As this month starts let’s take a look at how optimism can help your health outlook. What is optimism? A hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something is how most people would define an optimistic person. Are you such a person? An optimistic person may not always come out on top, but they will be much less stressed along the way and research shows you can be healthier as well.
I was reading an article from the Heart and Stroke Foundation. How optimism benefits your health the other day it was interesting to see what they found from studies they followed. ”A review of 15 studies with over 200,000 participants found a 35% lower chance of getting heart disease and a 14% lower chance of early death in people who were optimistic. People who are optimistic also have better results following surgery, and fewer complication requiring hospital readmission. This may be related to the finding that optimists have better coping skills when dealing with stress and setbacks.”
This is amazing to me. I tend to be optimistic so I have experienced these outcomes. It hurts my heart when I hear a pessimists talk of all the bad things that could/might take place. Yes you should know the possibilities, but don’t focus on them. Years ago I heard a person say “if you wait on all the stop lights to be green you will never go”. This life will not be perfect. However we can see it the best we can. Often that is simply just on how we look at situations.
While this can be hard to do at times we can train our brain to think this way first.
Our brains are incredible creations. We can teach it how to think. We can stop what we are doing and/ or thinking and choose what we want it to do /or think. This sounds so simple to do and it is. It is simple, but may not be easy. Our brains have taken this path for a long time. We CAN make a new path way for our thoughts to follow.
Start right now. Take five minutes to write down that you are grateful for, the good things in your life, and the people that mean the most to you. Each day spend more time doing this. Look harder and harder to find what you are thankful for. Now this might be new to you, but look for the good in everyone. Yes, everyone. As you build this list your worries tend to become more of an afterthought. As well as your brain will get used to being thankful first .