Research shows that there are many benefits to thinking positively and having positive emotions. It’s not just that you feel better and happier when you have a positive thought or emotion, but you also improve your chances of having a good outcome. And yes, this means the opposite is true. Negative thoughts lead to unwanted, negative outcomes and make you feel crappy.
People that think positively have the following benefits:
1. Better overall psychological and physical well-being
2. Increased life satisfaction
3. Live longer
4. More skilled in relationship development
5. Increased marital satisfaction
6. More successful in their careers
7. Stronger immune systems
8. Lower rates of depression and anxiety
9. Better coping skills to deal with challenges
10. Lower levels of stress
Overall, positive thinking can open your mind and help you overcome challenges.
The broaden-and-build theory, developed by Barbara Fredickson, a positive psychology researcher, found that positive emotions expand people’s attention and thinking, which allows your mind to open up to more possibilities and options. This results in your increased ability to build new skills and create more resources for yourself in order to overcome challenges.
Are you optimistic?
How do you explain why events happened? Positive psychologists, such as Martin Seligman, call this your explanatory style. When we have a more optimistic explanatory style, we tend to give ourselves credit when good things happen to us. And when bad things happen to us, we usually blame outside forces and see them as temporary and irregular. Pay attention to your explanatory style.
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
– Abraham Lincoln