Hello and welcome to our second part of our “Be more optimistic” series, if you haven’t read part 1 you should go read it first:
Last week we talked about optimism as a state of mind, today we are going to focus on optimism and the physical aspects of it, so here is where we continue.
More and more researches show the physical, psychological and even economic benefits that generates an optimistic attitude towards life. Allied partners such as courage, hope, confidence, passion, perseverance and enthusiasm can transform our reality and make us happier
Do optimism and pessimism have anything to do with our health? Is there some kind of correspondence between optimism-pessimism and our performance? These are the two of the questions that we will try to approach in this second part. But first let’s see what we understand by pessimism-optimism.
Psychologists say that optimism and pessimism are two cognitive variables, a filter, as Lorenz wrote, through which we see reality.
This filter is responsible for our internal representation of the world, of others and of us. It is responsible for the perception that each of us has of the interaction or feedback we have with the outside world and with ourselves.”
And this filter provides three meanings:
a) Permanence: refers to the duration or timing of the outcome of that interaction.
b) Extension: refers to the degree of generalization or contamination caused the result of that interaction.
c) Personalization: is the perception of guilt or personal involvement in the outcome of that interaction.
Pessimists and optimists decide, unconsciously or automatically, to reflect or think differently to the result of an interaction with its environment. When they are right in that interaction, pessimists see that success as temporary, momentary, something specific and whose outcome is the result, not only of their capacity, but also of a series of circumstances beyond themselves. If, however, get a negative feedback, they think it’s a result that will last a long time, they stain of negativism all other areas of perception, including themselves, and will normally think that he is the only responsible for the negative result. The optimists’ perceptive system works opposite to the pessimists, both to the positive and negative results.
Optimism is an essential part of our health.
There is evidence that our mood affects in a direct way the health of our body. Many psychosomatic illnesses are produced by us due to depression, sadness, stress, nervousness, anxiety, fear, etc…
If you come to understand all the damage that these negative emotional states cause to us on a physical level and that they affect our path to happiness, we would fight to eliminate them from our live. So, that’s why we will talk about the benefits of optimism to our health.
A positive mental and emotional state positively influences our physical health and our well-being. Many patients have been cured of serious diseases through an optimistic attitude.
Being Optimistic helps your health
In a study by Martin Seligman on optimists and pessimists, he found tangible evidence of the benefits of optimism and pessimism damages.
The study was conducted with 99 students from Harvard University and concluded that young people who were optimists at age 25 came in better health at ages between 45 and 60 years.
Other studies have found the relationship between pessimism and the increase of infectious diseases and other health problems.
Optimism is a mental choice we can accept or reject. Some will struggle to achieve that optimism, some others won’t, but it is an option that can be learned and it is within our grasp.
Optimists are more persistent, they don’t give up that easily; they see the challenges as something attainable and motivating these challenges include really serious problems in life, but this attitude can overcome them. It is also demonstrated that the processes of depression that have much to do with pessimism, can be cured with more stable and definitive therapy and cognitive reformulations of thought than with drugs or medication.
Optimistic or pessimistic, you choose
Many studies confirm the increased longevity of optimistic people and their power to overcome serious diseases like cancer. Optimism is the best resource we can acquire for our healthiness so we can grow emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Being optimistic makes you perceive the situations of daily life with much less stress so you can act in a much more effective way at work, at home, with friends, etc.
Therefore, we must wake up every morning and start the day with the best mood possible, and pick the side of the positive thoughts and emotions, in that way we can get train our mind to be positive and optimistic and to trash all negative thoughts and feelings that can harm us.
Being optimistic about the future might help you feel better. That’s the conclusion of a recent scientific study by psychologists Suzanne Segerstrom of the University of Kentucky and Sandra Sephton of the University of Louisville studied how students’ expectations about the future affected their immune response.
Their conclusions: Optimism may be good for your health. A lot of studies have found that people who are optimistic about their health tend to have a better quality of life.
For example, people who are optimistic about heart transplant surgery recover better from that operation. But it is not clear yet how health affects optimism or what is the same, if pessimism affects welfare.
For this study, published in the journal Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, the researchers recruited freshmen of Law school.
The 124 participants in the study were analyzed and checked 5 times over a period of six months. In each query they answered questions about how optimistic they felt about their career. After receiving some vaccines that were harmless but should generate an immune response, They were told to come back two days later to the office to measure the extent of the immune response they had.
A bigger mark on the skin where the injection was applied meant that they had a stronger immune response, especially against viral infections and some bacterial infections.
The study did not analyze whether subjects were-or no-optimistic about life, but if the immune response to each injection over 6 months varied according to their particular state of mind at the time.
And what was found was that when they were more optimistic they generated a greater and faster immune response, while when they were in a moment of more “pessimistic” mood, their immune response was slower. So it was found that being optimistic about success in a specific subject is something that really seems to promote better immunity against the action of certain infections.
Optimism or pessimism
in the end, it’s your choice. Choose optimism.
Read the next article on the subject: