If your outlook on life is bright and sunny, rather than dark and gloomy, you have a head start towards health and well-being. On the other hand, if you’re a pessimist you may want to lighten up and develop a positive mental attitude. You’ll reap many rewards.
Benefits of optimism
According to the Mayo Clinic, researchers have found that positive people enjoy:
Nobody is sure what mechanism is involved. Maybe optimism reduces stress, which makes it easier to refrain from smoking or drinking or binge eating, say. Stress hormones, unfortunately, drive unhealthy habits.
It starts with positive self-talk
What’s self-talk? That’s the radio station in your head that’s always broadcasting either happy talk radio or doom and gloom programming. If you’re pessimistic – always seeing the glass as half-empty rather than half-full – then your station is likely glued to KSAD.
Tune into the voices in your mind and see if you can identify the positive from the negative. They may sound something like this:
What’s your default station setting in these examples? Are you satisfied with it?
In part two of this post on optimism, I’ll cover how to tweak your self-talk so that it supports you in enjoying a positive outlook and experiences in life. Stay tuned…
Jebra Turner is a health reporter and former H.R. director for an ergonomics-focused firm, where she oversaw workplace health and safety training programs for staff and clients. She lives in Portland, Oregon, but you can visit her at www.jebra.com.