The pessimist & the Optimist: The Health Impact (Part 2)
Studies show pessimists, and I always like to give hard facts, not to make us scared, but to give us the impetus to actually do something. Maybe to be a little scared is okay, as well. Pessimists give up more easily, get depressed more often, and are set up for a number of physical ailments, from the common cold, to heart disease, to immune disorders. And this is not from me, studies have shown this.
Optimists do better in school and in work. Their health is unusually good, and they live longer and happier lives. And in a recent eight-year study at the University of Pittsburgh, they found that women who are optimistic outlived dour ones.
Most people assume physical health is a wholly physical matter, determined by constitution, healthy habits, and avoidance of germs. And your constitution is a result of your genes, which is then enhanced by good eating habits, vigorous exercise, wearing seatbelts, avoiding bad cholesterol, and avoiding germs. Therefore, when health fails, it must be because we had a weak constitution, or poor health habits, or came across many germs.
But this conventional view omits one key determining factor, which is our cognitions, our thoughts, of which we have greater control than we give credit. The way we think about our health, in fact, changes our health.
What are your health concerns?
Is a pessimistic outlook about your health affecting your wellness today?
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