We know optimistic people are generally cheerful and pleasant to be around. A new study recently found that even your heart doctor will thank you for an optimistic attitude.
A study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that heart attack survivors who had an optimistic outlook were more likely to live longer. The study examined over 600 individuals under the age of 65 between 1992-1993. Researchers followed up with the patients in 2015 and found that participants who had scored in the highest third of optimism levels were 33% more likely to have survived than those who had scored in the middle and lowest third. That’s something to be said about having a positive attitude!
Optimism in this context refers to a hopeful outlook of the future. This doesn’t mean turning a blind eye to hardships but rather learning how to deal with the hardships in a productive way. Optimists typically take proactive steps in their health, compared to pessimists who can often engage in health-damaging activities.
Increasing your optimism levels can take time and personal growth. Test out these strategies to help increase your optimism:
- Set reasonable goals for yourself
- Keep a journal of your progress with your goals
- Take the time to tell yourself three things you are grateful for everyday
- Identify stressors and identify a strategy to cope with them
- Spend time around people who uplift you