Did you know optimism combats stress? That’s right, having a positive attitude actually reduces stressors in your life. You worry less. You believe that things are going to work out and stress less about the small things. Positive thinking also helps stop “negative self-talk”–those little voices telling you to expect the worst. This is all a conscious decision. And positive thinking positively works.
For thousands of years, massage recipients have known that therapeutic massage reduces stress and people who get regular massage are generally much happier. It turns out that there is evidence that massage also helps you have a more positive outlook on life and helps you cope better with the things that make you stressed.
Massage calms the mind
Massage can help you feel better about yourself and the relaxation can help with focus after your session. Anyone who has had a relaxing massage knows that when you finish, you feel peaceful and even a little “foggy”. This “fogginess” is a true sign that for the time you were on the table you experienced “physical ease” which your body carries over into emotional ease. And while your mind and all your thoughts were focused on the quiet stillness of relaxation, your stress melted away.
It’s kind of like the quiet state the mind enters just before sleep, or the place of stillness reached in medication. That feeling of calmness has subtle powerful effects on your overall outlook on the rest of the day, and potentially, the rest of your life. When you come out of the relaxed state, you see things more clearly. Many clients report moments of unusually high lucidity following massage. Your mind is free to figure things out and you have the opportunity to look at all those challenges and think positively about them. Voila! Progress toward positive attitude.
Benefits of positive attitude and positive thinking
The Mayo Clinic suggests that there are quite a few health benefits of positive thinking. These may include:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
Wow! Some great reasons to stop being “Debbie or Darren Downer” and think about the world around you in a different way.
Positive attitude and hormones
One thing that can affect your moods are hormones. Everything from your outlook on life to the way you interact with others are influenced by these substances that regulate your body. Massage has a significant effect on the chemical balance in your body. It reduces the levels of stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine. Stress hormones can trigger depression and an overall poor attitude in some people. Massage also releases serotonin (neurotransmitter) and endorphins (pain relievers). As an added bonus, massage reduces muscle tension, improves circulation, slows heart rate and increases joint mobility and flexibility. The icing on the cake? The soothing touch of another human helps relax and make you feel safe and secure, too.
If you’re keeping score, you’ll see the points are all in favor of positive benefits of massage. A better attitude, overall wellness benefits, and maybe even improved mood. Not bad for 60 minutes on a table under the care of an expert therapist, right?