While a positive mind is good for our soul, did you know that a positive outlook is actually good for our bodies? An article recently featured on the Thyroid Survivor Network Facebook page explains how science is now finding a causal connection between a positive mind and a healthy body: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease/
Of course, Harvard is not alone in this thinking. The Mayo Clinic, among other health care providers, encourages patients to keep a positive mind in order to maintain health and wellness.
The American Health Association also found that a positive outlook can ultimately lead to living longer and stronger lives. This finding is echoed by numerous other researchers who are uncovering the many ways a positive mind can enhance our immune system, as well as our overall well being. This article by Kendra Cherry “The Benefits of Positive Thinking” explains how keeping a positive mind effects many facets of our lives, including how we cope with stress, how it can strengthen our immune system, and ultimately make us more resilient. A list of studies featured in this article are listed below.
While this is merely a glimpse into the science showing the health effects of maintaining a positive mind, it serves as a great reminder to try and be more positive overall in life. As many know, it has become a tradition at the Thyroid Survivor Network on Sundays to stop for a moment and reflect on those things for which we are most grateful. It may seem trite, or even cheesy to some, but the fact is that gratitude is infectious and before you realize it, you can’t help but have a positive mind. So whether it is to reap the health benefits of being positive, or merely to help you get through a rough day, pause for a moment to find anything to be grateful for. Not only will you feel better, but your body will thank you!
Fredrickson, B. L., Tugade, M. M., Waugh, C. E., & Larkin, G. R. (2003). What good are positive emotions in crises? A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 365-376.
Goleman, D. (1987). Research affirms power of positive thinking. The New York Times. Found online at http://www.nytimes.com/1987/02/03/science/research-affirms-power-of-positive-thinking.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
Goode, E. (2003). Power of Positive Thinking May Have a Health Benefit, Study Says. The New York Times. Found online at http://psyphz.psych.wisc.edu/web/News/Positive_thinking_NYT_9-03.html
Mayo Clinic. (2011). Positive thinking: Reduce stress by eliminating negative self-talk. Found online at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/positive-thinking/SR00009
Schwartz, T. Psychologist and scientist Suzanne Segerstrom ’90 studies optimism and the immune system. Chronicle. Found online at http://legacy.lclark.edu/dept/chron/positives03.html
Segerstrom, S. & Sephton, S. (2010). Optimistic expectancies and cell-mediated immunity: The role of positive affect. Psychological Science, 21(3), 448-55.