How does optimism affect your health? Every person has to deal with difficulties at some point in their lives, but how quickly we get over them depends on how we handle them.
It is known that a person’s mental and physical health are linked. However, the importance of physical health is often overlooked in favor of mental health. Perhaps this is the case because our knowledge of the brain lags behind that of other body systems.
People can look at problems from two different points of view: they can be optimistic or pessimistic. But your success and how you feel about it depend on how well you deal with adversity.
This article will teach you what optimism is and why it’s crucial to your happiness and overall health. You will also get to know some of the benefits you’ll get from adopting a more optimistic outlook, most notably regarding your physical well-being.
What is optimism?
An optimistic mindset believes in one’s ability to succeed and is confident in the future. Positive thinkers have been studied extensively by researchers. It turns out that having a positive attitude makes us happier, more successful, and healthier. Optimism can help people avoid depression, even if they are predisposed to it. People who have a positive attitude are more resistant to stress. Optimistic people may have longer lives.
Others say that optimism is more of a way of explaining things; it shows up in how people explain why things happen. For example, optimists are more likely to see failure or bad things as temporary instead of permanent, local instead of universal, and outside of themselves instead of inside. With this attitude, optimists can easily see the chances of change.
Optimism is not synonymous with wishful or fantastical thinking. On the contrary, perceiving the world gives the optimist a sense of greater control because they are at least somewhat responsible when things go well.
Who is an optimist?
An optimist always looks for the best in every situation, which can be either inspiring or frustrating, depending on how you look at it.
Winston Churchill famously stated, “A pessimist sees trouble in every opportunity, while an optimist sees opportunity in every problem.” When considering the world’s difficulties, it may be difficult to maintain an optimistic outlook; however, Optimists have better outlooks and live longer than pessimists; they are also less vulnerable to disease, tiredness, and despair. But, a person’s too-optimistic view of the future might cause him to take unwarranted risks, especially with their health and wealth.
How is optimism different from pessimism?
Optimism and pessimism represent attitudes – different ways of thinking and viewing the world. Optimists look for the bright side of situations. They anticipate a positive outcome. They feel they have the expertise and ability to bring about positive change.
The wonderful thing about optimism is that it can be learned, even if your view is negative.
You’ve probably heard the term “pessimist” applied to folks who see flaws in everything. A pessimist is more likely to anticipate failure or to dwell on what went wrong.
People aren’t constantly optimistic or pessimistic, but most tend to fall into one of these categories. The good news is that if you tend to be more pessimistic, you are not doomed to think that way forever. Instead, we can all become more hopeful by changing our perspective.
Some incredible health benefits of optimism
It helps you cope with negative life events.
Optimism promotes resilience, which prolongs health. The University of Helsinki, the University of Turku, and the University College of London conducted primary observational research on the health benefits of an optimistic mindset.
Individuals with high optimism scores reported fewer sick days following a catastrophic life event (severe sickness or death of someone close to you). They recovered more rapidly than those with low optimism scores. In other words, optimism can facilitate more effective coping with significant unpleasant life situations. 
It lowers the risk of mortality.
Dutch research of 900 people aged 65 to 85 found that those who reported high levels of optimism had a 55% lower risk of dying from any cause and a 23% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, even after controlling for age, gender, chronic disease, education, smoking, alcohol consumption, past of cardiovascular disease or hypertension, body mass index, and overall cholesterol level. 
Another research found that a high degree of dispositional optimism was connected with healthy lifestyle habits such as increased physical activity, quitting smoking, and eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain bread. These research findings were unaffected by age, education, living situation, self-rated health, cardiovascular illness, diabetes mellitus, cancer, body mass index, or total calorie consumption. 
It optimizes heart health.
Individuals with the greatest levels of optimism had double the likelihood of having optimum cardiovascular health as those with lower levels of optimism. Optimists had much lower levels of blood sugar and total cholesterol than pessimists. They were also more physically active, had lower BMIs, and were less inclined to smoke than pessimists .
