glass as half empty or half full? Do you concentrate on your problems or your blessings? If you consider yourself an optimistic person, it is good news – your sunny outlook could keep you healthy.

The mind-body connection is so powerful that it is possible to think yourself sick. Some people only have to hear someone saying, “there’s a virus going around” – and they get sick. Hypochondria is a mental disorder with physical symptoms. The human body is full of naturally occurring aches, pains and gurgles, but this doesn’t mean you have a serious illness.

Most of us regard normal aches and pains as fleeting, harmless moments of discomfort, but the hypochondriac misinterprets them as a horrible, deadly disease. No one knows the exact cause of hypochondria, but doctors have linked it to stress and anxiety.

Research indicates a biochemical connection between the brain and the body. According to the National Institute of Health at Georgetown University, positive thinking plays a huge part in helping us to maintain healthy bodies. If a person has even the slightest ability to control good health through positive thinking, it’s worth finding out more, don’t you think?

                                                                  fedhealth, positive thinking

What are the health benefits of positive thinking?

That old, very familiar quote that “laughter is the best medicine” is actually true. Here’s why:

  • Positive thinking is associated with heart health and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, despite factors such as age, smoking or obesity. According to research, optimism and a positive attitude can reduce this health risk by half.
  • A change in attitude will help your immune system to work at peak efficiency. A healthy immune system is better at fighting off disease.
  • Positive thoughts lower blood pressure. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology indicates that pessimists tend to have higher blood pressure associated with stress and anxiety.
  • Positive thinking is good for relationships. People are more accepting of positive thinkers; optimists are more satisfied in their relationships by concentrating on the good aspects rather than the bad.
  • Optimists are more likely to keep their bodies healthy by eating well and doing exercise, and keeping stress and anxiety to a minimum.
  • Not only will a positive attitude help you stay healthier, it can even delay the ageing process. A study by the University of Texas uncovered  that people who view life more positively show fewer signs of frailty than those with a pessimistic outlook.

When you practise positive thinking you focus on your strengths and accomplishments, which will in turn increase happiness and motivation. The following tips will help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:

  • Take good care of yourself. It’s easier to be positive if you are physically feeling well. Healthy eating and getting enough exercise is key.
  • Make a list of things you are grateful for. Remind yourself about the great things in your life.
  • Stop worrying! This is never productive; there is no logic or rationale behind it, nor is it solution-orientated. Change your environment to get your mind off those negative thoughts.
  • Physical contact with others. Research has shown that this is an instant pick-me-up.
  • Ban negative thoughts. Your thoughts are yours and yours alone and they only have as much power as you give them.

Changing your mind-set can transform you from the inside out. Start changing how you think and you’ll soon see the power of positive thinking in action. To put it simply: seek joy, play often and pursue adventure. Your brain will do the rest!