The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.~Winston Churchill
I usually cover great new technology that is bound to make our lives better. Also, I’m a firm believer that much is to be gained if we try to incorporate optimism into our lives and not just depend on technology to save us.
In this issue, I’ll highlight reasons to add optimism to your life, how to do it and the science of why it works.
10 Reasons To Add Optimism To Your Life
This article from the Huffington Post outlines ten reasons to add optimism to your life. I’ll focus on some of the health and longevity reasons in more detail below.
Life is Good founders Bert and John Jacobs have built their business around optimism. In their book, “Life is Good: The Book,” they wrote: “Optimists are able to view rejection as an opportunity to adjust and improve, embracing the chance to learn, grow, and try again.” We teamed up with Life is Good to give you some compelling reasons to add more glass-half-full thinking to your life today.
Good News: Research shows that optimism can help you change your life, improve your relationships, help you be a better leader, and be more successful in your career.
Optimism Can Strengthen Immunity and Defend Against Stress
The article above mentions two studies showing the positive outcome of optimism.
Having a positive attitude can help you keep from getting sick, especially when dealing with stress. In one study, researchers found that optimistic people generated more antibodies and were better able to reduce inflammation. In another landmark study, researchers followed a group of law students over time and found that those who were more optimistic had a stronger immune response than those who were more pessimistic. When the same students were feeling less optimistic, their immune response was weaker, showing that our outlooks might influence our body’s ability to respond to illness.
Good News: Optimism may promote health, by counteracting stress-induced increases in inflammation and promoting better immunity against some infections.
Optimism and Cardiovascular Health
Growing evidence has linked optimism to a lower risk of poor health outcomes, especially cardiovascular disease. Randomized trials have shown that optimism can be learned and may lead to interventions that improve health and longevity.
A 2015 study showed that the most optimistic subjects were more likely to have intermediate or ideal cardiovascular health, as compared to their less optimistic peers. Having a positive outlook seemed to be linked to less inflammation and healthier habits …
Harvard researchers found that the optimists in a group of research subjects were more likely to be free of major chronic disease, to have avoided major memory impairment, to be more mobile and were better able to take care of themselves than the most pessimistic group. The optimists were even more likely to live longer.
Good News: Both studies found a significant positive effect of optimism: on cardiovascular health and the increase the likelihood of healthy aging.
The real good news is that we can benefit by making ourselves more optimistic. So how do you become more optimistic or improve your “self-efficacy” as the famous psychologist, Albert Bandura, would say?
A good starting point would be to read the article, Albert Bandura: Self-Efficacy for Agentic Positive Psychology, involving these four steps: 1) Mastery Experiences, 2) Social Modeling, 3) Social Persuasion, and 4) States of Physiology. And of course, keep reading this newsletter!