Submitted by Holly Hall, CDP, CMP, CPASRM, Executive Director, The Village at Mercy Creek
While you can’t control certain circumstances or the actions of others, you can control how you react to specific situations and your attitude. Your mindset has more power than you may realize, and our thoughts and subconscious impact how we feel, what we do, and how we react to the things around us. Because of this, maintaining a positive attitude is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being.
What Is Positive Thinking?
When people hear the phrase “positive thinking,” many assume it means sugar-coating situations and thinking that everything is made of sunshine and rainbows. But, of course, this is not the case. Positive thinking is not about thinking everything is magically going to be perfect at all times. Instead, it is about bringing a positive attitude to every scenario, regardless of what it is. There will be days or situations of inconvenience. But, instead of dwelling on the negatives, someone with a positive attitude accepts whatever is happening and tries to make the most out of the situation.
We often overlook the impact our thoughts can have on our well-being, allowing stress and negative thinking to dictate how we feel and react. Instead, consider the following ways that positive thinking can improve your overall well-being!
Reduce Your Stress Levels
While healthy in small doses, stress can lead to additional health challenges or make other chronic health conditions worse. However, with the power of positivity, you work to reduce your chronic stress levels. When you think positively to make the most out of a bad situation, you are less likely to dwell on the problem and worry. Instead, you focus on a solution. As a result, this can decrease your anxiety and stress. Life is full of challenges. Maintaining a positive attitude can help you handle these challenges more effectively. When you look for the positives in a situation and make the best out of an inconvenient circumstance, it will be easier to address what needs to be done to get past it.
Strengthen Your Immune System
Recent studies have shown a strong connection between maintaining a positive attitude and immunity. These studies show that when an individual held an optimistic mindset, their immune system was stronger than those who had negative, pessimistic outlooks resulting in a drop in their immune system functioning. Furthermore, when you experience chronic stress, it can wreak havoc on your immune system. However, as previously mentioned, the power of positivity can help you reduce your stress levels and make sure your immune system stays healthy.
Individuals who maintain a positive, optimistic outlook on life are more inclined to make healthier choices and lead healthier lifestyles. For instance, these individuals are more likely to eat healthier, exercise regularly, and get good quality sleep. All aspects of our health are connected, so when we nourish our body with the nutrients it needs, exercise properly, and rest, we fuel our mind and body with exactly what it needs to function properly. As a result, we are healthier, feel better and may increase our longevity.
Creating Positive Energy in Your Life
Maintaining a positive attitude is a choice. Although it may be difficult under certain circumstances, our mindset and how we react are the only things we have complete control over. Some ways to help you create and maintain positive energy in your life include:
- Consciously replacing negative thoughts with positive ones
- Participating in an exercise class, yoga, or meditation
- Taking control of and responsibility for your life
- Surrounding yourself with positive, like-minded people
- Starting and/or ending your day with gratitude
Of course, staying positive is often easier said than done, especially for seniors. Our culture tends to view aging in a very negative way—older people are often portrayed as being frail, incompetent, a burden to others, and even the butt of jokes. A senior living community can help people thrive and enhance their quality of life by offering social connections, friendships, life enrichment activities, healthy meals, and a more active lifestyle that promotes positive, joyful living each and every day.
At the Village at Mercy Creek, they believe joy should exist in every aspect of daily life. Each day is filled with possibilities and good times because that’s how they choose to live and serve within our community. They offer Independent Living, Assisted Living and Respite Care services designed to meet the specific, often changing needs of their residents. To tour or learn more about the Village at Mercy Creek, located at 1501 Mercy Creek Drive in Normal, call 309-268-1501 or visit www.villageatmercycreek.org.