Can Optimism Make a Difference in Your Life?
Do you have a rosy outlook and see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty?
If so, your good attitude may have even more benefits than you think.
A growing number of scientific studies suggest optimistic people tend to live longer
and have better physical and mental health than pessimistic people.
The science behind the smiles
The idea of optimism leading to better health has been studied. Researchers reviewed
the results of over 80 studies to look for common findings. They found optimism had
a remarkable impact on physical health. The study examined overall longevity, survival
from a disease, heart health, immunity, cancer outcomes, pregnancy outcomes, pain
tolerance, and other health topics. It seemed that those who had a more optimistic
outlook did better and had better results than those who were pessimistic.
The message is that having a positive attitude can boost your physical health, no
matter what might be ailing you. The researchers also noted that optimism seemed to
have consistent benefits for people regardless of demographic factors such as income
level or overall health status.
How to be more optimistic
Changing from a pessimistic mindset to an optimistic one isn’t easy. Start with these
Think positive thoughts about yourself and others.
Consider limiting your online use of social media sites if you tend to compare yourself
with others who post on those sites.
Stop comparing yourself with others in a competitive way. Each person has unique and
special talents that are to be valued.
Try to find the good in every situation, even at difficult moments.
When facing a challenge, focus on achieving a positive outcome, rather than expecting
Explore your own beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life, whether they are philosophical
Strive to improve your physical health through exercise, a healthy diet, and good
sleeping habits and hygiene. The better you feel, the brighter your outlook will be.
Challenge your mind every day by learning something new, including learning about
yourself and your family history.