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Why Optimists Live a Healthier Life

Updated on June 29, 2018
Robie Benve profile image

Robie is a self-taught artist who loves sharing what she's learned about art and painting in the hope that it might help other creatives.

Thinking Positive Improves Health

People with an optimistic outlook on life enjoy a healthier lifestyle thanks to their positive attitude. Scientists have provided plenty of evidence that positive thinking is associated not only with a more cheerful daily existence but also with many health benefits.

If you stumble, make it part of the dance.
If you stumble, make it part of the dance. | Source

Health Benefits of Being an Optimist

Optimists usually enjoy many health benefits:

  • Lower depression rate
  • Longer lifespan
  • Stronger immune system resistance to common viruses, like the cold
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Better coping skills in a time of stress
  • Better general psychological and physical well-being

Additionally, optimists have been shown to live a healthier lifestyle, which influences disease and stress levels: they usually smoke less, drink less alcohol, exercise more, and eat more fruit, veggies, and whole grains.


There is a criterion by which you can judge whether the thoughts you are thinking and the things you are doing are right for you. The criterion is: Have they brought you inner peace?

— Peace Pilgrim

Optimism Is Not About Denying Problems

Many people are skeptical towards the benefits of living life with a positive-no-matter-what point of view.

Optimists are often described as someone living in La La Land, ignoring or underestimating problems.

However, being an optimist does not mean hiding your head in the sand when a problem arises, in fact, optimists recognize problems as well as pessimists, the difference is the way they react.

When you focus on the positive the way you deal with events, health issues, and problems changes substantially.

Optimists emerge from difficult circumstances with less distress than pessimists because they have more effecting coping strategies.

While pessimists see the problems under a magnifying glass, as huge obstacles, and may get discouraged and scared, optimists have the tendency to take actions to change the negative and usually they don’t let the small stuff bother them.

Turn negative self-talk into positive thinking.
Turn negative self-talk into positive thinking. | Source

Putting Positive Thinking Into Practice

Negative Self-Talk
Positive Thinking
I have no idea how to do that.
I can try to figure it out.
I keep messing up.
Every mistake is a learning opportunity.
It’s too hard/complicated.
I’ll break it down into simpler steps.
It would be too embarrassing.
I’ll just be myself.
I can’t afford it.
I can be creative with my resources.
I’m not good at this.
I’ll improve by trying.
No one ever calls me or looks for me.
I’ll see if I can be more accessible and reach out more.
There is no way this will work.
I’ll look at it from a different angle.
I don’t have time for this.
I’ll look at my schedule and re-examine some priorities.

Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.

— Plato

How Our Thoughts Affect our Brain: Health Benefits of Positive Thinking

Our thoughts are capable of influence the way the brain produces hormones, endorphins, and all those good and bad chemicals that determine how we feel and function.

Positive thoughts and good humor create dramatic chemical and physical changes that positively affect our health and well-being.

Happy thoughts can change our emotional and physical balance, becoming critical for enjoying good health.

“It is part of the cure to wish to be cured.”

— Lucius Seneca
Never stop learning. Trust yourself. All things are possible. Yes I can. Think Positive.
Never stop learning. Trust yourself. All things are possible. Yes I can. Think Positive. | Source

Mind and Body Are Connected

Seneca knew it thousands of years ago what modern medicine is still reluctant to admit: a patient’s beliefs can affect the healing process.

In fact, many ancient cultures regarded mind-body connections as essential to treat illness, a medical approach that is now becoming important again.

The importance of what the mind believes and thinks for the body’s healing processes is supported by all the studies regarding the placebo effect.

The so-called placebo effect is an authentic biological reaction orchestrated by the brain.

There’s evidence that what a patient expects from a treatment can influence the brain neurochemistry and affect the body.

Achieving Positive Thinking Attitude

How do you become a positive thinker?

The main step to becoming a positive thinker is to control negative thoughts. Whatever happens in your life, no matter how big the challenges you have to overcome, don’t let discouragement and negativity take control.
Learn to recognize the negative thoughts that creep into your mind and swap them with positive thoughts.

When you think I can’t do it; I’m bad at that; I’ll never be able to get out of this mess; etc.
Force yourself to ask why? What are the elements that make you certain you can’t do it? Often you‘ll find there are no supporting facts, but all the negativity is based on fear.
Switch the negative thoughts into positive ones: I’ll do my best; I am capable; I can take actions to move forward in life, etc.

Even if a situation seems helpless, you can always find a compromise, a change in plans that will make things work for the better. Sometimes the change may be very difficult and life-changing, but there is a way to go on.

Many times when a situation ends drastically or badly, we feel a failure. It is hard to get up and go again, it requires self-acceptance and trust in your abilities.

Even when it seems that all your problems come from others, it is not in them but within yourself that you have to find the strength and the positive.

Each undesired ending opens the door to a very desirable beginning. Focus on whatever good came from the circumstances, and give yourself credit for the things you have accomplished.

A Positive Attitude Improves Your Life

A positive attitude improves your mood, to your health and expanding your social relationships.

If you are upset about something and you can change it, take action; if you can’t change it, move on and let go.

