You may be surprised to learn that several studies have been conducted to better understand how optimism affects an individual’s health. Researchers continue to find that optimism – looking at things with a positive outlook and believing in the best possible outcome – can actually positively impact one’s health and help with recovery.
In one study that observed angioplasty patients over a six-month period, people who were considered pessimistic (as per a pre-operative psychological evaluation) were 3x more likely to have a heart attack than those who were considered optimistic.1 Another study in which nearly 7,000 University of North Carolina students were monitored for 40 years showed that highly pessimistic individuals had a 42% higher rate of death than those who were considered highly optimistic. Additionally, a study out of Illinois looked at how optimism affects heart health and found that those who were considered highly optimistic have “twice the odds of being in ideal cardiovascular health compared to their more pessimistic counterparts.”2
Research continues to look at how optimism affects our overall health but the general consensus is that those who have a positive outlook are much more likely to stay healthy and enjoy their lives!
So, are you an optimist?