Why you should be optimistic and 3 ways to do it


Many people believe that being optimistic elevates your mood. Dr. Richa Sood, a Mayo Clinic general internist, agrees, but the benefits don’t stop there. She says research shows optimism also may boost your general health.

Optimistic people have a positive outlook on life, and they tend to be healthier than their pessimistic peers, according to Dr. Sood.

“If you look at the connection of optimism to what the body does when we have positive emotions, it kind of makes sense.”

Dr. Sood says optimistic people are less chronically stressed out, which helps reduce your risk of heart disease, some cancers and depression. She suggests three ways you can be more optimistic.

“So first thing is to want to do it.”

Reach out to people who are also optimistic, or talk to your health care provider.

“No. 2 is to have an ability to do a zoom-in versus zoom-out philosophy. So when the problems are overwhelming, it’s a good idea to zoom out and say, OK, there’s a perspective,” says Dr. Sood.

Look at the big picture. Think of what you are thankful for and that life as a whole is good.

“The other big one is to be intentional,” says Dr. Sood.

Live in and concentrate on the moment. Don’t ruminate about the past or worry about what happens in an hour. Dr. Sood says it’s important to your health to reduce chronic stress.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community

Ibuprofen appears to mess with male hormones. Should you be worried?

In recent decades, prompted by concerns that men’s sperm quality is declining, researchers have looked at things they suspect of potentially disrupting the body’s endocrine system - from chemicals in water bottles to WiFi laptops to wearing tight underwear instead of boxers. You can add ibuprofen to the list. In a study published in the...
Lifestyle changes for better blood pressure
Lifestyle changes for better blood pressure

If you’re worried about high blood pressure, there are some things you can do beyond taking appropriate medication. The American Heart Association (AHA) points to some not-so-difficult lifestyle changes to delay or lower high pressure and reduce the risk of illnesses associated with it, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. Here&rsquo...
So what’s high blood pressure?
So what’s high blood pressure?

When headlines about new blood pressure guidelines pinged across my phone recently, I remembered a man my inpatient team had admitted to the hospital not long ago. He had gotten up in the middle of the night to use the toilet and passed out, hitting his head on the floor. The first people to find him described him twitching, so he initially got a battery...
5 reasons not to diet in 2018, and what to do instead
5 reasons not to diet in 2018, and what to do instead

January, a.k.a. National Dieting Month, is once again upon us. Before you sign up for another a restrictive eating plan that has been designed by someone who doesn’t even know you, here are five reasons to opt out of diet culture this year. 1. Diets don’t work. Anyone who says they have found the proven way to lose weight and keep it off...
Flu virus spread by breathing, study finds
Flu virus spread by breathing, study finds

Most people believe that the influenza virus is spread through the coughs and sneezes of infected people, but new research published Thursday suggests that the flu virus is spread more easily than previously thought. Medical professionals believe that the virus is spread most often by “droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk...
More Stories