There's no guarantee that being optimistic will help you live a perfect life and achieve all your goals, but it will make things better and improve your relationships. People like having upbeat companions. Optimistic people make others feel that they, too, can achieve more and have a happier life. Studies have shown that optimism leads to better mental and physical health, improves coping skills and risk perception. “Optimists are significantly more successful than pessimists… when important life-goals are impaired,” according to an article published in Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health in 2014.1
Some folks seem to be naturally optimistic regardless of the circumstances. Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Here's why you should take the optimist approach for better health.
According to researchers at the University of Illinois, optimistic people are twice as likely to be in good cardiovascular health as their pessimistic counterparts. Optimists take care of their physical health, maintain personal relationships better than pessimists and have faith that problems will be solved. Negative emotions like anger shame, jealousy and depression have a harmful physiological effect on the body, and over time, these emotions cause ulcers, heat disease, migraines and other health problems.
A Harvard study also showed that optimistic people who felt satisfied with their lives were less likely to suffer a stroke or coronary heart disease. When you worry, you feel physical symptoms. You get a queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, your palms get sweaty and your heart beats faster. Repeated bouts of anxiety and depression increase your heart rate, blood pressure and fray the telomeres at the end of your DNA strands, causing you to age much faster.
In a 2005 Australian study, breast cancer patients with a positive attitude had better treatment outcomes than pessimistic patients. Being constantly upbeat in the face of a potentially fatal disease isn't realistic, but patients who maintain a fighting spirit after the initial shock of receiving a cancer diagnosis have a better chance of beating the disease. Optimistic people will try new treatments and seek out second opinions when they have cancer or other diseases, while pessimistic people tend to give up easier when confronted with health issues.
Patients with a positive attitude release fewer stress hormones, and this reduces the chance of inflammation, high blood pressure and heart problems. Worriers produce more of the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine
Being a Pollyanna, or looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, is different than healthy optimism. Being optimistic doesn't mean you ignore reality or a difficult situation. It means you choose to focus on the positive aspects of a situation or take action to make things better. A true optimist takes charge and looks for solutions. Pessimists figure that the situation will get worse, so why try? If you don't look on the bright side, you'll never find a solution, and things won't get better. Pessimism turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Optimistic people are persistent, even when confronted with great odds. Bankruptcy, unemployment and other obstacles to success are just temporary to optimists. They believe if they keep working on a solution, they'll achieve their goals.
Another study, published in the Journal of Personality, found that an individual's income, age, education or the country they lived in had little to no effect on whether they felt optimistic. The study, conducted by the University of Kansas, indicated that people around the world felt optimistic about the future, even if they lived in a low-income country. Researchers also found a connection between optimism and better physical health.
While optimism doesn't always lead to a longer life, it will improve the quality of your life. Friendships and relationships will hit fewer bumps. You'll even fare better at work because you won't let petty problems get the best of you. Always believing a situation will turn out for the worst, like constant whining and complaining, drives people away from you. Even-handed optimism will attract people to you.
While a good cry can be cathartic once in awhile, repeated crying and depression leads to loss of interest in daily activities and social isolation. If left unchecked, occasional sadness can grow out of control, leading to other negative emotions – self-pity, paranoia, fear and hopelessness. Unless you are diagnosed with clinical depression by your doctor, though, there's no need to take prescription antidepressants. If you suffer from mild, occasional depression, concentrate on changing your behavior. Think about a situation before jumping to a negative conclusion.
Many people think that “letting off steam” when they feel angry or depressed will make them feel better, but that's not true. Studies have found that venting (hitting a punching bag when you're angry or upset or thinking about why you're depressed), actually make people feel worse than distractions or behavioral therapy.
People who look at the glass as half-empty, may have a hard time changing their pessimistic ways. With a little practice, even the grouchiest person can learn to look at the glass as half-full. Here are a few tips on being more optimistic:
You'll see small changes in your life when your attitude shifts from negative to positive. People will be drawn to you, and your luck will improve. Positive people are more physically resilient in the face of challenges. They still feel fear the same way anxious or negative people do, but bounce back quickly due to their mindset. Pessimistic types give up more easily, and their immune systems suffer because of it.
