Research states that optimistic people, individuals who practice positive thinking, are likely to have a longer life span and enjoy a healthier life. One of the most valuable research studies on this subject was carried out by a psychologist, Martin Seligman, teaching at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The researcher affirms that a positive or optimistic attitude towards situations can allow individuals to overcome the challenges and barriers of life. The study highlights the fact that optimistic people are likely to achieve better learning outcomes as opposed to pessimistic people.
This famous psychologist also stressed that being an optimist must not prevent an individual from ignoring the harsh realities of life. One of the major breakthroughs of the research was the discovery that an individual is not born with simply a pessimistic or optimistic attitude. Rather, people can change their thinking and allow themselves to have a positive outlook towards life. This will allow them to react positively to the changes in their life, whether they seem to be good or bad.
The Benefits of Positive Thinking
Martin Seligman’s research reveals that students with an optimistic learning attitude are less likely to be prone to depression. A study conducted using achievement tests further reveals that students with a positive approach towards exams are likely to achieve higher scores on the achievement test as opposed to those that adopt a negative approach. Other studies reveal that positive thinking allows the brain to relax and experience low levels of anxiety and distress. This can result in individuals being physically healthier while also experiencing a longer average life span. The probability of developing cardiovascular diseases are reduced due to the lower stress levels in these people. Lastly, the research all indicates that if you think positively you can improve your memory and demonstrate higher concentration skills.
Strategies for Thinking Positively
As the study by Martin Seligman highlighted, individuals can adopt an optimistic attitude towards life by adopting a range of strategies.
You must learn to think positively about the circumstances and challenges that life offers by talking with yourself. Boosting your self-esteem and having confidence in your abilities can allow you to overcome your challenges with relative ease.
Determine Your Goals by Being SMART
You must first establish your goals and ensure that they are (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)chievable, (R)ealistic, and (T)ime bounded. You must then prioritize these goals according to their significance. Developing a strong sense of motivation is also necessary, and you need to focus on achieving the goals within the stated time period.
A positive visualization can allow individuals to achieve better outcomes. To make visualization work for you, first develop a positive picture in your mind illustrating the outcome that will be achieved after completing a course of action. Rather than visualizing a negative outcome, such as failing an exam, you must visualize yourself as passing with flying colors.
Devise Appropriate Strategies
It is essential to understand that situations can be changed by your actions and attitudes. Even negative situations can result in positive gains over a period of time if the right strategy is adopted. This will require you to formulate a course of action that guides you towards positive outcomes.
Stop the Negative Thoughts
Rather than comparing your lifestyle to others and becoming insecure, adopt a positive approach towards life. Learn to become content with what you have as opposed to fixating on what you don’t have. Socialize with people with positive energy and look for a something positive in every situation, no matter what.