Can Positive Thinking Actually Help You With Depression?
Optimism and gratitude have been mentioned as being really important for people suffering from depression. The link between positive thinking and depression is often discussed but is it actually true that positive thoughts will help you to deal with your low lows?
We now know of PAIs, which stands for positive activity interventions. This is actually a treatment that uses intentional positive thoughts and behaviors. Examples include being kind to others, expressing your gratitude, positive feelings through meditation and more.
According to the authors of a recent study, in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine:
“Although positive psychology is still a developing field, the relatively small but growing number of studies on PAIs are beginning to identify important mechanisms underlying the benefits of such interventions.”
PAIs are definitely not going to help every single person suffering from depression. Sometimes it might just be combined with drug therapy. Even so, we are looking at something that is important in the sense that scientists are starting to say what ancient wisdom has been saying for years, that positive thinking helps people that are depressed.
So What Is Positive Thinking?
Positive thinking (also known as having an optimistic attitude) can be defined as being a practice in which you focus on the good in any situation. This is what is said to have a huge impact on your mental and physical health. Basically, people have been saying for a long time that positive thinking can improve your life.
Positive thinking does not mean that you will ignore reality. It just means that you focus on the good parts of life.
Benefits Of Positive Thinking
There were countless studies that analyzed positive thinking and optimism. It is not know what comes first. It might be the benefits or the mindset. However, staying upbeat does not have a downside.
Some of the physical benefits that were discovered are:
- Living longer
- A lower chance of a heart attack
- Improved physical health
- Lower blood pressure
- Higher pain tolerance
- Having a higher resistance to different illnesses, like the common cold
Some of the possible mental benefits that were discovered are:
- Increased creativity
- An overall better mood
- Improved problem-solving skills
- Improved coping skills
- Clear thinking
- Less depression
What is very interesting is that in a study, people that were exposed to the common cold and flu and that had a positive outlook on everything were actually a lot less likely to become sick. They ended up reporting fewer symptoms.
Positive Thinking And Depression
So what do we know about people that are depressed? They tend to have a more pessimistic view on live that is caused by the depression. This is not always the case but it is quite common. Unfortunately, this does not mean that having an optimistic view on everything will protect you from depression.
Without going too deep into this subject, positive thinking is something that can help when you are depressed. This is because it automatically fights your negative thoughts. You practically counter your bad thoughts and your depression symptoms with the exact opposite.
The big problem is that it is difficult to have positive thoughts when you are suffering from depression. You will need help from a professional to do this. PAIs are not mean tot be self-taught because it is very difficult to be optimistic when depression hits you.
Depression is not something that has to be dismissed or something easy to deal with. Anything that you could do to get better is something you should try. This includes PAIs. Positive thinking might very well be what you were looking for.