The world we live in is full of pessimism. It is so easy to point out what is wrong with everything around us. But, is there any reason to be optimistic in a world that is forever trying to point out where everybody else is wrong and where they are right. How do such attitudes bear on the overall health of our society? Are there any health benefits of optimism?
Does an attitude of optimism have any effect the general health of individuals and societies? I am convinced that it does. Not just because of all the studies that have been done showing that it does, but also because I have lived for over seventy years and have seen times of pessimism and optimism and some that were neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but more like catatonic. Because of that I know that optimism is the preferred approach to any project that is undertaken. Whether it is an individual project or a small group or a large collective endeavor, optimism always brings a better final results.
I have known people who have had life threatening diseases and had the choice of becoming disheartened or approaching the treatment of the disease with a positive and conquering attitude. The one’s that I am most familiar with came out on top every time. But there were others who took a negative attitude and were always pointing out the bad things about the disease. Too many of those lost their battle in the end.
Attitude and health
More and more I am persuaded that attitude, a good attitude, is as good or better than the medicines which we used to help us attain good health. I have many friends who take vitamins and supplements by the handful every day, and yet they are constantly battling allergies and symptoms of all kinds. Their answer is to “throw” more vitamins and supplements at the symptoms. In the end, they have spent a lot of money on medicines and vitamins and supplements and still have the same problems, but less money.
Then there are others who when facing a symptom will take a positive attitude first and may or may not take a medicine or a vitamin or a supplement. They continue on their life with very little interruption and have far fewer problems from the effect no matter what is was. Most positive folks have come through the symptoms in a very short time, sometimes hours, sometimes a little longer, but no matter have ended up accomplishing far more than if they had taken a negative attitude and succumbed to the effects of the symptoms
Does optimism affect your health
Without a doubt optimism has a positive effect your health. Pick out some people that you know that are optimistic in the approach toward life and some who are pessimistic toward life. Study them to see which ones are the healthiest and who are more energetic. See which accomplish the most in their work and which can not seem to get as much done. I think that you will find that the optimistic person will get the most done.
This same principle applies in our health. You will find that optimistic people approach their health the same way. They are proactive. Though they want to eat healthy food, they do not feel the need to hyper diet to eat healthy. Though they desire to be healthy they do not have the need to always train for a marathon.
Optimism puts a spring in your step and even your daily walking about produces a gait that can not help but produce a higher level of health.
Does pessimism affect your health
I think you know the answer to that question. Check around you and find out what kind of health is produced by pessimistic people. By nature pessimists can not see the best of any situation but only the worst. Quite often the “worst” that they perceive is actually worse than the reality that is. Because of their attitude they begin to see and think things that are not necessarily so. So they begin to give in to the worst of any given situation. They lose heart and give up and the pessimism grows worse.
With such an attitude it is easy to see how the defense mechanisms of the body becomes weakened. The brain is the center where all the defenses of the mind and body are carried on and when it becomes overloaded with worry and fretting it will without a doubt suffer in the area of health defense and offense.
How to change your attitude
There are many people who have every right to have a bad attitude toward life. But, believe it or not, your attitude, as well as theirs, is a choice that you make.
I have known of people who have had terrible things happen to them along life’s way, yet they are positive and optimistic toward life. How can that be?
Then there are some who have practically everything they have ever wanted but have a pessimistic attitude toward life. How can that be?
As I said above, your attitude is a choice that you make. To reap the health benefits of optimism you must choose to look at life positively. Optimism is not something that happens by accident. You must work at it.
I have a dear friend who is a multimillionaire. You might think that he is positive because he is a millionaire. He is positive, but not because he is a millionaire. Ask him about the seven times that he “went under” and had to declare bankruptcy. What was his attitude then. His attitude was, “So I failed. What can I learn from this failure?” He took optimistic attitude and never gave up on that attitude. It caused him to know that if he did not quit that he would succeed. He did and he still is succeeding.
I know of a man who was declared dead of leukemia by the lab blood tests, but he was optimistic that he would overcome the disease. To everyone’s surprise, but his, he is a healthy and thriving man. What if he had been a pessimist? He would have been just what the lab tests declared. But he was optimistic and positive and he got those results.
How can you become an optimist
The greatest health benefit of optimism is the one that is eternal. Optimism can only be a force in your life if you know that your life is more than what you can see. You see, you are not just a body or just a body and a brain. human beings are a three-fold being. They are a body, a brain and a mind(spirit). Why do I say that? You see, you have a Creator, and the handbook, The Bible, declares that you are created in His image. Now, He says that He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; three-fold.
Your Creator is by His own being optimistic. When He created everything, He declared it “very good”. What He says is always positive and optimistic. Now when Adam, the first man, rebelled against the Creator, he introduced pessimism into creation. That pessimism came because of “sin”. The only way to do away with pessimism is to overcome sin in your life. The only way to overcome sin in your life is to give up your life and accept the life which God wants you to have. He wants you to have an abundant and fully optimistic life both now and eternally.
Now, when He gives you that optimism, which is the Holy Spirit, your whole direction and attitude toward life will change. You can make the choice to let Him come into your life and begin right now to live a joyful and optimistic life beginning right now and continuing for eternity.
God bless you!
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