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Benefits of thinking positively and how to do it

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Thinking positively

Are you a glass half-empty or half-full sort of person? Studies have demonstrated that both can impact your health and that being a positive thinker is better. Those who are optimistic have a lower risk of dying from several major causes of death and have:
• Better quality of life
• Higher energy levels
• Better coping skills
Positive thinking won't make all of your problems disappear but it will make problems seem more manageable.

How to think positive thoughts

Here are tips on how to think positively:
• Focus on the good things no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they seem
• Practice gratitude - this has been shown to reduce stress, improve self-esteem and foster resilience
• Keep a gratitude journal - writing down the things you're grateful for can improve your optimism and sense of well-being

How to think positive thoughts

• Open yourself up to humour - laughter lowers stress, anxiety and depression
• Spend time with positive people - negativity and positivity have been shown to be contagious
• Practice positive self-talk
• Identify your areas of negativity
• Start every day on a positive note - create a ritual in which you start off each day with something uplifting

Thinking positively when everything is going wrong

Trying to be positive when you’re experiencing serious distress can seem impossible. Positive thinking isn’t about burying every negative thought you have. The lowest points in our lives are often the ones that motivate us to make positive changes. When going through such a time, see yourself as a good friend in need of comfort. What would you say? You’d likely acknowledge his feelings and remind him that he has a right to feel the way he feels.

Side effects of negative thinking

Negative thinking and the many feelings that can accompany it, such as pessimism, stress and anger, can cause a number of physical symptoms and increase your risk of diseases and a shortened lifespan.
Stress and other negative emotions trigger several processes in our bodies, including stress hormone release, metabolism and immune function. Long periods of stress increase inflammation, which is implicated in a number of serious diseases.

When to seek medical help

If you’re feeling consumed by negative thoughts and are having trouble controlling your emotions, see a doctor. You may benefit from medical help, such as positive psychology or therapy. Persistent negative thoughts can be caused by an underlying psychiatric condition that requires treatment.
You won’t be able to undo years of negative thoughts overnight, but with some practice, you can learn how to approach things with a more positive outlook.

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