We all know that positivity can prompt changes in your body that have been shown to boost positive emotions, provide stress relief and improve general wellbeing.
According to a study at University of Queensland, a positive attitude can do more than keep you motivated and change your outlook on life – it can improve your immune system.
Researchers conducted studies by following a selection of adults between the ages of 65 and 90. The study was followed over a period of two years and found that people who focussed on positive affirmations and thinking were more likely to have stronger immune systems.
To measure the effects of positivity, participants were provided with images which displayed both positive and negative images. Similarly, their immune function was measured through a series of blood tests.
“Participants who recalled more positive than negative images had antibodies in their blood suggesting stronger immune systems than those of their counterparts, who did not show this positivity in memory,” Lead researcher Dr Elise Kalokerinos says.
“A person who focuses on positive information over negative information may be better able to cope with stressful situations, may take a more positive long-term outlook on life, and may maintain positive social interactions, thus reaping the immune benefits.”
A UCLA study focussed on this same idea and found that people who identified as having a deep sense of happiness, had lower levels of inflammatory gene expression – as well as stronger antiviral and antibody responses.
“These findings raise the possibility that humans have evolved to become more positive late in life in order to enhance their own longevity.”