Updated: Jul 30
Being positive, thinking positive and acting in a positive way is good for your health!
Can you imagine waking every morning with a positive attitude – wouldn’t that be great. Even though I’m naturally an optimist over the last few years I have discovered how important positive thoughts, positive language and being able to live a positive life benefits your health and the effect you can have on those around you.
Many of the people who come to the Pain Anxiety Stress Clinic in Riccarton are initially in such a challenging place even mentioning or encouraging them to be positive would be totally inappropriate. It takes time to see though the anxiety or pain that they experience on a daily basis; several kinesiology sessions are necessary to start to clear some of their problems.
Why is thinking positive, and starting to see a positive world around you important?
The Health Benefits of Positive Thinking
Research is continuing to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on our health. The Mayo Clinic list some of the benefits below
· Increased life span
· Lower rates of depression
· Lower levels of distress
· Greater resistance to the common cold
· Better psychological and physical well-being
· Better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
· Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
I would like to add some of my own
· Improves your relationships with family, friends and workmates
· Helps the energy of not only your body but also those around you, each person you come into contact with
· More opportunities may come your way – or your attitudes will allow you to see opportunities not obstacles.
How to Make Changes
All this information is useful and I’m sure you have heard much of it before. Therefore the question becomes, what do you do?
The BIG PROBLEM about being able to bring about real lasting change is actually knowing or recognizing that you are thinking, talking or acting in a negative way. As you go through your day, are you emanating positivity?
The First Step is Awareness
As I said above much depends on how you are feeling and what is happening in your life. So this first step is a baby-step and that consists of NOTICING A NEGATIVE!
Sometimes we are so used to ourselves and our behaviour that we have never looked or listened to ourselves so have no awareness of where you are on the positive/negative spectrum to examine the thoughts; the self-talk that runs through your head, not to examine them too closely but just to recognise are they in your best interest?
And don’t forget to congratulate yourself on you’re noticing. As knowing what you are doing that’s negative, when you are saying something negative or even having a negative thought gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself and provides the opportunity for change.
If you tend to have a negative outlook, don't expect to become an optimist overnight. But with practice, eventually your self-talk will contain less self-criticism and more self-acceptance. You may also become less critical of the world around you.
Jean Jordan is a Kinesiologist and Naturopath in Christchurch, New Zealand and works with clients who have chronic pain and anxiety.
Visit PASC website to read more.