the power of being optimistic

A cardiologist reviewed 15 studies - over quarter of a million patients between all of them- on the relationship between health and optimism. I think a lot of us know this intuitively but it's fun to see the science overwhelmingly back it up. 

"Rozanski called the data 'consistent' across the studies. 'In every case, there was a strong relationship between optimism and a lower risk of disease,'"

"Biologically, pessimism is associated with higher levels of biochemical markers of inflammation and stress, like cortisol and norepinephrine. These levels impact a person’s risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression."

Both articles are about the same study. The first is more of an overview, the second digs more into the science

https://www.guideposts.org/better-living/life-advice/how-positive-thinking-can-improve-your-physical-health?sourcekey=WEBTRAXY1A&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=SC_CNTN_ZZ&fbclid=IwAR13KvCvD1BrPsw5YDNTz7_aK2RdtQbPe_6Bdw2qCN1Me10tP8N1n-lu-n4

https://www.mountsinai.org/about/newsroom/2019/optimism-linked-to-lower-risk-of-cardiovascular-events-and-death

 


9 Comments

Thanks !!

by Tulp - 2021-04-20 13:35:34

Interesting - thanks !

A suggestion Tracey

by IAN MC - 2021-04-20 13:39:31

As site moderator , why not label every post with a letter "O"  ( optimist )  or a letter "P"  ( pessimist )  .. I know you have loads of time on your hands and it would make interesting reading.

Ian

P.S.  With my various health conditions,  my wife calls me an optimist every time I buy green bananas !

thanks, Ian!

by Tracey_E - 2021-04-20 15:39:07

I'll get right on that lol. 

Bananas

by AgentX86 - 2021-04-20 18:18:05

If my wife came home with any sort of bananas I'd call her an optimist. Though I probably should eat them, they're gong to turn to dust (WAY past mush) before I'd eat them.

Agent

by Tracey_E - 2021-04-20 19:05:58

Mushy bananas turn into banana bread or banana chocolate chip pancakes at my house (optimist)

Am I an Optimist or Pessimist ?

by Gemita - 2021-04-21 06:47:44

Yes I have always believed in the power of positive thinking but it can be hard to keep up sometimes.  It is easy to be happy when we have everything going for us, but not so easy when we face a few hurdles.  But I like your idea of turning mushy bananas into something positive Tracey that can be enjoyed.  That is the way to think.

Good idea Ian to categorise a new post as being either positive or negative (Optimist or Pessimist).  We can then, if we wish, scroll by the Pessimistic stuff and fill our minds only with optimism and create a site full of enthusiasm for our devices, for our healthcare teams, for a change.  Posts that are neutral (some positive and some negative issues) could be left unclassified.

Maybe another Poll is needed Tracey and we could make it a proper study this time allocating a percentage of folk to only read the Optimistic stuff and a percentage of folk who clearly prefer Pessimism to only read the pessimistic stuff.  At the end of a period, say a year we can assess the health benefits of Optimism over Pessimism or vice versa although I think we all know how beneficial it is to have a happy disposition and hope in our hearts.

What about those who fall into to the Rational category

by asully - 2021-04-24 22:55:59

I tend to not fall under either.  I look at the fact statistics and realities of each situation.  There is a 2 in 10 this can happen...ok so plan more for the 8 but still plan on the 2 being a possibility.  I recently read a journal article on how the majority cardiac patients overestimate their prognosis and the younger they are the more they overestimate.  Being too optimistic can lead to false expectations, more traumatic expieriences when negative experiences do happen, and for complacency in preparation or monitoring for adverse outcomes.  Optimism is good, but having unrealistic optimism is technically a cognitive distortion.  The most happy and calm people are generally rational, and try to live in each moment as it is, good or bad.  It just is what it is.  I try to stay in this realm, if I slip into optimism I know I will later be let down, if I slide into pessimism I will become depressed and not take in what life is offering whether "positive" or "negative".  Life is not just about the good things but about all the suffering to.  Beauty can be found in all parts of life the good, bad, and even the ugly.

I will choose optimism as a powerful tool

by Gemita - 2021-04-25 05:09:07

I would like to think most of us live in the “rational” category Asully.  At the start of our journey with heart problems, be they electrical or structural, we have all had to face the fear of what might happen if things deteriorate, to face the worse that could happen if we didn’t act to try to help improve our situation.  We have had to live through the difficulties of getting a pacemaker, trying out new meds which may have adversely affected our quality of life.  

Being an optimist or pessimist is a state of mind that we choose to create.  It does not mean we are not rational.  I face daily the difficulties of living with complex health issues, the extra work required to care for both myself and my husband.  I am reminded every minute of what we are facing but without a cheerful, optimistic “I can beat this attitude”, I would sometimes just give up.  In this regard I choose optimism over pessimism.  

Coming to terms with our diagnosis is something that we all need to face, and most of us do face which is “rational” thinking but once we know what could happen and have accepted this, there is only one way to go, upwards and forwards even when we have setbacks.  A cheerful happy disposition, an optimistic attitude can bring benefits often in excess of what can normally be expected from medical intervention alone.  It is an extremely powerful tool to aid recovery.  Focussing on the negative, the worst outcome, filling our minds with the expected outcomes of a serious disease is wasted energy in my opinion.  Acceptance of what could happen (rational thinking yes) but then fill the mind with hope, with optimism, let the light in, empty it of negative thoughts because negative thinking will weigh us down.  As we think we become. 

Our physical symptoms are a constant reminder of our illness.  We cannot always change how we feel physically, but we can change how we manage these physical symptoms, perhaps through occupational therapy, pacing therapy (that is, not doing too much on one day and having setbacks the following day), through mindfulness therapy and so on.

There are folks here who tend to focus on the negative aspects of having a pacemaker/having a serious health condition, who can only see the problems that lie ahead.  Then there are those who tend to want to see the benefits of having a pacemaker/coping with a serious condition.  Of course we all have different experiences leading up to needing a pacemaker/needing other medical treatment, some good, some bad experiences which may initially affect our thinking.  However optimism, a positive attitude, a happy disposition is a state of mind that can be cultivated whatever our circumstances.  It is not destructive, false or irrational.  It is real, it is living in the present, seeing the beauty of the world, the beauty in others, holding onto what is still good in our lives.  I can fill my mind with powerful thoughts of optimism and hope or I can allow pessimism, fear and doubt to creep in.  I will choose optimism as an extra tool in the cupboard to use when I most need it.  Why?  Because for me, I know it works

rational

by Tracey_E - 2021-05-01 22:10:46

Most of us are rational about the facts. Optimism/pessimism is how we deal with those facts. It's not either or, we can be both rational and optimistic.  

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