Positive Thoughts Reduce Stress and Influence Your Immune System
Written by Dr. Sean Medlin and Dr. Krystal Czegus / Updated on April 25, 2018 / 0 comments
Feeling happy is not only a matter of mental health
Positive thoughts and attitudes are able to prompt changes in your body that strengthen your immune system, decrease pain and chronic disease, and provide stress relief. For instance, one study showed that happiness, optimism, life satisfaction, and other positive psychological attributes are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
It’s even been scientifically shown that happiness can alter your genes! A team of researchers at UCLA showed that people with a deep sense of happiness and well-being had lower levels of inflammatory gene expression and stronger antiviral and antibody responses.
Interestingly, if you’re wondering how to maintain a state of happiness in the long run, self-acceptance appears to be one of the most important factors that can produce a more consistent sense of happiness.
In a survey of 5,000 people by the charity Action for Happiness, people were asked to rate themselves between 1 and 10 on 10 habits that are scientifically linked to happiness. While all 10 habits were strongly linked to overall life satisfaction, acceptance was the strongest predictor. In all, the survey resulted in the following “10 Keys to Happier Living,” which together spell out the acronym GREAT DREAM:
Giving: do things for others
Relating: connect with positive people
Exercising: take care of your body
Appreciating: notice the world around you
Trying out: continue to learn new things
Direction: set goals and work towards them
Resilience: find ways to bounce back from negative situations
Emotion: take a positive approach whenever possible
Acceptance: be comfortable with who you are
Meaning: be a part of something bigger
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