Can Optimism Improve Your Health?

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

OptimisticAre you an optimist or a pessimist? Research has found that optimists are not only happier, they’re also healthier, live longer, and recover from illnesses better than those with less cheery outlooks. Optimists interpret events in a way that gives them hope to keep on trying. Pessimists look at an event with a negative slant.

 

One way to start each day on the right foot is to think about what you are grateful for. However, don’t just rattle off a list. Really take the time to contemplate your feelings about each thing and internalize how each positive feature makes your life better.

 

Also, as you encounter frustrations during the course of your day, try to put a positive spin on them, also known as “reframing,” to encourage an optimistic perspective. For example, if you don’t feel like going to work, be thankful that at least you have a job during this time when many Americans don’t have that “luxury.”

 

If you failed at a task the day before, be grateful if you have the chance to try again. If a relative has irritated you, remember good times you have had together. Reminding yourself of what you are grateful for will promote optimism and hope, even if your life has been difficult lately. You’ll feel serene as opposed to agitated and depressed.

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