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6 Ways Staying Positive Impacts Overall Health

Grandfather and little granddaughter laugh on a couch

Is it a rainy, miserable, depressing day? Or is it a great day to get some stuff done around the house? When you’re stuck in a long line that isn’t moving, are you upset and crabby? Or do you strike up a conversation with the person next to you and turn an annoyance into an opportunity to make a new friend? 

Life is full of ups and downs, and though we can’t control what the universe throws at us, we can choose to react with optimism instead of pessimism.

The power of positive thinking can be especially beneficial to the aging process. It helps us cope with the challenges and stressors associated with advancing years. A positive outlook can impact our health and wellbeing in a myriad of significant ways, both enhancing and prolonging our lives.

Benefits of Positive Thinking

According to research, a positive attitude can:

  • Increase longevity

  • Reduce the risk of depression

  • Lower stress

  • Support the immune system

  • Boost cardiovascular health

  • Enhance your psychological well being and coping skills

  • Motivate a healthier lifestyle

How to be a Positive Thinker

Recently our lives have been affected by a dark cloud, the likes of which most of us have never seen. Now, more than ever, we need to look for the silver lining. Here are a few suggestions for rising above the negativity out there and focusing on going forward with hope and happiness.

Start Small

When approaching a task that generates negative feelings, take a moment to refocus and look for a positive spin. We can change our own small piece of the world one positive thought at a time.


Laughter is the best medicine. When times are tough, remind yourself to smile or laugh and appreciate life’s humor. Laughing with a friend, or even laughing at yourself is a great stress reliever.

Get Moving

Nothing creates positive energy like exercise.  Even a 10-minute walk can positively impact mood and outlook.

Negativity — Just Say NO

Try to surround yourself with positive people who are supportive and give you thoughtful advice and feedback. Try to avoid those Negative Nellies who think misery loves company.

Be Kind to Yourself

Give yourself positive pep talks that are gentle and encouraging, not punitive and critical. If you are feeling particularly negative, shower yourself with positive affirmations. Get in your own face with appreciation.

Find a Purpose

Whether it’s finding a hobby or donating your time to a local hospital or animal shelter, pursuing activities that promote positive feelings of self-worth and accomplishment will generate positive thinking.

A positive attitude cannot eliminate all unpleasantness. But when the glass is half full instead of half empty, we have a better shot at creating our best possible lives.