However, having an optimistic attitude was the biggest predictor of all: People who tend to look on the bright side have fewer heart problems, such as cardiovascular disease. They also have better cholesterol readings: In a separate survey of nearly 1, middle aged men and women, those who reported higher levels of optimism had lower levels of triglycerides, or less fat in the blood. If you expect that you'll live into old age, you increase your chances of actually doing so. An analysis of the health and hope of nearly , women by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found that over an eight-year-period, optimists were less likely to die from all causes than cynics.
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Can hope help you stay cold- and illness-free? The results are promising. In one recent study Segerstrom and her colleagues studied the relationship between optimism and immune response in first-year law students throughout the school year. When a student was more optimistic they fought off infection more effectively than during the times when they were less hopeful.
By nature, optimists don't sweat the small stuff. Those were the findings in a study at Quebec's Concordia University. Not only did optimists produce less cortisol—the stress hormone--during times of stress, they also didn't experience as much perceived stress during stressful times.
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Romantic relationships benefit from a sunny disposition: Optimists and their partners tend to be happier than pessimistic pairings. This theory was put to the test at the University of Oregon, where researchers found that this increased happiness held true regardless if both or just one partner were identified as optimists. People who see a glass that's half full tend to rate their jobs as more satisfying than those who don't.
A study from Kuwait University found that people who were the most optimistic were also happiest in their jobs and had the fewest work complaints; the opposite was true for pessimists. A positive outlook is just as important as a polished resume when it comes to job-hunting. A study from Duke University followed a group of MBA graduates as they entered the workforce: Those who believed good things would happen to them had an easier time finding jobs than those who had a less hopeful outlook.
The same Duke University study found that optimists in the workforce often have a reason to be happy on the job: They tend to earn higher starting salaries than pessimists and they also are promoted more frequently. Impact of healthy lifestyle factors on life expectancies in the US population. Oxidative stress and exceptional human longevity: systematic review.
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Free Radical Biology and Medicine. Age differences in age perceptions and developmental transitions. Front Psychol. Loving-kindness and compassion meditation: potential for psychological interventions. Clin Psychol Rev. Positive perception of aging is a key predictor of quality-of-life in aging people. Optimism is associated with exceptional longevity in 2 epidemiologic cohorts of men and women.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Zeng Y, Shen K. Resilience significantly contributes to exceptional longevity. Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res.
10 Tips for Successful Aging
More in Brain Health. Keep a gratitude journal: No matter the format you choose—brief lists in your phone or longer entries written in a notebook—a gratitude journal can be a powerful way to connect to your emotions and relieve stress.
The subject matter can vary, but the key is consistency. Maintaining a regular practice will help develop a new way of thinking so you can easily identify and stop negative thoughts when they arise. Repeat positive affirmations: If you say something enough times, you're more likely to believe it.
That's the idea behind positive affirmations , statements with intention repeated numerous times to make them a part of your thinking, such as "I am feeling more peaceful each day" or "I can handle whatever comes my way. Your subconscious may flag far-fetched statements, putting you back in a negative state of mind. Practice loving-kindness meditation: Studies have shown that loving-kindness meditation can significantly increase a positive attitude. While there are variations to the practice, the common theme is focusing on positive phrases that evoke self-compassion as well as empathy for others, using statements like, "May I be happy" and "May you be safe.
Take note of your emotions when you're around friends and family.
10 tips to raise an optimistic child - Better Health Channel
You may need to establish boundaries with those who bring your positive energy down. A Word From Verywell. How to Think Like an Optimist. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up.
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