If you haven’t already noticed, looking on the bright side (or at least making crappy situations seem a little less crappy) is kind of my thing. So, imagine how happy I was when I read this article on the Huffington Post that was dedicated to describing how this state of mind – seeing the glass as half full— is good for your health. It discusses recent findings published in The Journal of Personality which indicate that most people tend to view their future through rose-colored glasses across national boundaries and high vs. low income nations. Read: the ability to take a positive stance isn’t limited to those who live in the lap of luxury. And it’s not limited by your age, education, gender or total income either. The results showed that hopefulness that tomorrow will be better than today extended through all of these groups as a universally attainable belief, which is great news because studies show that optimism is associated with overall well-being, good physical condition, and has 6 definite impacts on health. In general, optimists have:
- Healthier Hearts: Psychological well-being (or being happier as a person) decreases risk of cardiovascular problems
- Better Cholesterol: More good cholesterol, lower levels of bad cholesterol are found people who expect more good to come their way than bad
- Enhanced Stress Management: Looking for the silver lining in bad situations makes optimists overall more able to manage stressful situations, and recover physically more quickly
- Stronger Immunity: Staying positive during cold season may make it easier to fight off those germs
- Lower Stroke Risk: Possibly attributed to the idea that people who are positive in nature take more steps to maintain their physical health
- Superior Emotional Regulation: Optimists seem more able to bounce back more easily from emotional trauma, and take upsetting feelings in stride
While you can’t control what happens to you in life, you can control the attitude you adopt after that bad hair day, break up, or cavity at the dentist ruins your day. And now, it looks like you can affect how your whole body functions as a result, some pretty good motivation to try out some positive thinking now and again, no?