We’ve all heard the positive sayings: some pursue happiness, others create it; and when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Transforming negative thoughts into positive ones increases your chances of success! Yes, it can be hard to do.
If your inner sceptic is saying, “Bah… humbug!” and you’re still not convinced here are a few findings that prove the power of positivity:
- Optimism can lead to longevity. Several studies have confirmed that those with a positive attitude often live longer than their gloomier counterparts. A study performed at Wagening University in the Netherlands examined nearly a thousand men and women. The predicting factor of their longevity was their agreement with the statement – “I still have goals to strive for.” When subjects were tested nine years after the original survey, the death rates of the optimistic men were 63 per cent lower than those who had not agreed with the optimistic statement. Women were 35 per cent lower. Optimists who have more to live for often make more positive lifestyle choices that may help prolong their life.
- Optimism nurtures healthy relationships. According to author and Harvard medical professor Dr George E. Vaillant, our greatest source of resilience comes from our internal capacity for optimism. In his book The Wisdom of Ego, Vaillant writes that the healthiest, most resilient people possess “both the capacity to be bent without breaking and the capacity, once bent, to spring back.”
- Optimism is contagious. A physician and social scientist at Harvard Medical School studied nearly five thousand people and their connections with family, friends, neighbours, and co-workers over the course of twenty years. According to the study, which was published in the British Medical Journal last year, our level of happiness impacts not only those in our immediate circle, but also people two and three degrees removed from us.
Optimism allows us to successfully navigate life’s greatest challenges. Optimism truly is a powerful force. So, forget lemonade! Let’s make Lemon Meringue Pie!
QUESTION: Starting today, which area(s) of your life can you infuse with more optimism?