There are some universal truths about keeping your body healthy and happy: from working out each day to eating healthy, there are certain things we hear over and over again about maintaining good physical health. What you might not realize is that your mind actually plays an important role in your overall physical health! Optimism, or looking forward to the future with hope and confidence, has measurable effects on many important areas of health. Thinking positively can help maximize glucose to control stress, improve mood, and has even been shown to change the structure of the water molecules in your body!
Optimism and Stress
While this may seem like a no-brainer, having an optimistic perception can have significant effects on stress. A study from 2013 by Concordia University found that optimists have an easier time regulating their sympathetic nervous system. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, has been found to decrease in the optimistic brain, causing a balance within the “flight or fight” response. So, if you’re looking for a new way to combat stress, give optimism a try!
Optimism and Mood
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain, is released in response to extreme emotions or stress and is used to regulate mood. Serotonin focuses on returning the body to a normal state after increases in stress, anxiety, impulse, or arousal. Optimistic thinkers tend to have increased serotonin levels, meaning their ability to regulate emotions and balance overall mood. Not only will you feel better when thinking optimistically, but your brain will literally release more and more serotonin to boost your mood!
Optimism and Water
At first glance, this may seem like a strange concept - positive words can actually change your water molecules in the body? Scientist Dr. Masaru Emoto studied this very concept. He filled three jars with rice and water to compare how messages can affect growth and development. His study found that positive words grew healthy rice with a pleasant and strong aroma, while the rice that received negative messaging turned black with decay. The control jar, which was ignored, also began to rot. You can personally replicate these results with three flowers at home. Children in classrooms across the country have found that flowers filled with positive messages bloom, flowers that are yelled at die, and flowers that receive no messages grow but do not flourish. So keeping this in mind, the water molecules in our body actually understand and respond to optimism by creating flourishing growth!
From increasing serotonin, decreasing cortisol, and even changing the water molecules of the body, optimism has been shown to revolutionize physical health in a multitude of ways. Cortisol and Serotonin balance emotions, regulate stress, and boost overall mood, while optimism can literally change the water in our body to enhance healthy growth of the body, increase persistence and resiliency, and enhance immune systems. With a host of health benefits, think positive?