Positive Thinking: a Way to Prevent Stress

When you realize you are worried and negative thoughts are creeping all over your mind, you must make an effort to switch gears and replace the negative thinking with positive affirmations.

If you are upset about something and you can change it, take action, if you can’t change it, move on and let go. Find a peace of mind that allows you to learn from the negative and move forward with renewed energy.

Stop thinking about things that create anxiety and conflict and looking at possible opportunities that may have been created.


You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.

— J. K. Rowling

Health Benefits of Lower Stress

Achieving less tension and stress in our life brings a lot of health benefits.

When you are calm and cheerful:

  • Your heart enjoys a lower rate
  • Your blood pressure will be lower as well
  • Your immune system works more efficiently
  • You are a better company so...
  • Your friends like you more
  • All of the above make you feel even better.

Who loves spending time and energy with naysayers and naggers anyway?

Besides, with a worry-free mind, we make better choices, because we can calmly consider all the options and consequences, making better decisions. When we are too preoccupied we may not even recognize some great opportunities and miss out on advantageous chances.

Is your glass half full or half empty?
Is your glass half full or half empty? | Source

Sources:

Mayo Clinic

Harvard health Publishing

© 2012 Robie Benve

Comments

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    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Diane Woodson and Nettlemere, thanks a lot for reading and leaving your nice comments. Happy hubbing and joyful Holidays! :)

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 

      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Good hub but I would say to the more negative minded of us (I include myself here) don't underestimate the challenge of thinking positively. It takes a lot of on the ball thinking to challenge negative thoughts and gets harder towards the end of a tiring day.

    • Diane Woodson profile image

      Diane Minton 

      6 years ago from Evansville, Indiana

      Vote up! Positive thinking is more than a lifestyle its being. I like the points you bring out and how you give the effects of this way of thinking on ones health. Happy Hubbing! Would like to see more examples of people who have done this and what their outcomes have been!!

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      ARUN KANTI, that's a great advice: learning how to avoid negative thinking when we calmer is a great practice to succeed in thinking positive when under pressure. Thanks a lot for your comment.

      RobinGrosswirth23, I appreciate your comment and feedback. Thanks. :)

      Darren Owens, life is truly much more enjoyable when we stay positive, thanks for your comment. :)

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Carol7777, the holidays sure add extra stress to our lives - which is ironic because they should be a time of celebration and joy. Keeping a positive outlook becomes even more important to keep our sanity and enjoy the holiday spirit.

      Vespawoolf, what you describe remind me of my household, except that here I am the optimist, and my husband tends to worry more. :)

      Thanks a lot both for reading and your comments.

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      HealthGuru, I get teased a lot for being always positive. Good thing it all slides over my head. Some people have to work hard to stay positive, and they have a hard time believing that you can stay positive while being rational and responsible.Thanks goodness I have the blessing that it comes natural to me ;)

      Thanks a lot for your comment

    • Robie Benve profile imageAUTHOR

      Robie Benve 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Night Magic, I'm glad to hear you noticed the improvements in your life after you started thinking positively and avoiding negative people's influence. Happy stress-free life to you, and thanks a lot for reading and sharing. :)

    • Darren Owens profile image

      Darren Owens 

      6 years ago from Bay Area, California

      Excellent hub! It's always nice to read inspirational articles. It's a good reminder that we must stay positive minded! I know it can be hard sometimes, but life is so much more enjoyable when we are optimistic.

    • RobinGrosswirth23 profile image

      Robin Grosswirth 

      6 years ago from New York

      The mind body connection is inherent in many areas, even learning. This is a good hub with good "horse sense;" however as you know, nothing is a panacea. We don't have control over what happens to us, particularly if it is unrelenting (though our response can be to dislodge it from our gray matter). And we may lose autonomy which is a necessary to inhibit stress and the ability to navigate inclement and harsh waters. A good read though and so I thank you.

    • ARUN KANTI profile image

      ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 

      6 years ago from KOLKATA

      Great and useful hub.It is easier to keep a positive attitude when things go smoothly. It is tougher to do so when we are in the midst of problems and obstacles. Then we will need more effort, attention and patience. We should learn how to think positively when not under pressure, stress or strain, it will be easier to do so when things are tough. Thanks.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 

      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is an awesome hub! The mind-body connection really exists, and we can decide to have a positive outlook. My husband is a die-hard optimist which has been really good for me as I grew up in a sometimes negative environment. These are great reminders. Thanks so much!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      enjoyed reading this a lot. And it is always a good reminder for all of us. This time of year approaching the holidays is tough for many of us. So this is worth sharing and of course voting up. GOing to bookmark for future reading.

    • HealthGuru1248 profile image

      HealthGuru1248 

      6 years ago

      Great insight! You made a good point in saying some people mistake optimism for being in "la la land". That's just another form of negative thinking. Voted up!

    • Night Magic profile image

      Night Magic 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Great hub. I'm all for positive thinking & hanging around with positive people. I think everyone should give it a good try for one week to see the difference it makes in their life. I've been able to accomplish many things since I started thinking positively. It definitely decreased my stress. If you think about it, it's frustrating being with someone that's usually negative. So why would you want to be like them.

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