Another study showed that older men living in a community with a positive outlook are less likely to show signs of depression over 15 years of follow-up . Clinical depression significantly raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and blood clots.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh wanted to find out if optimism or pessimism affected the progression of atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries of middle-aged women. They scanned the carotid arteries of 209 premenopausal women. Later, the women were again assessed five years after their menopause. The results revealed that optimistic women had much less atherosclerosis development than their pessimistic counterparts. 
It is believed that optimists are more likely to eat healthy foods.
As was already established, as compared to pessimists, optimists appear to have better behaviors. Men and women who showed higher optimism scores tend to eat salads, vegetables, berries, and fruits more frequently than those who scored low, according to a Finnish study involving 31-year-old participants.
Additionally, less fiber and more alcohol were ingested by pessimistic thinking.  Other research has shown that those who scored higher on the optimism scale or were pessimistic reported greater quality of life, used active coping strategies more frequently, and adopted more health-promoting activities. 
It promotes success
Seeing the bright side in a situation or anticipating the best are the beginnings of optimism. It also serves as an explanation for what has previously occurred.
When something good happens, optimists reflect on how they contributed to the result. They view their gifts as trustworthy, enduring aspects of who they are. Finally, they think about the beneficial implications this beautiful product might have.
The opposite occurs when things go differently than planned: Optimists don’t place the responsibility on themselves. They see failures as transitory. Optimists attribute problems to unique circumstances or events rather than their skills when anything goes wrong. Optimists are better at getting over disappointment than pessimists because they don’t see failures as personal faults.
Is too much optimism a bad thing?
Only realistic optimism improves health. All optimism does not. Unrealistic goals should never be set or enforced because they harm your health. Unrealistic optimism comprises the assumption that one will experience difficulties far less frequently than the average person. It minimizes or ignores the chances of adversities.
It also exaggerates the idea that one can influence all outside circumstances and people’s reactions. As a result, one develops a sense of arrogance and overestimates their abilities.  Premature optimism may also hinder progress and complicate relationships. Empathy, practical objectives, and tactics must come before optimism to support and uplift sad or injured people.
How do you build optimism?
Notice good things in your surroundings.
Spend ten minutes of your day reflecting on the day’s events and listing the things for which you are thankful. Note them in a diary, or use a motivating app on your phone or tablet to keep track of them. Surround yourself with positive individuals to have a good impact on yourself.
Learn from your past-failures
Even when we obtain unfavorable outcomes, we might get valuable insights. For example, Thomas Edison failed hundreds of times before inventing the light bulb. Sometimes we must fail to discover a mental path that entirely alters us. I like attainable objectives with excellent outcomes, but I have learned something worthwhile even when I have failed. Reflect for a minute on a lesson you learned from a personal failure. Are you a better person as a result of your failure? Mistakes of the past can serve as stepping stones to genuine progress.
Focus on what you can achieve
We have little control over the people and events around us. Because of this, we can expect delays and disappointments. Therefore, concentrating on what can be achieved is frequently the most effective tactic that can be employed.
Don’t blame yourself.
What does the voice in your head tell you when things do not go according to plan? Instead of thinking, “Say to yourself, “I failed the test because I didn’t study enough, not because I’m bad at arithmetic.’ I won’t let that happen again!'” You should focus on avoiding allowing it to happen again. Consider saying something along the lines of, “Now I understand why breakups are so painful, but spending time with close ones can help me heal better.” as opposed to saying something like, “I’m such a loser.”
By often recognizing and congratulating yourself, you physically adjust your brain to detect more evidence of your strengths and achievements. You may train yourself to feel that you deserve beautiful things and can bring about favorable life improvements. Consider what you did to facilitate a positive outcome. Did you study for the exam? Practice with commitment? Consider the abilities you utilized and how they contributed to your success.
The bottom line
The concept of positive thinking is developed from a primary characteristic known as optimism. It has been demonstrated that having a positive outlook may boost one’s immune system, lowering one’s risk of developing chronic diseases and aiding in one’s ability to deal with disappointing news. It has been found that thankful individuals are happier, have more social support, are less stressed, and have lower rates of depression. You may develop optimism if you learn from past errors, acknowledge yourself, surround yourself with the proper people, and don’t blame yourself for anything.
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