The power of positive thinking


What if you had the ability to heal your body just by changing how you think and feel? Do you view your glass as half empty or half full? Do you concentrate on your problems or your blessings? If you consider yourself an optimistic person, it is good news – your sunny outlook could keep you healthy.

The mind-body connection is so powerful that it is possible to think yourself sick. Some people only have to hear someone saying, “there’s a virus going around” – and they get sick. Hypochondria is a mental disorder with physical symptoms. The human body is full of naturally occurring aches, pains and gurgles, but this doesn’t mean you have a serious illness.

Most of us regard normal aches and pains as fleeting, harmless moments of discomfort, but the hypochondriac misinterprets them as a horrible, deadly disease. No one knows the exact cause of hypochondria, but doctors have linked it to stress and anxiety.

Research indicates a biochemical connection between the brain and the body. According to the National Institute of Health at Georgetown University, positive thinking plays a huge part in helping us to maintain healthy bodies. If a person has even the slightest ability to control good health through positive thinking, it’s worth finding out more, don’t you think?

                                                                  fedhealth, positive thinking

What are the health benefits of positive thinking?

That old, very familiar quote that “laughter is the best medicine” is actually true. Here’s why:

  • Positive thinking is associated with heart health and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, despite factors such as age, smoking or obesity. According to research, optimism and a positive attitude can reduce this health risk by half.
  • A change in attitude will help your immune system to work at peak efficiency. A healthy immune system is better at fighting off disease.
  • Positive thoughts lower blood pressure. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology indicates that pessimists tend to have higher blood pressure associated with stress and anxiety.
  • Positive thinking is good for relationships. People are more accepting of positive thinkers; optimists are more satisfied in their relationships by concentrating on the good aspects rather than the bad.
  • Optimists are more likely to keep their bodies healthy by eating well and doing exercise, and keeping stress and anxiety to a minimum.
  • Not only will a positive attitude help you stay healthier, it can even delay the ageing process. A study by the University of Texas uncovered  that people who view life more positively show fewer signs of frailty than those with a pessimistic outlook.

When you practise positive thinking you focus on your strengths and accomplishments, which will in turn increase happiness and motivation. The following tips will help you shift into more positive thinking patterns:

  • Take good care of yourself. It’s easier to be positive if you are physically feeling well. Healthy eating and getting enough exercise is key.
  • Make a list of things you are grateful for. Remind yourself about the great things in your life.
  • Stop worrying! This is never productive; there is no logic or rationale behind it, nor is it solution-orientated. Change your environment to get your mind off those negative thoughts.
  • Physical contact with others. Research has shown that this is an instant pick-me-up.
  • Ban negative thoughts. Your thoughts are yours and yours alone and they only have as much power as you give them.

Changing your mind-set can transform you from the inside out. Start changing how you think and you’ll soon see the power of positive thinking in action. To put it simply: seek joy, play often and pursue adventure. Your brain will do the rest!


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Voting Booth
Who do you think should lead the Democratic Alliance after the party’s upcoming national congress in April?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
John Steenhuisen for sure, he’s got the experience
63% - 1524 votes
Mpho Phalatse, the DA needs a fresh outlook
37% - 902 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.