Optimism can be tough to come by when life gets difficult, but research has shown that just the act of being optimistic can have many real-world benefits. Studies have shown that people who were considered optimists in their 20s were healthier in their 40s and their 60s than those considered to be pessimists. They are also more successful in their careers and their personal relationships since they don’t give up on projects or people as easily as their pessimistic counterparts. Optimists experience less stress and have shown to be more capable of dealing with the pressures they do have. This helps eliminate some of the many health issues caused by stress and explains why optimists live longer.
Positive thinking is definitely not a substitute for therapy or other treatment coordinated with your physician. However, it is important to check in with yourself about how you’re feeling. If you’ve got a mental health issue, keep an eye on how you’re feeling about it. When life seems overwhelming, Plains Area Mental Health is here for you. Call one of our offices for appointment information or take our free online assessment found on this website.
P.S. Optimism is usually studied in two ways: dispositional optimism (one’s expectations for the future) and explanatory style (how one explains good and bad news).