People would always tell you, pessimism won't get you anywhere. That's true. If you ask the most successful people what their secret is apart from hard work and determination, they'd immediately tell you about the power of positive thinking.
But optimism isn't only a recipe for success. Many health experts agree that it's also an integral facet of good health. In an observational study made by researchers from the University of Michigan, it was found that being optimistic may even reduce the risk of stroke.
The findings of the study were published online in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study was conducted from 2006 to 2008. The researchers evaluated 22,000 Americans aged 50 and older. The researchers further examined the 6,044 adults who have never had a stroke. Their optimism levels were measured with the modified Life Orientation Test. Taking into consideration other factors like age, gender, socioeconomic status, behavior and chronic illness, the study has found that every point of increased optimism reduced risk for acute stroke by 9 percent.
The relationship between optimism and reduced risk of stroke has also been investigated in the research. For one, it is believed that optimism gives a protective effect against stroke because optimistic people are more inclined to make healthy choices with regards to diet, physical activity, stress management, and vitamin supplements among others. But more importantly, positive thinking has a biological effect, similar to how high stress levels would affect your body physiologically.
People who have a positive outlook tend to focus more on the favorable aspects of any given situation. If you're familiar with the glass half full half empty concept, then you know that these are the people who see the glass half full. They would always slant towards the positive aspects even in the most trying and challenging circumstances. Because of this kind of attitude, people who are optimistic have lower stress levels.
Turning It Around
Because of these findings, people especially those with family history of stroke are encouraged to turn off their pessimistic way of thinking and adopt a more positive outlook. If you have been a pessimist all your life, this can be a great challenge, but with sheer determination to combat the risk of stroke and possibly other health problems, it is possible.
For one, you need to make a commitment to see the beautiful thing in every situation, no matter how heavy or painful it is for you. Then you practice that every day from mundane to major things that you experience in your day to day life. It's also helpful to surround yourself with positive people.
If your family is notorious for finding the faults in every circumstance, then talk to them regarding this matter and encourage them to turn over a new leaf. Find friends who will have a good influence on you on this matter. It's easier to feel positive if there's positive aura around you. Finally, do things that you love. This would help you have the gratification you need to see things in a more positive view.