Positive thinking helps with more than stress management; it can improve your health! Is your glass-half-empty or half-full? How you see your glass may mirror how you see yourself, reflect your outlook on life, and indicate whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist. Even more so, how you see your glass may affect your health.
Studies show that personality traits like optimism and pessimism can affect many areas of your health and happiness. Optimism is a key part of effective stress management and is associated with many health benefits.
Living longer is something we can all be happier about. A positive outlook can influence more than just your mood. You may be more successful in achieving your goals and, overall, feel more satisfied with your life. In a 30 year study by the Mayo Clinic, optimists had a 50 percent lower risk of early death than pessimists. As it turns out, the mind and body are linked, and less day-to-day stress will lead to a longer lifespan.
A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that middle-aged study participants who scored as optimistic on a test have higher levels of “good” cholesterol. That is something to be happy about!
A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal discovered that optimistic adults of 60 and older had less mobility and functional problems than their pessimistic counterparts. Our mobility and general functioning naturally decline as we get older, so knowing there’s a way to slow the decline is just another reason to think happy thoughts!
There have many several studies on how we can fight heart disease, America’s No. 1 killer. The numbers are staggering on what an optimistic approach can do to lower your chance of heart disease. A Dutch study revealed a “protective relationship” between optimism and mortality by examining the longevity of those over the age of 65. The participants with a positive outlook had a 77 percent lower risk of heart disease than pessimists. Happier people tend to live healthier lifestyles, which may account for the large difference between optimists and pessimists.
Train your mind as soon as you can, beginning with your children on how to cope with hardships and times of stress and depression. Remaining optimistic during stressful times is easier on your body and your mind.
The Common Cold
Whether it’s the result of prayer or laughing, having an upbeat outlook will help you fight off illness. Some studies have shown that negativity may make you more vulnerable to illness. Stay positive to fight away the sniffles!
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2016!