The mind and body are intrinsically linked. Looking after your mental well-being is as important as taking care of your physical health. In recent years, there’s been a wealth of research into how your mindset can affect both your health and the way you function on a day-to-day basis. Using this information, you can empower yourself to make positive changes that could have a major impact on your life. Here’s what you should know.
Mindfulness improves your attention and focus
There’s a lot of hype surrounding mindfulness but it’s more than a mere fad. While we already know that engaging in mindful activities can reduce people’s stress levels, new research sheds light on its other benefits. According to a comprehensive analysis of mindfulness studies, this technique can help employee focus, attention, and overall cognition. With that in mind, taking the time to practice mindfulness could help you get ahead at work.
If you’re completely new to the practice, you may want to dip your toes in the water first. Using apps such as Headspace and Calm could be the way to go. These smartphone apps offer guided meditation tracks which will talk you through the entire process. While you may not take to mindfulness immediately, perseverance is key. Practice a little each day and see whether it makes a difference to the way you feel and function.
Being optimistic could help you live longer
Are you a blue sky thinker or a pessimist? Believe it or not, the way that you see the world could have an impact on your wellness. Research from Boston University School of Medicine suggests that optimists live longer than pessimists. The decades-long study found that those with a positive outlook tend to have longer lifespans than those with negative views.
The results of the study revealed that men and women who were optimistic lived around 11-15% longer than the control group. Plus, those who were optimistic had a 50-70% higher chance of reaching the age of 85. The scientists suggested that more research into why this link exists is needed. However, based on the current findings, it certainly pays to be positive.
Healthy thinking leads to better food choices
Do you make the right food choices? When you’re trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, considering your nutritional goals is an absolute must. However, that is often easier said than done. When you’re busy or in a rush, you may naturally reach for something fast and low in nutritional value. Slowing down and changing your mindset could be the secret to eating well.
Research from the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior suggests that having a health-focussed mindset before you eat may be the answer. The study found that participants who considered their health when choosing their food exercised better portion control than other groups. Taking the time to think about how your meals impact your wellness could make a major difference to what you eat. Before your next meal, stop and think about your health.
Taking control of your mind and making it work for you could help you improve your life (and health!). Remember, you have the power to enact positive changes on a daily basis. Small lifestyle hacks—such as taking up mindfulness and being more optimistic—are easy to adopt. Why not start taking steps towards a healthier, happier lifestyle today?