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Positive Thinking in Action

By Donna Kostiew

At some point in your life, when things weren’t going their best, someone has probably told you that “every cloud has a silver lining” or to "look on the bright side." Am I right? And as much as you may have not wanted to hear it at the time, it is good to have positive thinkers in our life. Positive thinking has a way of changing things, even during the most trying times, and there is more evidence today than ever before that clearly points to the many benefits of engaging in it.

The Power of Positive Thinking

Research suggests that in addition to being healthier and less stressed, positive thinkers also have greater overall well-being. But what if positive thinking doesn’t come naturally to you? How do you make that leap? Here are some suggestions you can use to help cultivate affirmative thoughts.

Coping with stress – Positive thinkers have more effective strategies than pessimists do when coping with stress and disappointment. So if you feel that a situation is out of your control or that you have little power to change it, take a step back and plan a new course of action or ask for help and advice. Try to focus on what you need to change or what you need to do to resolve the situation instead of carrying the weight of disappointment and blame.

Improving your health – Your thoughts and attitudes can have a powerful effect on your body. I have witnessed this myself with my daughter, who has undergone many surgeries. The times that her spirits were lifted, her recoveries were smoother and quicker. The times that she “had enough” and her moods were in the tank, the recoveries were more difficult and seemed to involve more pain. Studies have also shown that negative emotions often lead to weaker immune responses. Negative thoughts tend to increase electrical activity in the part of your brain that weakens the immune response. So during difficult times, as hard as it may be, try to focus on what is good and on the things that help, or find something to laugh at. Your body will exhibit a stronger immune system if you do.

Building your strength and resolve - Affirming thoughts and optimistic attitudes encourage personal progress and offer a positive approach to life’s struggles. By cultivating positive emotions, even in the face of difficult struggles and events, both short-term and long-term benefits can be had. These can include improvements with stress management, reductions in depression, and a development of coping skills, all which improve the body’s overall health and wellness. So again, focus on taking a positive approach to life’s challenges, and try to make the most of the bad situations.

Of course, bad things will happen. You may be disappointed or hurt by others, you may experience significant challenges or pain, but the struggles you face may appear to you differently once you look at them with a new perspective. Be realistic with your assessment of the situation and pause. Then be quite intentional with your thoughts and response. Your health is riding on it.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Renton, Wash.

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