Optimism Can Improve Your Health, Increase Your Life

Life can be hard and life can hurt. But life is also a blessing. There are teachable moments all around us and, as with all things, it’s all in how you view the situation. Perceiving something as BETTER instead of being BITTER makes all the difference in the world. Optimism, defined as having a sense that all will be well, has been linked to a lower risk for mental or physical health issues that might help you life longer.

A Harvard University study found that on an optimism scale women who saw the glass as half full instead of half empty were less likely to die from several major causes of death compared with women who scored lower.

Optimism might not come easily but it can be acquired by simply thinking about the best outcomes for various areas of life, according to the study’s research. Here are some things suggested to help you brighten your existence and boost your lifespan.

Find the positive. Journal and highlight good things and what you enjoy. Concentrate on those things, how they came about and how to keep them coming.

Remove negative energy. Every thought or action requires energy. Make it positive. When you feel yourself thinking negatively, shift your train of thought in the right direction by turning on your favorite music, speaking to a friend or person who makes you happy or reading a good book.

Make small positive changes. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Be well with taking your time. Do small things that make a big difference. Donate clothing, volunteer at an after-school program or assist at a nursing home. Little things mean so much.

Take it easy on yourself. Be good to yourself and that begins by taking care of yourself. Eat right, exercise and get plenty of rest. Self-compassion is vital. This means also learning to forgive yourself for past transgressions. Pick up and keep it moving.

Learn mindfulness. Focus on the present, the here and the now. Accept it without judgement. Mindfulness takes practice and by reading books, watching videos and connecting with smartphone apps you can find guidance.

Follow Dr. Christian on Twitter @DrMargenaXan