Viewing entries tagged optimism
You often hear that optimists live longer and more healthful lives than those who have a pessimistic view. And you’re often told that you can become more optimistic as you age. But how? Here’s one easy way to do it: Make small changes to your routine, such as taking a different route or talking to people at the gym (when you usually don’t). The theory, says Elaine Fox, PhD, at the University of Essex in England, is that every upbeat change in your routine retrains your brain away from the negative and toward the positive. The more flexible and creative you are, the more optimistic you’ll be.
If you are someone who is naturally optimistic and upbeat, then researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine say that you share these positive personality traits with about 250 centenarians studied in their Longevity Genes Project. These centenarians liked to laugh…expressed their emotions…and were easygoing. But the researchers suspect that these centenarians may not always have been so optimistic. Good news: They found that people tend to become more lighthearted between the ages of 70 and 100—so even if you aren’t feeling upbeat now, there is hope that you will be laughing more and feeling upbeat later.
We tend to think of “faking” anything as dishonest. But there are times when faking an emotion is more than OK. For example, you can pretend to be more resilient than you are…more optimistic than you are…or even happier than you are. Even a fake laugh soon becomes the real thing. So, go ahead. Try on a more positive emotion. The truth is—faking it is practice for the real thing.
University of Michigan researchers found that in study subjects, each one-point increase on a 16-point optimism scale was associated with a 9% decrease in the risk of having a stroke. Be optimistic, stay healthy.