Numerous studies have been conducted on how a positive mindset can improve your overall health and decrease your risk of disease.
In fact, amongst the studies, it was found that 35% of the 200,000 people studied lowered their chance of heart disease, and 14% of them had a lower risk of earlier death.
Those are significant findings.
So, when it comes to life and your health, would you consider yourself an optimist or a pessimist?
Having an optimistic attitude is the ticket to a speedier recovery from an injury or illness or even keeping disease at bay.
On the other hand, pessimism can deplete your health, slow recovery time, and throw you into defeat.
But wait, what about realism?
When you throw realism into the equation of pessimism and optimism, how does that work?
You’ll surely get different results from the life events that come your way.
Let me explain this a bit more with some examples:
- You’ve had a recent cancer diagnosis. At first, you’re in shock. Then perhaps you go into a stage of denial and then anger. You talk with your team of doctors; you come to accept the challenge that life has thrown your way. You’re now determined to figure out how to manage the situation. You take all the necessary steps with an optimistic and realistic attitude and proceed to do your best to kick cancer’s ass. You are realistically optimistic.
- Suppose you get a diagnosis of pneumonia. You blame your family member for coughing all over you, and it’s their fault you’re sick. However, you’re determined to take the medications, get the rest and fluids you need, and eat healthy meals; only once you feel your health has improved will you stop taking the prescribed medications. As a result, you are unrealistically optimistic in your thinking.
- Then there is the unrealistic pessimistic view. This person believes the diagnosis will create all sorts of life problems—they blame themselves for not taking better care of their health.
Optimistic Traits —
- believe in the good versus the bad in life
- take steps toward change and aim for better results
- be happier overall
- be a problem solver
- know when to quit or keep going when life throws a curveball
Optimism and Health —
- consume healthier foods
- get the necessary exercise
- seek healthier relationships
- maintain an overall healthier environment
If you find yourself in the pessimistic camp and need some help creating an optimistic attitude, listed below are eight things you can do to make the shift.
Gratitude — What’s great in your life? Practice gratitude daily with a gratitude journal.
Morning Ritual — Each day is an opportunity to start fresh. Find the joy of waking up versus looking at the demands of your day. You get to live life!
Evening Ritual – What was good about your day? Let go of any negative thoughts before you climb into bed so that you can wake up with a healthier mindset.
Meditation — You’d be amazed at the answers you’ll get for life problems when you quiet the mind and set an intention for silence.
Self-love — Give yourself the gift of grace. Let go of negative self-talk. Become your own best friend. I bet you wouldn’t be so mean to a friend.
Visualization — what do you want in life? Visualize it, feel it, taste it, touch it, smell it and then write it down. Then take action, for, without action, your vision will have a hard time becoming a reality.
Nature — a nature bath is healing!
Expectations — disappointment can set in if you set the bar too high. Set realistic expectations for yourself and others.
After reading this post, what’s a takeaway message for you?
Having dealt with one of life’s harsh lessons with cancer, I know life is too short, so get out and enjoy it and let your optimistic light shine through.
P.S. Join me for a FREE Month of Group Coaching and perhaps come up with more ideas of how you can improve your optimism and health.