14 Oct How to Be More Optimistic
WebMD Magazine – Feature
Think happy thoughts. Find the silver lining. Look on the bright side.
Rolling your eyes yet? Alexandra Hruz is. She’s a 27-year-old self-proclaimed pessimist who lives in Chattanooga, TN. “When people are overly optimistic, it’s much easier to be let down by circumstances,” she says. “I don’t think the world is going to end tomorrow, but I also don’t like to hang my hopes on things working out on their own, simply by the power of positive thinking.”
But experts say positive thinking has serious benefits that go beyond a perky attitude. According to a recent study from the University of Pittsburgh, women who expect good things to happen have a 30% lower risk for heart disease.
Optimism was also linked to a lower risk of stroke in a University of Michigan study. And a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that as they age, optimists tend to get fewer disabilities and live longer than pessimists.
If you’re a pessimist, you can still change your view. “Pessimism is a learned behavior, which means anyone can also learn to be optimistic,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness. “It’s a skill you can teach yourself.” Here’s how:
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