Optimism is defined as a mental outlook that the future is filled with hope and success. Optimistic people expect the best while pessimists expect the worse to happen. Optimism offers numerous benefits like superior coping skills, decreased stress levels, improved physical health, along with enhanced tenacity, and persistence. Rather than seeing hardships as trouble, optimists see them as learning experiences. When the day is not going the way they hoped, they look forward to tomorrow for it will surely be a better day.
The Science Behind Optimism
Scientific researchers have reviewed more than 80 studies and have determined that optimism can improve an individual’s physical health. In fact, Harvard University reports that pessimistic men and women had a 42 percent higher death rate than optimistic individuals.
Optimistic individuals are often goal setters and take better care of themselves than pessimistic individuals. Optimistic individuals typically have healthier habits, including getting regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting routine medical checkups, and avoiding risky behaviors like smoking, drug usage, and consuming too much alcohol.
How Can You Become More Optimistic?
If you have a pessimistic mindset, it can be difficult to transition to an optimistic one; however, it is possible. To begin with, you must take it day by day and step by step. There will be days where it will be difficult to stay optimistic. However, with the following set of tips, you can begin to change your mindset day by day.
- Continually Learn – Challenge your mind by learning something new each day. Begin to broaden your horizons. Embrace a lifetime of learning. Learn a new hobby, a new language, or a new skill. This will help you become more confident, and confidence bolsters optimism.
- Expect a Positive Outcome – When you are faced with a challenge, expect a good outcome instead of defeat. Challenges give rise to ingenuity. Rather than doing things the way they have always been done, think of a new way to handle the challenge. Who knows, you may come up with a solution that can help you and everyone else out in the future.
- How Can You Change the World? – Explore your belief system about the purpose of life or the meaning of life. This belief system can be religious or philosophical. Ask yourself questions like – How can you make the world a different place? What is one thing you can do today to fulfill your destiny? What were you put on this world to do? Answering these questions can help you see the bright side of life.
- Look for Blessings – Look for the silver lining in every situation, including difficult times. It can be hard to see losing one’s job, having an illness, or a loved one passing as a benefit; however, if you look close enough, you can find something good in every situation. For example, if there is a sickness, death, or a financial issue in your life, your friends and family will gather around you.
- Positive Thoughts – When you think about yourself or others, only allow positive thoughts to enter your mind. For example, if you consider yourself ugly, overweight, unintelligent, etc., remind yourself of the positive things about you. Do you have stunning eyes? Do you have a skill that others do not have?
- Practice Gratitude – When you are learning to become more optimistic, you must learn to practice gratitude. One of the best methods to increase your optimism is to start keeping a gratitude journal. Each day, write down the things that you are thankful for in your journal. As you begin keeping a record of your blessings, you will begin to notice more and more good things in your life.
- Stop Comparing – Stop comparing yourself to others. We are each uniquely created and uniquely gifted. If everyone were exactly the same, the world would be a boring place. Value the special talents that you and everyone around your possess.
- Workouts, Diets, and Sleep – Strive to improve your health. As you begin making changes to your health, your outlook will improve. Begin a daily workout routine that includes cardio exercises and strength training exercises. Learn about how much exercise you need to improve your health. Take a cooking class and learn how to cook delicious and nutritious meals. Finally, get a good night’s sleep each night so you will wake up in a good mood.
The Impact of Optimism
Optimism improves every aspect of your life from your health to your success rate. Optimism not only improves your physical health, but it can also improve your emotional health. As you become more optimistic, your stress levels will begin to decline.
Optimism and Physical Health
Stress causes inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can damage your cardiovascular system. Embracing optimism can reduce your stress levels and lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The stress relief provided by optimism can help lower blood pressure levels and decrease your cholesterol levels naturally.
Optimism and Emotional Health
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a technique that helps reframe the way you process your thoughts and information. It has been used successfully to relieve clinical depression. Simply put, cognitive behavioral therapy teaches you how to transform pessimistic thoughts into optimistic thoughts. As you begin learning how to transform your thought patterns using these techniques, your emotional health will improve. Furthermore, when setbacks occur in the future, you will be better prepared to handle the situation.
Reduced Stress Levels
Optimistic individuals typically do not experience as much stress as pessimistic people do. Optimists believe they will succeed because of their abilities. Optimistic people will view negative events as minor setbacks. They will look at past positive events to remind themselves that good things are in store for them in the future. Believing in yourself also allows you to take more risks, which increases the odds of successful outcomes. All of this works together to help reduce your stress level.
Optimism can be the key to your improved health. Becoming more mindful of the good things in life helps to reduce your stress levels, which reduces inflammation and muscle tension throughout your body. If you are ready to take control of your health, talk to the integrative medical experts at Rose Wellness. The doctors will use the latest medical techniques combined with alternative medicine approaches to improve your health.