There are many circumstances which arise in a person’s life. Whether it’s the loss of a job, or a family member, there are many times in which one is tempted to let pessimism get the best of them. However, there are a multitude of reasons why one should always try to remain optimistic, regardless of the situation at hand. Remaining optimistic when things get tough can improve one’s life in a variety of ways. Here are a few benefits of remaining optimistic, even during the most challenging of times.
Optimistic People Live Longer
Research has shown that people who try to keep an optimistic outlook in life tend to live a bit longer than those who are more pessimistic. One of the most prevalent theories behind this, is due to the fact that those who are optimistic often have long term goals and aspirations. Perhaps they plan on travelling abroad when they retire, or maybe they are constantly trying to learn new skills or hobbies. Because an optimistic person is generally more invested in their life, they will likely engage in healthy behaviors, such as adhering to a well rounded diet, or maintaining a regular workout routine. Those who are more pessimistic may turn to harmful behaviors to deal with their gloomy outlook, and may self medicate through drinking, drugs, or other maladaptive behaviors. Alexander Djerassi has stressed the importance of maintaining an optimistic attitude, regardless of what happens in life.
For a Strong Immune System, Think Positive
Some researchers have found that those who maintain a sunny outlook on life also have a tendency to have a stronger immune response. There is not yet a general consensus as to why optimists tend to have a better immune system, however it does seem as though optimistic people tend to not get ill as often as those who are more pessimistic. It has also been indicated that optimists tend to do a better job coping with chronic or terminal illness, with disease progression slowing in many cases.
Optimism Has a Positive Effect on Anxiety Levels
Those who deal with anxiety on a daily basis understand how crippling it can be. Anxiety can make it difficult to perform even the simplest task without worrying about what all could go wrong. Those with heightened levels of anxiety tend to have a higher heart rate, higher blood pressure, and maintain high levels of cortisol over a long period of time (which can contribute to heart disease, as well as obesity). Some people have particularly stressful jobs, which may negatively affect their optimism levels and put them at increased risk for anxiety. Alexander Djerassi has found that if people begin their workday with an optimistic attitude they will find that their productivity levels increase, and that their anxiety levels will decrease as well.
It can be quite easy to dwell on all the things which could go wrong in any situation. Sometimes, it may seem as though everything terrible which could happen seems to materialize. Fortunately, by maintaining an optimistic attitude, one is better able to handle whatever life throws their way.