The Impact of Positivity On Your Personal Life

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For week 2 of our series on how positivity impacts us, we’re taking a look at how positivity can affect your personal life. Having covered the effects positive thinking has on mental health last week, we’re moving on to the ways in which positivity impacts our physical health, as well as the things we are able to do and achieve every day. As always, if you find this post insightful, tune in next week for the conclusion of this series!

1. Positivity Impacts Us On A Genetic Level

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Research done by Dr. David Hamilton finds that, amazingly, kindness, happiness, and positivity can have an impact on how our genes behave. As we move through our day to day lives, our cells are constantly replicating, writing and copying DNA sequences. In response to certain stimuli, certain genes might be turned off or on as this process continues. Positive attitudes, thoughts, and emotions prompt the release of certain neuropeptides, which are then transmitted to the cells and may result in certain genes being activated or deactivated. This means that habitual positivity can actually permanently impact the creation and release of hormones, proteins and enzymes. 

 

This has widespread implications for our physical health. For one thing, people who regularly practice positive thinking have better cardiovascular health, longer lifespans, quicker wound healing with fewer complications, and a stronger immune system. Even in cases where patients have already received a serious diagnosis, such as diabetes, cancer, or HIV, practicing positivity leads to better outcomes and an improved prognosis.

 

By practicing positive thinking, persons struggling with depression may find themselves making more positive memories; not because they are necessarily having more positive experiences, but because they are encouraged to focus on the positive aspects of experiences instead of dwelling on small negative occurrences. Instead of blaming the actions of others on oneself, practitioners of positive thinking are encouraged to consider the other person’s point of view, and to understand that any harm was not personally motivated. Overall, by reducing negative thinking, people find themselves with clearer thoughts and an improved mood.

2. For Students, Positivity Fosters Higher Academic Achievement

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As previously discussed, positivity can have a huge impact on one’s mental health. In the education system, student mental health has been identified as a crisis area for educators-- so it’s no surprise that positivity can have a great influence there, as well. By enacting policies that focus on hope and optimism in education, schools were able to observe improved outcomes and higher achievements, especially within crisis areas such as discipline. Moreover, positive-based practices are simple to implement and very scalable, meaning that schools seeking to improve student achievement and reduce crises can easily take on policies that focus on student strengths and wellbeing in order to help them succeed.

3. Positivity Helps All of Us Do Better Work

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Focusing on kindness in the workplace can help improve professional interactions on every level. Positive interactions between employees creates a better bond and stronger teamwork, leading to a more cohesive environment and better performance. Kindness from employers to their employees can motivate their employees and generate loyalty, meaning that employees will work harder and stick around longer, even in times of hardship. Employees demonstrating kindness to customers is the foundation of good customer service, which creates positive word-of-mouth, higher foot traffic, and more regular, committed customers. And finally, customers interacting positively with employees helps employees to feel motivated and appreciated, which also is fuel for hard work and employee retention. It’s pretty clear to see-- to create the highest-functioning workplace possible, it pays to be kind at every opportunity. 

 

There’s a myriad of ways in which positivity can impact your personal life, and this is only scratching the surface. These observations about how positivity impacts workplaces and schools can be easily translated to other environments, like hobby groups or volunteer organizations. Overall, it’s clear that positivity not only makes your body stronger, but also your quality of life.