Positive Attitude Reaps Healthful Rewards

May 27, 2022

By Mary Rose Strickland, PT, DPT, OCS

“Mind over matter” may seem a bit cliché when it comes to health and science, but in Mary Rose Strickland’s world, a positive attitude plays an undeniable role in reaching and maintaining optimal health.

A physical therapist, co-owner, and Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner at New Life Physical Therapy, Strickland has witnessed numerous success stories, from clients overcoming chronic pain issues to those achieving full return to life activities following surgery. And for each of these successes exists a single, underlying factor affecting the patient’s final outcome: a positive attitude.

“The people who achieve the most success in physical therapy and rehab are those who have a positive attitude, who are focused on their goals and who are looking into the future with a positive mindset,” said Strickland. “They put in the work and they visualize success. Keeping a positive mindset goes a long way toward achieving positive results.”

This isn’t just Strickland’s opinion. This is science.

According to several recent studies in the world of health sciences, a positive attitude can put you on the path toward a longer, healthier and more stress-free life. For example:

  • A 2012 study published in Psychosomatic Medicine suggests that a positive attitude can reverse health risks in seniors, which leads to a better quality of life;
  • Another 2012 study, this one by the Duke University Medical Center, linked positive emotions to better heart health;
  • And according to the Mayo Clinic – and in support of dozens of other studies on the topic of positivity – a positive attitude can be linked to an increased life span, a stronger immune system, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, less stress, and overall mental and physical well-being.

These are studies Strickland and her New Life Physical Therapy team have taken to heart, mindfully applying the power of positivity throughout every aspect of their practice, from environment to the personalities of their physical therapists to the way they motivate their patients. Such an emphasis can lead to better outcomes for their patients.

“The power of positivity applies to everything, not matter your challenges, goals and obstacles,” Strickland said. “As studies have shown, attitude affects how people recover from injury and achieve greater health and longevity. But it goes much further than that.

“Having a positive attitude helps as you work toward any goal, whether that goal be in physical therapy, in education, advancing your career … whatever it may be.”