Importance of Staying Positive
Adult Health Bulletin
Did you know there are actually health benefits to positive thinking? According to research, people have fewer physical complaints if they think positively and reflect on things they are grateful for at least once a week. Staying positive is an important part of mental health.
When you are positive, it does not mean that you should ignore challenges or tough times, rather positive thinking is trying to see the bright side as much as possible. It may take some time and practice to start thinking more positively. Try these tips for living a more positive life:
- Write down dreams and goals. One way to stay positive is to write down your goals and dreams for the future. By writing them down, you are actually setting the groundwork for reaching your goal. Be detailed about what you want and how you think you can reach that dream or goal.
- Say thank you. Being thankful and expressing gratitude is an important part of staying positive. You can do this in many ways, such as keeping a journal of things you are grateful for, writing a letter to someone who made a difference in your life, and making an effort to say “thank you” to all people who helped you throughout the week.
- Avoid worrying. For some people, worrying is part of everyday life. Instead of worrying, try to find a way to solve the problem you are facing. You may also try to distract yourself from worrying if it is something beyond your control.
- Watch out for all-or-nothing thinking. Remember that if something does not go the way you think it should go, it does not mean that it will always be that way. That one time was that one time. Take steps to have a different outcome if it is something that you can control.
- Slow down. Sometimes, when things are moving too fast, we get stressed. Lots of stress can lead to negative thinking. If you are feeling stressed — whether that is happening while talking, eating, or even rushing around to get something done — take the time slow down. Slowing down will allow you to think clearly about what you need to do.
- Eat well and stay active. Did you know that eating unhealthy food and not being active can actually make you feel worse? On the other hand, eating healthy foods and staying active on a regular basis helps improve your mood and general health.
It can be hard to develop healthy habits like staying positive. Try some of these different ways to stay positive and see how much better you will feel!
Written by Nicole Peritore, Kentucky Extension Specialist for Family Health. Edited by Connee Wheeler, Senior Extension Specialist, and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Source material from Mental Health America.