Serious clinical research is starting to reveal that seeing the glass as half full, instead of half empty, can have an impact on your work, your health and your life.
We know that negative emotions (often brought on by the prevalent day-to-day stress I refer to as Cultural Stress) trigger certain emotional reactions that can limit your ability to see options and can shut you off from the outside world.
On the other side of the coin, studies have shown that positive emotions broaden your sense of possibility and open your mind up to new options. In turn, this helps you develop socially and creatively. Positive emotions allow you to build new skills and provide value in all areas of your life far beyond that moment of positive thinking. We’ve found in our own research at Murad that the majority of happier people who exude positive energy also exhibit higher levels of cellular hydration – a marker for good health and longevity.
Here are some suggestions on how we can use positive thinking throughout the day to help us lead healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives:
In your personal life
People who meditate regularly have been shown to experience more positive emotions than those who don’t meditate. However, if meditating is not for you, find some other calming and relaxing activity to experience a similar effect. The simple act of clearing the clutter from your mind relaxes you and helps you focus on the positives in your life.
In the workplace
If positive emotions create broader thinking and improved skills, then it goes without saying that a happy team will come up with creative solutions and be more productive. Instead of isolating yourself and struggling in a negative space at work, build a fun and creative work environment by incorporating bright colors and entertaining decor that brings you and your colleagues joy. Bring fun desk games, motivational books and other positive thinking tools into the office. Organize team-building activities to help your colleagues bond and be a model employee for a fun work environment by smiling, staying positive and being playful.
In your relationships
With a calendar full of daily responsibilities, it’s important to make time to just play! Take your significant other or close friend out to explore, experiment and find adventure. Give yourself permission to be a kid again. Channel your inner toddler by letting go of limits and recapturing that wide-eyed-wonder that once motivated you.
Yes, it’s great to “be positive,” but science is showing it’s also essential to your health. So the next time you find your mind narrowing with negativity, stop, smile and laugh. It may be the most important thing you can do for yourself.
Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Click here to learn more about Dr. Murad.