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Can Optimism Improve Your Health?

your morning smileThere are many things in life that we know negatively impact our health. Such examples of these are smoking cigarettes, eating processed foods, and living a sedentary lifestyle. What we don’t often think of is how our mood and outlook towards life affects our health. Sure, when we’re in a bad mood we are probably less productive; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that when we’re content and even optimistic we are more productive and healthy—or does it?

Research proves that if you are looking at the glass and you see it half full, you may actually be improving your health. Although this is not a new topic of discussion, there is still current research being conducted that will give us a deeper sense of how our mind can affect our body. Until then, we will focus on what research has been conducted and revealed. According to MayoClinic positive thinking can result in:

  • Increased life span

  • Lower rates of depression

  • Lower levels of distress

  • Greater resistance to the common cold

  • Better psychological and physical well-being

  • Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease

  • Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

When you are looking at the “bright side” of things, your body releases dopamine. As this occurs, both productivity and creativity increase, thus increasing your happiness and lowering stress. Being optimistic means you believe that things are likely to work favorably. This doesn’t mean that you think everything that has touched Earth is utterly amazing and that nothing can go wrong in the world. Optimists know that there are various implications and reactions for every cause, but they hope that the situation at hand will result in something good. An idealist, on the other hand, believes that everything will work out seamlessly. This can be problematic because potential problems are often ignored so there is no preparation for negative situations.

Positive thinking reduces stress which, in turn, works to improve your happiness and overall well-being. We at SelectQuote encourage you to take special note on the way in which you view your surroundings and see if you notice anything in particular that you are pessimistic about. Once you identify at least one sector of your life that could use improvement, focus on turning the negative situation into a positive one. Let us know how it works for you!

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