The Power of Positive Thinking

As school starts and you are learning, studying, and thinking much more, it’s important to consider whether your thoughts are primarily positive or negative in nature.  Do you mentally criticize yourself?  Do you put yourself down for your performance in the classroom or in sports?  Do you regularly find flaws with your appearance and “hate on” your body?  If so, we challenge you to try engaging in positive, affirmative thinking instead.

Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you have a “Pollyanna-ish” view of the world or that you ignore the unpleasant parts of life.  It simply means that you approach life, pleasant or unpleasant, in a positive and productive way.  Positive thinkers are problem solvers who try to improve situations, or if a situation cannot be improved, then they accept reality and move on.

Positive thinking has been connected to the following health benefits:

  • Lower rates of depression
  • Lower levels of distress
  • Greater resistance to the common cold
  • Better psychological and physical well-being
  • More positive body image
  • Better coping skills during hardships
  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Increased life span

On the flip side, what benefits do you receive from thinking negatively about yourself and your world?  Consider the ways in which your thinking style is or is not working for you.

From the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (2011).