“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 things that do not work.”
This quote from Thomas Edison oozes positive thinking. Optimistic people have a favorable expectancy of their future, and not without reason it seems: studies indicate that optimism leads to a longer, healthier life.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic identified seven potential health benefits of positive thinking:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.
We can train ourselves to turn a half-empty glass into a half-full one. Positive thinking is not about ignoring problems. It’s about changing your perception of negative experiences.
Here is a simple exercise to practice positive thinking:
- Look at what you have achieved on a daily basis. Don’t look at what you could’ve done better
- Every night write down 3 achievements
- Try to analyse why they went well
- Give yourself a compliment for your achievements.
We don’t always control the events in our lives, but we can train ourselves to be more optimistic. And it appears to be healthy too.