We’ve all heard about the impact of positivity on our lives, but have we ever heard any of the specifics? Recently, quite a few studies have been done to examine how a positive mindset directly impacts our health. There are numerous health benefits to positive thinking, so remember to train yourself to do so. For some, it’s easier to feel positive about life, while others struggle a bit more with pessimism. Remind yourself every day to start off with a positive attitude. No matter how bad things appear at the time, try to find a single positive detail in the situation and focus on that.

Health Benefits of a Positive Mindset

The main benefit of a positive mindset is better health, but specifically heart health. Heart disease is the number one killer of adults in the United States, so this research could be particularly beneficial to those suffering from heart ailments, or with a family history of heart conditions. A recent study examines the how a positive mindset impacts heart health. The study shows that people with a more positive view toward life also exercise more, though it’s unclear whether that is a result of their happier attitudes or is one of the causes. Either way, it’s an encouraging result, because when we’re positive and happy, we tend to engage in healthier habits, such as exercise or eating better, which helps many common health problems (like heart disease!).

In addition to a healthier heart, this study found that a positive outlook on life contributes to better general immunity. Those people who possess a positive mindset are much less likely to suffer from the common cold and other illnesses. But, it isn’t only physical illnesses that positive thinking protects against. In another study from the journal, Pediatrics, researchers learned that a positive mindset helps protect against mental illnesses, such as depression, especially in teens. Knowing how to properly handle stress in your life and work with it in a optimistic way is a great skill to develop early in your life, and in your children’s lives, because it’ll allow you to deal with the natural bumps in life more easily.

How to Do It?

Maybe you’re thinking now, “Well, that sounds great, but how do I do this?” Don’t worry! There are lots of little ways you can begin your journey to having a more positive mindset. First of all, learn to start your entire day on a positive note. Take a look at my previous blog post about how best to encourage positive thinking from the first moment of your day.

Besides beginning your day with positive thoughts, remember you can always create your own positive events if you feel yourself begin to give into the pessimism. Take time to play with your kids, go for a walk in a park, watch a television show that always makes you laugh, or simply look up something online that makes you happy (for a lot of people, this is cat videos). Remember to keep looking forward and not get bogged down in the not-so-great here and now.

Sometimes, just thinking positively might not be enough. The final tactic you can try is change. Are there areas in your life that continuously cause you stress and negativity? Work on those. Don’t immediately quit your job or leave your relationship, but begin with making little changes and using communication to see if there’s an improvement. You need to figure out what will help you the most in your quest for a positive mindset.