February 10, 2023

How Staying Positive Helps Your Overall Health

What kind of outlook do you have on life? Many people consider whether they see the glass half full or half empty and relate the answer to their level of optimism. If you consider yourself a positive person who's always looking on the bright side of things, you're likely making a positive impact on your overall health.

Researchers are discovering more connections between a positive outlook on life and a person's overall health. The main reason why they correlate is that positive thinking and optimism are essential parts of effective stress management. With less stress, other parts of your health may improve.

Learn more about the health benefits of a positive attitude and how you can practice positive thinking.

Why Positive Attitudes Are Important

Having a positive attitude is important because it helps remind you of the good happening in your life, reducing stress or anxiety. Being positive means you tackle both pleasant and unpleasant situations with an optimistic mindset. Even when things aren't going your way, reminding yourself of the good that will come out of the situation or how you're still lucky in other aspects of your life helps create a positive attitude.

A positive attitude is something that may come naturally to some people, but it's also something you can practice and learn. Researchers are still learning about the impact a positive attitude has on overall health, but it's still beneficial to practice using a positive mindset.

5 Benefits of Positive Thinking

1. Reduces Anxiety

This type of thinking can impact your overall well-being by reducing your anxiety levels. While anxiety can have numerous causes, various forms of positive ideation can relieve symptoms of anxiety, especially for individuals with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). A positive mindset won't be able to fix every situation, but leading with positive thoughts when you're anxious can help you manage your feelings.

2. Boosts Immunity

The immune system is how your body fights against bacteria, fungi, viruses and toxins. Researchers have found links between having a positive mindset and boosting your immune system, as chronic stress can lead to an increased risk of autoimmune diseases. A positive attitude can help you relieve the stress-related symptoms you're experiencing — in turn boosting your physical health.

Having a stronger immune system means you'll recover faster from illnesses and better avoid diseases altogether. Along with living a healthy lifestyle and taking proper health precautions, practicing positive thinking to reduce stress can help your immune system stay strong.

3. Increases Resilience

Keeping a positive mindset is key to improving your resilience, which indicates your ability to handle problems you face. Sometimes, you'll encounter serious issues that may stress you out or seem like too much to handle, but your resilience is what helps you push forward and cope with the situation.

Experiencing times of hardship is inevitable. Regardless of your circumstance in life, it's important to understand how to handle tough situations and remain strong for the sake of your health. Adopting a positive attitude can make a big difference in your resilience — and overall health.

4. Promotes Longevity

Did you know that people who prioritize a positive mindset could potentially live longer as a result? While this benefit largely depends on your personal circumstances, practicing positivity does help boost your physical and mental health, which both play a role in how long you live. In some cases, looking at life through a positive lens can help you live 11-15% longer.

5. Brightens the Mood of Others

When you're radiating positivity, your friends and family around you notice. Bringing positivity into the relationships you form and maintain is a wonderful way to impact their attitude. When you and your loved ones are positive, it's easier to maintain an optimistic outlook on life — and who doesn't want positive relationships?

How You Can Boost Your Mood

Do you want to experience the many benefits of maintaining a positive attitude? Check out some of these simple ways to practice being more positive:

Smile More

One of the easiest ways to start becoming a more positive person is by smiling more. Doing so helps release endorphins in your body that make you feel happy. Even if you don't have the urge to smile, forcing one can sometimes do the trick. If you want to find ways to naturally smile or laugh, consider the following:

  • Socialize with loved ones.
  • Watch funny TV shows or movies.
  • Think of happy memories or hilarious moments.
  • Find the bright side in all situations.

Find Activities You Enjoy

Discovering activities and hobbies you enjoy can help impact your ability to think positively. When you surround yourself with positive experiences, it can be easier to look at life in a more optimistic way. Finding activities like a group exercise class, painting, club sports, book club and other hobbies can help make your life more fun and positive.

Learn Ways to Handle Stressful Situations

How do you currently handle stressful situations? Properly handling stress is a goal of having a positive mindset. Decreasing the stress you allow your body to handle can help make you a happier person while improving your overall health. The best methods for handling stress may include practicing self care, asking people in your support system for help, taking breaks from social media, exercising consistently and eating healthier meals.

Enhance Your Positive Mood With Zumba® Classes

Bettering your overall health requires putting in the effort to taking care of your mental, emotional and physical health. Maintaining a positive attitude can be easy if you find ways to stay happy and enjoy your life — and exercise is a great way to improve your physical health and mental health. Finding a group fitness class like Zumba® can boost your mood while helping you practice positive thinking. Find a Zumba® class near you and see how fun and upbeat this dance fitness class is!