Turning your frown upside down, or finding the sliver lining, could make more than just your day better. According to a new study conducted by Penn State University, positive people were less likely to develop heart disease. To find out this information, the scientists tracked more than 1,000 people who had heart disease over the course of five years. The patients who showed higher level of positivity and determination were found more likely to exercise, sleep better, and avoid smoking.
This information directly correlated to previous studies that show all three of the positive actions reduce your risk of heart disease. According to the study, despite the fact that the participants in the study already had heart problems, therefore their positivity helped them maintain healthier heart behaviors, other similar research has been proven as a prevention tool.
Although according to the Men’s Health article, scientists aren’t exactly sure why people who sport a positive attitude avoid heart disease, but it could be because they’re more motivated to established health-related goals. “Happier people may be more motivated to carry out and stick to health routines, adjust health-related goals, or cope with the setbacks of having ticker trouble,” the study’s author Nancy Sin, Ph.D, told Men’s Health.
But don’t think that if you haven’t been spewing positivity your whole life it’s too late to start. According to the findings, the patients who increased their positive emotions as the study went on were more likely to keep up healthy behaviors, and therefore could still make a positive impact on their health.
Often scientific studies are focused on how stress or depression has a negative impact on health, however what this study shows is how a positive outlook can have a positive reaction. This study shows that positivity is key throughout life, no matter if you are trying to maintain a workout routine, or you are trying to maintain positive in a stressful work situation.
Although it is not always easy to find the sliver lining, staying positive can be easier with these simple steps.
1. Practice gratitude
According to Mental Health America, noticing and appreciating the positives in our lives offers a great mood boost. Sometimes the best way to remain positive is remember to thank others for what they do for you.
Even if it is as small as thanking someone when they hold the door, or writing a thank you note to a good friend who has been helping you out at work recently. Often, by showing gratitude you receive gratitude in return, and this will promote positive thinking.
2. Separate fact from fiction
Often, negative thoughts spiral out of control, by separating fact and fiction you can avoid heading head first into negativity. According to Forbes, “When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.”
You can separate fact from fiction by writing down your thoughts, and remembering when you use the terms always or never to describe a temporary situation, it usually is not the truth.
3. Go for a run
Feeling down on yourself? Literally run away from your problem. Going for a quick run can take your mind off the negative and boost your endorphins, which will make you naturally happier.
Often when you are feeling negative or hopeless, you will take your feelings out on others, avoid doing this by taking time on your own and getting exercise in. By bringing others into your negativity you are only amplifying the issue, which in turn will only lead to more negativity.