If you’ve felt blue or overly stressed, chances are someone has told you to think happy thoughts. It may seem like overly simple advice, but science has found that there’s actually something to it. (And here are 20 other methods you can use to live a happier life.)
The group who got to think happy thoughts came out of the experience not only felt better, they had only 15 percent of the stress hormone cortisol as those who thought about something emotionally neutral.The researchers conducted the same experiment afterward but also scanned their brains using an fMRI. Those who thought about happy memories had increased activity in the regions of the brain associated with emotional regulation and cognitive control, as well as those linked to processing rewards.
“These findings highlight the restorative and protective function of self-generated positive emotions via memory recall the face of stress,” Delgado and Speer said.
Now we know the value of happy thoughts is much greater than a platitude. Put it on a motivational poster with an asterisk that says, “Backed by the scientific method.”
Source: Happy Thoughts Can Stop You From Being So Stressed