What Does Having A Positive Mindset Mean For Wellness?
By now it’s becoming clear that having a positive mindset is much more important for our total health than previously thought. In the days of old, keeping positive was just thought of as a way to get through the day, or to be in a better mood throughout the week. Through extensive medical research, it’s clear that keeping a positive mindset can benefit so much more than just our immediate mood.
Below we’ll discuss in detail how changing your mindset can positively affect your health. We’ll also talk about pitfalls to avoid that can negatively impact your mindset journey. This includes the more recently talked-about concept of toxic positivity.
Mental Health Benefits Of Positivity
Perhaps the most relevant benefit right now related to maintaining a positive mindset is resilience. Research has shown that during and after extremely stressful or frightening situations, those who had a stronger sense of resilience were able to cope with the situation better and avoid mental health challenges such as depression.
The good news is that people aren’t just born with strong resilience. Researchers believe that becoming more resilient is possible by focusing on positive feelings. This is not to say that we should discount or ignore negative emotions by any means, but by focusing on the positive emotions you can help rewire your thought processes.
This next benefit is more obvious, but crucial nevertheless. Reduced stress is another mental health benefit you can gain by building and keeping a positive mindset. Throughout our lives, stressful situations will pop up here and there. How we react to these situations, though, affects our mental wellness. People with positive mindsets tend to take actions such as seeking help and making plans to overcome the stress factors involved.
Physical Health Benefits Of Positivity
Did you know that keeping yourself positive throughout life can actually extend your lifespan? The surprising reason why is quite simple. People who practice positive thinking, as mentioned above, are less prone to becoming depressed or stressed out. When your body is in a state of stress, harmful hormones like cortisol are released. Ages ago, cortisol and adrenaline were necessary to keep us alert and aware of predators and other dangerous situations.
In today’s society, the chances of being stalked by a bear or wolf are slim to none in our everyday routine. However, human bodies change slowly. That’s why when we feel stress, these hormones are still released. Over time, frequent and chronic stress with cortisol release can be extremely damaging to our health. This is particularly true for our hearts. Staying positive, keeping stress at bay, and keeping our hearts healthier are components of a domino effect with the end result being longer or shorter lifespans.
Your immunity can also be greatly affected by your mindset. In present times, keeping your immune system healthy is more important than ever. In some studies, research has shown that people who had negative mindsets were actually more prone to reactions from vaccines, and by extension illnesses. Oppositely, the researchers found that individuals who were focused on a specific positive component to their lives tended to have better immune responses.
Experiencing Negative Emotions Can Sometimes Be Good
That title may sound counterintuitive, but bear with us for a moment. We understand that it’s not entirely possible, or even natural, as humans to completely avoid or block all negative thoughts. In fact, by attempting to only ever think positive thoughts, you can actually be doing more harm than good. This is attributed to bottling up and ignoring genuine emotions that should be felt from time to time. Rather than regularly releasing these negative thoughts, they tend to come out all at once in an unhealthy manner after months or sometimes years of repression.
This type of “negative” positive outlook is sometimes what is now known as toxic positivity. What is toxic positivity exactly? It can be defined as masking and hiding true feelings in an attempt to dismiss your own emotions. It can also be accompanied by feelings of guilt for your inner thoughts.
The key takeaway to understanding toxic positivity is that it is not actually helping you become a more positive person. The concept simply tries to sweet away your genuine feelings that are meant to be felt. For additional information on toxic positivity be sure to read here. Keeping positive is important, but not at the expense of suppressing our most important feelings like loss or grief. We can always continue to grow and experience a more full life if we acknowledge our emotions.
Consistency Is Key To Staying Positive
Keeping our mind healthy is a process, and work must be done to ensure its continued success. Whether monitoring your emotions through mindfulness, practicing an uplifting meditation with calming CBD Salve, or even by reducing your screen time, you may begin your journey to better mental health.
How you react to stimuli in your everyday life matters. When given a choice between reacting negatively or positively to events that affect us, research shows that it’s best to choose to look at each situation in a positive light whenever possible. It may be challenging at first, but creating a happier, healthier you begins with making these small decisions. Stepping back and asking yourself why you feel a certain way is a critical step to swapping out negative reactions with positive ones. Being conscious about this each day can set us on the road to a state of better overall wellness.