Believe It Or Not: Optimism Works!

June 20, 2007 - Get free updates of new posts here

I like optimistic people. I’m generally an optimist too. So when I hear people saying that being optimistic is just “funny thinking” it makes me want to somehow show them the benefits of optimism and of being optimistic. There is a direct link to optimism and health. It’s a bit like telling people about how to use positive triggers to improve their lives. So I’d like to present scientific proof, directly from peer review journals of the scientific community.

1) Being optimistic improves your immune system. In a study of women right after breast cancer surgery, researchers found that those that were optimistic had stronger immune system than those that did not. Actual blood results were used in this study. (Source: Research in Nursing & Health Vol 30(1) (Feb 2007): 72-83)

2) Being optimistic improves your emotions. Inmates who shared their feelings and looked at the positive of situations had better emotional lives; which in turn caused better psychological and physical health. (Source: Criminal Justice and Behavior Vol 34(5) (May 2007): 697-708)

3) Optimism can predict your future. Based on how optimistic, neurotic, stressed and your coping style, it can be predicted how your life will be in the future. Specifically, will you turn out to have a positive or negative well being overall. (Source: Personality and Individual Differences Vol 43(2) (Jul 2007): 277-287)

4) How much weight do you want to lose? Researchers found that your level of optimism towards your weight losing goals, such as how high you set the goals and your belief in achieving the goals, were predictors in whether you would lose the weight or fail. (Source: Journal of Applied Social Psychology Vol 37(4) (Apr 2007): 844-861)

5) Increase sales through your Positive Mental Attitude: One study found that people having a positive mental attitude (being optimistic) helped them easily overcome problems in their sales jobs and thus increase sales. (Source: Sociological Quarterly Vol 47(1) (Feb 2006): 41-68 )

6) Optimism helps the entrepreneurs and startups get going. A research paper found that entrepreneurs and investors often have to have blind-optimism in future enterprises otherwise nothing would get done. Not investments would be made and not new companies would be form. (Source: Creativity and Innovation Management Vol 14(4) (Dec 2005): 405-412)

Your Experiment: Decide to be totally positive for one day and see what results you get that day.

(There such a thing as being overly optimistic, and it can be a negative thing at times, maybe I’ll write about it next if there’s interest.)

Are you an optimist? Why or why not? Share some of the ways you use to think positive.

This post written by Andre Nosalsky.

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5 responses to “Believe It Or Not: Optimism Works!

  1. ian Reply

    thinking positive makes a person much determined. in my case i look for brighter side when doing things, how it’ll going to turn out, but of course understanding the negative effects would also be helpful. in any sense, if things turned out to be not-so-good then seeing the brighter side again like -” maybe it has a purpose why it happened” or “maybe it just wanted me to learn a lesson” could make things easier the next time …

  2. Bernadette Balla Reply

    And oh….

    Remember that in order to feel positive feelings of love, happiness, joy and optimism, we also need to have to feel anger, sorrow and loneliness. It is through these negative channels that we can experience true optimism.