We all know that we shouldn’t dwell on the negative.
With the past pandemic, current inflation, and all that we are reading in the news, it can be easy to think about things we have missed, what we have lost, or what went wrong.
That’s not to say that we should ignore those less pleasant situations in life. You may need to grieve that which will no longer be a part of your life or the changes you did not expect. That’s normal.
When things aren’t going our way, we may often hear: “Count your blessings instead!” But is that helpful? It is!
Counting your blessings (to yourself or through a gratitude journal) gives a happier view of life. Focusing on the good and things you are grateful for can change your brain for the better.
Counting your blessings can be considered a type of positive thinking. Positive thinking means that you approach unpleasantness more optimistically and productively. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.
People that focus on the positive instead of the negative don’t dwell on their frustrations or things they cannot change. Instead, they devise a plan of action and ask others for assistance and advice. Pessimists, on the other hand, assume that the situation is out of their control, and they can do nothing to change it.
Positivity can increase immunity.
We can have better resistance to illnesses when we are positive. Research has shown that people who were optimistic about a specific and essential part of their lives (such as how well they were doing in school or at work) exhibited a stronger immune response than those with a more negative view of the situation.
Positivity improves wellness.
Positive thinking can often lead to healthier lifestyles. John Hopkins reports that positive people with a family history of heart disease were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event. Additional studies have found that positivity improves outcomes across various conditions, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, and brain tumors.
WebMD lists other physical benefits of optimism, such as a longer life span, lower blood pressure, and better pain tolerance.
Positivity gives resilience and helps with stress.
It is often shown that optimistic people have better coping skills during hardship and stress. They can face crises with more strength and resolve to carry on. In addition, studies demonstrate that positivity and gratitude strongly correlate with overall life satisfaction.
We can be better resilient by learning to adapt in stressful situations. Maintaining good relationships with family and friends, accepting change as a part of life, and taking action on problems rather than just hoping they will go away or resolve on their own also helps build resiliency.
Positivity takes time and practice. To practice positive thinking, we can identify the areas of our lives that tend to cause us to think negatively and find ways to put a positive spin on them. We should also laugh more often, follow a healthy lifestyle, and surround ourselves with other positive people. And count our blessings.
What are some things that you do to maintain positivity in your life?
But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV)
This article was originally published on my blog, Muses of a Mom, and reposted here with updates and additional information for the reader.