10 Amazing Positivity Facts to Improve Your Outlook
Positivity facts can help you see that optimistic thinking isn't just a fad – the benefits are actually backed by science. Still, many people wonder if it's possible to become a more positive person, especially when they have a mental illness. This is understandable. However, by dismissing positivity, you could be missing out on some genuine benefits. Read on for some positivity facts that may surprise you.
Positivity Facts to Change Your Life
Our collective understanding of positivity is changing. While it was once a soft and fluffy term used to describe an upbeat attitude, positivity is now about creating values in your life to improve your health and wellbeing (How to Develop a Positive Personality). Don’t believe it? Perhaps these ten amazing facts about positivity will change your mind.
- Positive thoughts change the structure of the brain.
In his much-acclaimed book, The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge M.D. concludes that our brains are not rigidly mapped out as scientists once thought. Instead, your mind has the incredible capacity to form new neural pathways just by thinking differently. In the same way that physical exercise gradually changes the body, positive “brain workouts" can actually alter the structure of your brain to disrupt negative thinking patterns.
- Positivity improves your skill set
Perhaps one of the more surprising positivity facts is that the power of positive thinking could make you better at your job. Scientists are now beginning to realize that optimism helps us build on our skill sets and utilize our inner resources. American professor and psychologist, Barbara Frederickson, refers to this as the “broaden and build” theory.
- Positivity helps you learn
In the same way that positivity can make you more skilled, it can also make you more receptive to new information. This, Frederickson theorizes, is because thinking positive thoughts broadens your sense of what's possible and makes you more adaptive to learning.
- Writing about positivity leads to better health
A recent study examined a group of 90 students and split them into two groups. One group wrote about intensely positive experiences for three consecutive days, while the other wrote about a control topic. Scientists assessed the students after three months and found that those who wrote about positivity experienced less sickness than those who didn’t.
- Positivity helps you live longer
Yes, that’s right. This surprising positivity fact is backed by science. According to a study conducted by the University of Kentucky, positive emotions can actually help us to live longer. The participants of this particular study were aging Catholic nuns, some of whom were positive and upbeat, and others less so. The scientists found that the nuns who expressed more positive sentiments lived longer lives than those who expressed negativity.
- Positivity leads to better cardiovascular health
As if the benefits of positivity weren’t convincing enough, the Mayo Clinic reports that a positive attitude can lead to better heart health and reduce your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. It is unclear exactly how positive thinking causes these benefits, but one theory is that having a positive outlook means you’re better able to deal with stress, which in turn lowers cortisol levels in the blood.
- Positive thinking boosts your immunity
We all get sick at some stage or another, and no one enjoys having a runny nose or a cough. There’s good news for optimists, however, as The Mayo Clinic claims that positive thinking can give you greater resistance to the common cold.
- Positivity improves your social life
According to Senior Psychologist, Dr. Shaila Margain, positive thinking is not just beneficial to us as individuals – it also improves the lives of those around us.
“Positivity is like a cold,” she explains. “If you’re around someone with a cold, chances are you’re going to catch it. The same goes for a positive mindset.” Therefore, the best way to foster healthy connections and positive relationships is to exude positive energy.
- Positivity lowers your blood pressure
Another surprising fact about positivity is that happy thoughts can actually lower your blood pressure. A study into hypertension and the role of positive emotions found that targeting emotional health plays a crucial role in bringing down a patient's blood pressure.
- You are responsible for your positive emotions
Perhaps the most surprising positivity fact of all is that you are responsible for your own positivity. We often think our emotions are like the weather – that they just happen to us – but this isn't the case. We have far more control over our feelings than we realize.
To bring about positivity in life, Dr. Margain recommends distancing yourself from negative people, writing gratitude lists and focusing on “micro-moments of positivity," however small. It is a learning curve, but taking a moment to consider your reactions to life can make all the difference to your mind and body.
Smith, E. (2018, October 31). 10 Amazing Positivity Facts to Improve Your Outlook, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, April 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/positivity/10-amazing-positivity-facts-to-improve-your-outlook