“Think positive!” “The glass is half full!” “Cheer up; it’ll get better!”
These are typical phrases you might hear from a positive person or an optimist. But why should we think positive? Why should we worry about how full the glass is? Why should we cheer up, and how will it actually get better?
Those are common questions we might ask ourselves when people try to use cheesy, corny, or all-around generic phrases to make us feel better. But there is a lot of truth to what optimists say, and while life oftentimes has its sorrowful, grueling, painful downs, we should never forget its beautiful, incredible, marvelous ups.
Life is complicated. It isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, that’s for sure, but it does indeed have its beauty and its positives. And the more we think positive, the more life will actually start to match that mindset.
Yes, thinking positive does indeed have its benefits, and science proves it.
According to Mayo Clinic, some of the health benefits of positive thinking include “increased life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of distress, greater resistance to the common cold, better psychological and physical wellbeing, better cardiovascular health and reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, [and] better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.”
They continue to write in their article Positive Thinking: Stop Negative Self-Talk to Reduce Stress, “It’s unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits, [but] one theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body.” In addition, they explain that “positive and optimistic people tend to live healthier lifestyles.”
According to Learning Mind, “Positive thinking is the background of the modern philosophy of living a successful and happy life.”
And as a fun quote about the often-mentioned “glass-half-empty-or-half-full” debate, “People who wonder whether the glass is half empty or half full miss the point. The glass is refillable.”
Now you know the benefits of thinking positively about situations rather than always expecting something negative to happen. But what about the “Reducing Worry” part of the title of this article? You might notice my word selection in the title of this article: “The Benefits of Thinking Positive and Reducing Worry.” I didn’t say eliminating worry – I said reducing worry.
You see, some people – particularly those that are constantly positive and optimistic – might make you believe that worries are bad, sinful even. To doubt the Lord is, of course, not good, but to have everyday worries are not a sin. In fact, having everyday worries can mean you care about whatever it is you’re worrying about, which means you’re not apathetic.
However, too much worrying can be stressful for the mind and the body. According to WebMD, “Chronic worrying can affect your daily life so much that it may interfere with your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and job performance.”
They continue to write, “Chronic worry and emotional stress can trigger a host of health problems. The problem occurs when fight or flight is triggered daily by excessive worrying and anxiety. The fight or flight response causes the body’s sympathetic nervous system to release stress hormones…[These] hormones also cause physical reactions such as difficulty swallowing, dizziness, dry mouth, fast heartbeat, fatigue, headaches, inability to concentrate, irritability, muscle aches, [and more].”
Not only does science prove that worrying is bad for you, but so does the Bible. It preaches a clear message: Worrying is a waste of time.
Matthew 6:27 in the NIV says, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (In the NKJV, it also says “a single cubit to your stature.”)
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Matthew 6:25 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
And if you read on just a little bit to Matthew 6:34, it says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
And last, but certainly not least, 1 Peter 5:6-7 assures, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
So when life gets you down, and you start to doubt and worry, just remember that God is watching you, and that He cares about you – and He will make it happen. Keep believing, keep having faith, keep thinking positive, and remember: You Rock, Dream Big, and You Got This!
– Arianna Fox, 13-Year-Old Girlpreneur, Double Author, Motivational Speaker, Voiceover Talent, and Actress
@afoxauthor on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (Arianna Fox on LinkedIn and YouTube)