Research Shows The Benefits Of Positive Thinking

howtobehappyThe power of positive thinking is a phrase that has been around for decades. The concept is to reduce anxiety by eliminating negative thinking and many researchers feel that this concept can help to cure depression.

While cure may be a strong word, positive thinking has been shown to be very effective in alleviating some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety in those who suffer from recurrent episodes of these mental disorders. Many studies have shown that certain personality traits such as optimism can affect general health. Positive thinking has become a very effective form of stress management. It is not designed to cover up problems or stress. Rather, positive thinking is meant to be a form of treatment for anxiety.

“Positive thinking just means that you approach the unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst”.

Just How Much Impact Does Optimistic Thinking Have?

Studies into the effects and benefits of positive thinking have been ongoing for many years. Just 30 years ago, the outlook for research into the benefits of optimism was not good. After a report published by Charles S. Carver and Michael F. Scheier however, the outlook changed just a bit. The paper, published in Health Psychology, helped to shape how research could and would be done in the future on the effects of positive thinking.

“After the paper, scientists had a method for seriously studying the healing powers of positive thinking”

Today, many researchers are producing studies that show the positive effects of optimism or positive thinking. A professor of psychology from the University of Guelph feels that this research can show that when they initiate positive thinking, people who are typically prone to bouts of depression and anxiety can learn how to better focus on what it going right as opposed to things that are going wrong in their lives. This is the typical treatment for patients with depression.

This particular study deals with younger patients or more specifically, children. Evidence suggests that adolescence is the time when most people will experience depression for the first time. From that time on, some may experience regular bouts of the mental disorder.

“Challenging depression in its early stages can reduce the severity in future”

Much of the research done today on depression and other mental issues focuses on the negative side of treatment and causes. Positive thinking is a way to bring a more positive approach to treating anxiety and other related disorders. Studies have shown that those who have negative beliefs about themselves are much more likely to become depressed and suffer from even more severe mental issues in the future.

Strength based treatment focuses on only the positive side of life and has shown to have many benefits, including a lower risk for developing depression and anxiety in adulthood. The benefits to adults who are already suffering from mental disorders has also been documented. Those with depression and anxiety have a much better chance of recovery, long term recovery, when they learn to focus on the positive side of life as opposed to the negative.