You have possibly had someone tell you to “see the cup as half full or to “look on the bright side.” The chances are good that the people who make these comments are optimistic thinkers. Scientists are finding more and more evidence pointing to the several benefits of positive thinking and optimism.
Such revelations indicate that not only are optimistic thinkers less stressed and healthier; they also have higher overall well-being. Setbacks are natural to almost every worthwhile human activity, and several trials show that positive thinkers are, in general, both physiologically and psychologically healthier.
Benefits of Positive Thinking
Even if positive thinking does not come inherently to you, there are plenty of great reasons to start minimizing negative self-talk and cultivating affirmative thoughts.
1. Stress Relief
When faced with stressful conditions, optimists cope more effectively than pessimists. In one research, scientists discovered that when optimists encounter a disappointment (such as not getting a promotion or job), they are more likely to concentrate on things they can do to resolve the condition.
Rather than dwelling on things that they cannot change or their frustrations, they will devise a plan of action and ask others for advice and assistance. On the other hand, pessimists assume that the condition is out of their reach, and there is nothing they can do about it.
[Also Read: How to Destress Yourself]
2. Increased Immunity
In recent years, experts have found that your mind can have a powerful impact on your body. Immunity is one area where your attitudes and thoughts can have an incredibly powerful influence. In one research, scientists found that activation in brain areas related to pessimistic emotions led to a weakened immune response to a flu vaccine.
Researchers Sephton and Segerstrom found that people who were optimistic about an essential and specific part of their lives, such as how well they were doing in school, exhibited a more powerful immune response than those who had a more pessimistic view of the situation. 
[Also Read: Simple Tips to Improve Immunity]
3. Improved Wellness
Not only can optimistic thinking impact your ability to cope with stress and your immunity, but it also affects your overall well-being.
While scientists are not entirely clear on why positive thinking benefits health, some suggest that positive people might lead to healthier lifestyles. By avoiding unhealthy behaviors and coping better with stress, they can improve their well-being and health.
4. It keeps your heart healthy.
Cultivating positive thinking, whether through relaxation, meditation, or writing daily in a gratitude diary, strengthens our heart and helps prevent cardiovascular disorders.
One research shows positive people are less vulnerable to accumulating plaque buildup in the arteries and having coronary heart disease. Subsequent studies published in the same journal show they are also far less likely to experience heart failure.
5. It improves fertility for both women and men.
Optimistic thinking relieves stress, and scientific evidence proves that de-stressing can increase your chances of pregnancy. Researchers observed that infertile couples felt more stressed than fertile couples in a study published in the IJF (International Journal of Fertility).
Moreover, in another research published in the Oxford Journals, women reported feeling relieved on the month of conception, which backs the idea that feeling relaxed and calm is a critical component of fertility.
6. It slows down aging and extends your life.
A study published in the CMA (Canadian Medical Association) Journal shows elderly adults who enjoy their lives less are 80% more likely to experience functional problems, such as falling, less mobility, and incontinence.
This observation is supplemented by a separate study in JAMA Psychiatry, which notes that optimistic adults are 55% less likely to die earlier than their pessimistic counterparts.
7. Better Resilience
Resilience is our ability to cope with problems. Resilient people can face trauma or crisis with resolve and strength. Rather than burning out in the face of such stress, they can carry on and eventually overcome such a crisis. It may come as no wonder to learn that optimistic thinking can play a significant role in resilience.
When dealing with a challenge, positive thinkers typically look at what they can do to solve the problem. Rather than giving up hope, they gather their resources and are willing to ask others for support.
Scientists have also found that in the wake of a crisis, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack, positive emotions and thoughts encourage thriving and provide a kind of buffer against depression among resilient people. Luckily, scientists also believe that such resilience and positivism can be taught.
By nurturing optimistic emotions, even in the face of terrible events, individuals can reap long-term and short-term rewards, including lessening depression, managing stress levels, and cultivating coping skills that will serve them well in the future.
[Also Read: Remaining Resilience & Grateful During COVID-19]
Before you put on those rose-colored goggles, it is essential to note that positive thinking is not about taking a “Pollyanna” approach to life. Scientists have found that in some cases, positive thinking might not serve you well.
For instance, overly optimistic people might overestimate their abilities and take on more than they can manage, ultimately leading to more anxiety and stress.
Rather than ignoring reality in favor of the silver lining, researchers suggest that positive thinking centers on such things as a belief in your abilities, a positive approach to challenges, and trying to make the most of the worst situations. Negative things will happen.
Sometimes you will be hurt or disappointed by the actions of others. This does not mean that the world is out to get you or that all people will let you down. Instead, optimists will look at the situation realistically, search for ways to improve the problem and try to learn from their troubles.