Understanding the Connection Between Positivity and Physical Health

Our emotions have a remarkable ability to influence our mental health and our physical wellbeing.

January 17, 2022

Our emotions have a remarkable ability to influence our mental health and our physical wellbeing. Positive traits like optimism, vitality, meaning, and subjective life satisfaction are essential to a person.

What Exactly Is Positive Thinking?

Positive thinking is an attitude or mental state that reflects the belief that a desired outcome or endeavor will occur. It's linked to having a positive outlook on life, or, to put it another way, seeing the glass as half full all of the time.

Dispositional optimism, or positive thinking, has been shown in studies to help people cope with stress. Moreover, positive thinking can improve physical wellbeing and reduce physical predispositions to health problems like heart disease.

What Exactly Is Positive Psychology?

Positive Psychology involves studying what makes life worthwhile, with an emphasis on societal and personal wellbeing. This branch of psychology seeks to improve quality of life by emphasizing positive personality, positive subjective experiences, and positive institutions.  

Of late, positive psychology is seeing a steady increase in interest due to the pandemic's rise in mental health issues and increased emphasis on mental wellbeing. Positive psychology goes beyond the notion that wellness is merely the absence of ailments and instead considers the body whole.  

Positive health is defined by fewer and shorter illnesses, rapid wound healing, and greater recuperative ability. In addition to being disease-free, research shows that optimism is linked to improved heart health. Furthermore, those who are happy are more likely to live longer than unhappy individuals.

What Effects Do Emotions Have on One's Overall Health?

So, what happens in our brains when we encounter positive emotions? When we form strong and meaningful connections with others, we trigger the release of a hormone called oxytocin, which makes us feel good. This occurs in the brain's dopamine reward system, which regulates how we perceive pleasure. Issues with this system could lead to depression or other mental problems. A warm touch, such as hugging, can increase oxytocin levels and improve physiological health.

When oxytocin is released into the body, it releases stress hormones, lowering blood pressure, increasing pain tolerance, and improving mood. As a result, a person experiences enhanced mental and physical wellbeing.

How Does Positive Thinking Affect Immune System Function?

Fascinating research on the links between mental and physical health supports the claim that positive thoughts can increase disease resistance. One study discovered that activity in parts of the brain associated with negative emotions like anxiety and sadness is associated with a weaker immune system response to vaccines.

However, people who have a positive mindset and are optimistic about their goals and dreams have a stronger immune response. Further research suggests that people with positive attitudes are less likely to contract cold and flu viruses.

Furthermore, patients who have been diagnosed with potentially fatal illnesses tend to improve more consistently and significantly after treatment.

Suggestions For Keeping a Positive Attitude

You can see the power of positivity in your life by making a few changes to your thinking and overall attitude to daily life. Below are a few pointers to consider:

  • Use positive self-talk instead of negative self-talk.
  • Seek out the humor in everyday events and laugh as much as possible.
  • Recognize the "negative" aspects of your life and concentrate on the positive aspects of each.
  • Surround yourself with positive people.

While cultivating positivity does not usually happen overnight, it is possible if you are deliberate about it. Making positivity and health work for you can help you improve your quality of life significantly.