Taking a nutritional supplement improves your physical and mental health. When you make sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, you'll experience better mental clarity and balanced emotions. This fosters a more optimistic outlook, which helps you in all areas of your life. Including a wheatgrass supplement as part of your daily health routine ensures that you'll receive dozens of important nutrients. Wheatgrass is nature's superfood, containing the anti-aging power of chlorophyll. This high-value nutrient offers 20 amino acids, hundreds of enzymes, phytochemicals, and dozens of vitamins and minerals to detoxify and nourish your body. Wheatgrass tones up your stomach, improves elimination and stops your body from absorbing dangerous toxins from air, food and water. This powerful plant has most nutrients your body needs for healthy function, including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins. Two of the B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12 and B6, are necessary to maintain a good mood, mental clarity and energy. Taking a wheatgrass supplement and eating a balanced diet will help you stay focused and more optimistic about everyday challenges and goals.
The health benefits of restful sleep, a good diet and daily exercise include increased physical energy, weight control and protection against cardiovascular disease and other serious conditions. But there's another important benefit to following this sometime neglected trio – a better mood. Regular exercise produces brain chemicals called endorphins, which make you feel good while fighting pain. Endorphins make you feel happier and more optimistic. If you always look at the glass as half-full, exercise more. It will improve your attitude and keep you fit and trim. Yoga, biking, hiking, or even a short walk after dinner will help keep you toned and feeling good.
What we eat affects more than our weight. A poor diet full of sugar, preservatives and fast food makes you feel sluggish and grouchy, and may even lead to depression. A diet high in acidic foods like French fries, soda, ice cream, white pasta, sugar and alcohol causes acid reflux, poor digestion, and weight gain and creates conditions for diabetes and other diseases. To maintain a proper pH balance, eat more alkaline foods, including carrots, asparagus, avocados, egg yolks, green tea, blackberries, cashews and watermelon. Eat moderate amounts of lean red meat, fish and whole grains for a more balanced mood and better overall health.
A study conducted by the University of Basel in Switzerland indicated that individuals suffering from insomnia scored lower on optimism and self-esteem than test participants who got seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Depression and low optimism was also related to increased sleep duration of over nine hours.2 Sleeping between seven and nine hours a night, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, is a guaranteed way to reduce depression and increase optimism.
You can change your attitude and life by being more optimistic. If you find it hard to break out of old habits, keep a journal or have friends and family help you. Like any other good habit, you can work on being an optimist. Once you change from looking at a half-empty glass to looking at a half-full one, you'll feel so much better it will be tough to go back to your old negativity, even during challenging times.
Natural wheatgrass supplements from Wheatgrass Love provide dozens of health benefits, including balancing your mood to reduce depression. Wheatgrass Love products offer all the power of chlorophyll rich wheatgrass in tablet form, so you don't need to deal with messy juicers every day. All Wheatgrass Love nutritional supplements provide a blend of lab-tested herbs that work with wheatgrass to keep you healthy, happy and focused.
Zeal O2 Weight Loss and Management Supplement contains citrus auranthium (bitter orange) to suppress appetite, burn fat and give you energy. Zeal O2 does a lot more than help you loss weight – its blend of proven health-enhancing herbs includes gota kola, white willow, ginseng, cayenne pepper, damiana, gingko biloba and goldenseal. These herbs are widely used to prevent inflammation, control blood pressure, increase mental clarity, reduce anxiety, boost libido and enhance all aspects of your health. When you take Zeal O2, it will do a lot more than curb your appetite. Its formulated not as a one-time weight loss aid, but as a weight maintenance supplement and energy booster with nutritional benefits. Read more about Zeal O2's ingredients here.
When you need energy to banish the after lunch blahs – or a boost anytime of day, REVV Instant Energy Wafers will give you a safe, powerful pick-me-up. Made with wheatgrass, and L-taurine (which helps your body absorb fat soluble vitamins), REVV gives you an all-natural boost without the sugar and artificial ingredients found in many energy drinks. REVV is flavored with cocoa, which doubles as a flavonoid that prevents stroke and heart disease. For added energy and focus, we've added periwinkle herb to REVV. Periwinkle has been shown to increase the flow of blood to the brain in some studies, and may help prevent dementia. More energy leads to a more optimistic attitude with REVV. Order it here.
The wheatgrass in Happy Girl Mood Enhancer contains B-complex vitamins, including B12 and B6, which naturally boost mood and energy. Happy Girl has a proprietary blend that includes uva ursi, white willow and goldenseal to detoxify the body, and green tea extract, damiana and gotu kola for memory retention and a feeling of well-being. Happy Girl is an excellent supplement for women experiencing mood swings from menopause or PMS, but it's effective for men and seniors who want to feel happier and more optimistic. Order Happy Girl.
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