Your mindset not only affects your overall outlook on life but also it impacts your health. A positive mindset has been linked to effective stress management, which contributes to an array of health benefits. Lowering stress can lower your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and depression. Here are a few tools you can use to work towards building a more positive mindset:
Identify Negative Thoughts
It’s not always easy to fully identify negative speech or thoughts. When you can adequately recognize that your habits are negative, you have a better chance in trying to stop your patterns and work towards focusing on a positive mindset. According to The Mayo Clinic, some common forms of negative talk and mindsets include:
- Filtering: Focusing exclusively on the negative aspects of a situation.
- Personalizing: Blaming yourself for any negative thing that may happen such as canceled plans or a bad experience somewhere.
- Catastrophizing: Assuming the worst or letting one bad experience dictate how you perceive the rest of your day.
- Polarizing: See things as black and white— there is either good or bad, there is no gray area in between. This may lead you to strive for perfection.
By recognizing these harmful habits, you can work to focus on becoming more positive.
Focus on Positive Thoughts
Switching to positive thinking can take practice. First, try to remember if you wouldn’t say it to someone else, don’t say it to yourself. When negative thoughts occur, stop, evaluate the situation, and look for the good in it. Second, find a reason to be grateful. Third, remember that negativity can be environmental, so surround yourself with those who are positive and uplifting. Start your day with a positive thought, and periodically re-evaluate it throughout the day.
Focus on the Health Benefits
“Focusing on a positive mindset and cutting our stress and negativity can improve cardiovascular health, contributing to a longer lifespan,” says Dr. Irena Kodz, Southwest General Medical Group Internal Medicine. Staying active and eating a well-balanced diet also has been linked to lower stress levels and more balanced moods. Dr. Kodz states, “A healthy lifestyle fuels your mind and gives you the tools you need to handle stress head-on. All of this can lead to a more positive outlook and, ultimately, better health!”
Ultimately by choosing to work towards a positive mindset, by keeping up with your regular physicals and recommended preventive care, and by learning about what you can do to improve your health and life, you can work toward optimal health. Southwest General Medical Group offers both primary and specialty care to help you on the journey toward prevention and early disease detection.