People love to say “stay positive” or “be optimistic”, especially in the face of adversity. But does staying positive or being optimistic all the time, or generally, most of the time have any bearing on your health? The answer is Yes!
Many scientists have conducted series of qualitative and quantitative tests and surveys and have arrived at a general consensus that staying positive is good for you. Not only does being optimistic limit your chances of contracting many health risks but it also helps you fight diseases, recover quickly, and increase your lifespan. If you have ever been part of a training or a regimented physical activity, your trainer may always stress the need for “mind-muscle connection”. As superficially unconnected as that may sound, your mental wellbeing has various effects on your physical wellbeing as well. As an abstraction, optimism cannot be detected in a test or precipitated by some experiment. However, scientists devised ways to determine the effect of optimism, and have concluded that being optimistic affects our lives in the following ways:
When you’re optimistic it means you choose to see the good side of things. Being optimistic fights stress, it’s like the opposite of being stressed. When you look at the brighter side of things, this positive outlook helps you fight stress and all the physical and non-physical health-related problems that come with it. Stress has been connected to so many problems and disorders like increased aging, balding, skin problems, heart attacks and much more. Stress is bad for your health and optimism is a good cure for it.
Many health experts and researchers have shown that optimism increases your longevity. People who have a positive outlook in life are less likely to engage in harmful behavior or develop psychological disorders like depression and anxiety. Moreover, optimism also lessens your risk of age-related illness, which in turn helps you live longer.
Your immune system also has also been linked to optimism. A University of Kentucky study showed that people who had an optimistic disposition showed a stronger release of immune cells when invaded by a foreign body (bacteria or virus). This study was also replicated by many scientists with similar results. This is another benefit of being optimistic, the more you stay positive, the better your body fights diseases, and the healthier you live.
When it comes to the heart, perhaps there’s no organ that is affected by stress like it. Many heart diseases have been associated with constant stress, depressions, and other negative dispositions. As a result, being optimistic will remedy that. This fact has also been corroborated by many studies. In one study published by Harvard, doctors found that optimistic patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases were twice less likely to be re-hospitalized as pessimistic patients. On another note, the study showed that pessimistic people were three times more susceptible to suffering from heart attacks than optimistic people. It makes total sense given how relieved your heart is when you see things positively and hope for good things.
Lesser chance of Hypertension
The word “tension” is already implicit in this sickness and I’m sure you already know what that means. Being optimistic is one of the main fighters of hypertension, or its most common name, high blood pressure. One of the first things the doctor tells a hypertension patient is “Avoid Stress” and the best way to do that is by being optimistic. Optimism keeps you away from getting a high blood pressure.
Nobody likes a Debbie Downer. If you’re always seeing the negative aspects of things and being despondent all the time, then it’s very likely that you’ll have a limited social circle, at best. Pessimism pushes people away. On the other hand, optimism is an attractive trait that is generally loved and accepted by people. Having a positive disposition will expand your social interactions and relationships. This, in turn, leads to a joyful life, rich in happiness and devoid of sadness.
Optimism is not just a disposition or a recourse when we face adversity. It is a good trait that most of us should inculcate, especially these days. Let’s strive to stay positive, after all, it’s good for our health.