Looking on the bright side could save your life!
Dr Alan Rozanski is a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, was the lead author of the study, noted that optimistic people have healthier attributes such as exercising, eating healthy, stronger immune systems and better lung functions. Optimists are less likely to smoke too!
He observed that optimists have a 35% lower risk of major heart complications, such as cardiac disease, stroke, or heart attack.
How do we learn optimism?
Dr Rozanski puts it simply, it’s how we look at the world. Optimists are people who expect good things to happen to them, and pessimists expect bad things to happen to them”.
Studies have shown that optimism is 25% inheritable and the other 75% is socioeconomic status that is often out of our control- like the Corona Virus.
There are many articles written on how to train your brain on being an optimist, and here are just a few tips that you can try:
- Stop negative self-talk and focus on positive self-talk. That’s right, are you focusing on something negative and getting bogged down? Consider looking at it another way in a positive frame of mind. Think of someone who you admire and ask yourself, “what would they do in this situation”? Look at new and better alternatives.
- Are you hanging around wingers or gossipers? Be careful as negativity is contagious.
- How depressing is the news at present? Limit what your intake and learn just what you need to.
- Look at your lifestyle. Are you exercising at least 3 times a week and are you eating healthy? Optimistic people eat healthy and exercise.
“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.” Noam Chomsky
Being around optimistic people, especially in these crazy times, can be a breath of fresh air. They usually have great coping skills, healthy lifestyles and are solutions focused. Many of us might think we are an optimist, but are we, especially during these challenging times? In a study of nearly 300,000 people published in the medical journal JAMA, it revealed people who look at life from a positive perspective have a better shot of avoiding any type of cardiovascular risk than a pessimistic person. So why is this so?