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The benefits of optimism

Posted Feb 29 2008 12:04pm 2 Comments

We all know that a “glass half full” attitude in life will take you far. Even most pessimists (though they hate to) will admit that those folks at least seem to be happier. Now, according to researchers, that positive attitude may attribute to more than a happy disposition, it could mean a healthier, longer life. Here’s the scoop from a posting at Prevention.com:

“Negativity may appear to be a great defense mechanism: If you keep your expectations low enough, you won’t be crushed when things don’t work out. But new research has revealed that the tendency to be a wet blanket in just about any situation–a trait the experts call “dispositional pessimism”–doesn’t merely ruin a good time and prevent you from making friends. It seems that it’s a bad strategy by about every measure. Optimists, it turns out, do better in most avenues of life, whether it’s work, school, sports, or relationships. They get depressed less often than pessimists do, make more money, and have happier marriages.”

The full article has more details on how even subtle changes towards optimism can make significant health related shifts in the average pessimist. The moral of the story: It’s never too late turn that frown upside down!

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"Optimists, it turns out, do better in most avenues of life, whether it’s work, school, sports, or relationships. They get depressed less often than pessimists do, make more money, and have happier marriages."

Ahhh...but is that a cause or effect? Are they in happier marriages because they are more optimistic, or are they more optimistic because they have happier marriages? These studies can be misleading sometimes. I just read an article where the headline screamed that spanking children makes them more violent later on. Well, then when you read the article, the study apparently found that kids who were spanked or "hit frequently" became violent. Well, which is it? There's a huge difference between a mild spank and a punch in the face. We need to be precise in these studies and our statements about them. I am SURE that people who make more money and are happily married are more optimistic, because they have more reason to be.

That said, it's still more fun to be an optimist, so it can't hurt.

Hey great article with lots of solid points!  For more information check out:

http://www.LookingForMyLife.com

http://www.lookingformylife.com/home/2010/2/19/boarding-the-positivity-plane-10-benefits-of-optimism.html
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