Does Positive Thinking Help with Recovery Time After Surgery?

There is solid evidence that having a positive attitude about your surgery and recovery process will help speed your healing. According to researchers who reviewed 16 different studies about positive mental attitude and healing, the right frame of mind can make a huge difference. The studies covered over 30 years and different types of surgery, but they all came to this conclusion. So if you’re wondering “Does positive thinking help?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

How does positive thinking help? 

does positive thinking help - happy couple smiling and laughingThe exact reason positive thinkers tend to have better surgical healing outcomes is still not completely understood. Scientists have a few theories to explain the benefit of positive thinking including:

  • Positive thinking allows you to feel less stress which in turn lowers inflammation. With less inflammation, the body can heal quicker.
  • People who are more positive in general tend to make better life choices and are better able to focus on long-term goals. This may include following post-operative orders or physical therapy recommendations.
  • Negative thoughts and emotions weaken your immune system’s responses.

While the precise reason why positive thinking helps may elude scientists, the benefits are still very real.

How can you become a positive thinker?

Now that we have answered the question, “Does positive thinking help with recovery after surgery?” you may be left wondering how to get this benefit in your own life. There are some simple steps you can take to shift your frame of mind for a more positive outlook on surgery and life in general.

  • Smile more! Studies have show that smiling, even fake smiling, improves your outlook. This simple act reduces both stress levels and your blood pressure.
  • Practice re-framing stressful situations. When something has you stressed or anxious, try to find something to be grateful for in the situation. There is almost always a silver lining to every dark cloud in your day.
  • Work on becoming a resilient person. You can do this by fostering positive relationships with friends and family, learning that change is just a part of life, and working to resolve stressors in your life instead of ignoring them.

Another way to reduce the stress associated with an upcoming surgical procedure is to have complete trust in the expertise of your surgical team. At Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group we have a team of specialists who will walk you through the surgery and recovery process. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation with one of our caring and competent physicians.

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