Tuesday, January 5, 2010


A recent issue of the Journal Circulation provides hard evidence that optimism and health are connected. Researchers studied nearly 100,000 women over eight years tracking how many heart attacks they suffered and how long they lived.

The conclusion? Optimism is one of the main factors to affect health.

“Optimism and pessimism affect health almost as clearly as do physical factors,” says Dr. Martin Seligman, director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

How? Optimists are generally disposed to positive future expectations. They expect good things to happen and work toward them. Dr. Hilary Tindle of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, says that an optimist when diagnosed with a disease will take a ‘can-do attitude’ and work at exercising, taking appropriate medications, eating properly and giving up negative things such as smoking or drinking.

Also an optimist will tend not to blame himself for losing a job, fighting with a spouse or other negative external influences. His thinking is, ‘It’s not necessarily my fault, it is just part of life and may not ever happen to me again."

Being an optimist also has been associated with a healthier immune system and an ability to cope with physical pain. Studies have connected a positive attitude to a quicker recovery and reduced likelihood of re-hospitalization after surgery, as well as a superior ability to handle the emotional upheaval of life-threatening situations and just life in general.

Whether you are of the glass is half-empty camp or not, don’t give up. You can change your outlook and get back on the positive-attitude track.

For more suggestions, check out How to encourage

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