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

Record Store Day: Why are so many vinyl record stores opening in Palm Beach County?
Record Store Day: Why are so many vinyl record stores opening in Palm Beach County?

Analogopolis Records, Films, Games & Things is a mouthful of a title for a record store. Let owner Tom Procyk explain. “There are all these record stores with crazy names,” he said. “I was looking for something hard to say and hard to pronounce, but once you hear it you won’t forget it.” The 36-year-old music enthusiast...
‘Moderate’ drinking guidelines are too loose, study says
‘Moderate’ drinking guidelines are too loose, study says

A sweeping international study of alcohol consumption has found no overall health benefits from moderate drinking and calls into question the U.S. guidelines that say men can safely drink twice as much as women. The threshold for low-risk drinking, the researchers found, is about seven beers a week for men and women alike. The new report, published...
How a fringe idea to solve the opioid crisis turned mainstream
How a fringe idea to solve the opioid crisis turned mainstream

The idea that a someone who’s not a medical professional could reverse deadly drug overdoses by injecting victims with an antidote was once fringe. Now it’s widely accepted - and got even stronger backing this month with a rare announcement from the U.S. surgeon general. Jerome Adams urged Americans to consider getting trained to administer...
Dietary Supplements: What we need to know
Dietary Supplements: What we need to know

I was at a national conference in 1994 (yes, I’m that old) when a speaker from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told us big changes were on the way in the field of dietary supplements. How right she was. The 1994 Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) removed dietary supplements from the strict scrutiny of the FDA, the agency...
Home-delivered meals might reduce ER visits, study suggests
Home-delivered meals might reduce ER visits, study suggests

Delivering meals to vulnerable sick people might be a simple way to cut back on emergency room visits and hospitalizations, reining in some of the costliest kinds of medical care, according to a new Health Affairs study. Low-income seniors or disabled younger people who received home-delivered meals - particularly meals designed by a dietitian for...
More Stories