Updated: Jan 2
The power of positive thinking has been HYPED up in the self-help industry for ages. The studies are in, and all signs point to an optimist outlook on life leading to longevity and health.
For those you need a little more evidence that adapting an optimist outlook on life is worth it’s effort, then consider the study done by Harvard University on women’s levels of optimism and how it affected their health.
The study concluded that women who were more optimist about their lives are less likely to die early from chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, stroke, cardiovascular disease and infection. This Nurse’s Health Study looked at 70,000 women and analyzed the health of those who said they had high levels of optimism around their health vs those who did not. The group with self-reported high levels of optimism were less likely to die of chronic illness. The largest difference between the optimistic group and the other women were their hypertension and cholesterol levels. These are major indicators for getting chronic diseases as you age, and the levels were significantly healthier in those with a positive outlook on life.
The optimistic group of women in this study were more physically active, and had lesser chances of developing type 2 diabetes, cancer and stoke.
When you have a positive outlook on life, you’re more likely to take steps to be healthy – eating well, getting exercise, staying hydrated and monitoring your health as you age.
Another study from 2009 done by the Women’s Health Initiative looked at 100,000 postmenopausal women linked cynicism and hostility with an increased risk of heart disease and cancer. It’s important to know that where you focus your energy has a direct impact on your health.
Where your attention goes your energy flows. You get what you focus on, and this is true in both cases of having a positive outlook on life, and a pessimistic one.
How to Create More Optimism and Live Healthier!
When you take care of your body, mind and soul you will have a deeper sense of self connection, gratitude for life and start feeling more positive. If you’re not taking care of your body, start there. Working out regularly is one of the best ways to connect with your body and start generating positivity from within. Having a gratitude practice and challenging yourself to find the beauty in life will go a long way in shifting your mindset. It’s the little things that turn into the big things and creating an optimist outlook on life pays off! It’s easier to feel optimistic when you feel healthy with lots of energy, so start there and feel the results for yourself!