Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being

Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being

Some people continue to shine, radiating confidence no matter what surprises life presents to them. This is the magic power of optimism, which makes its bearer happier, healthier and more successful. Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being.

Optimism, defined as a general expectation that good things will happen or the belief that the future will be favorable, plays a significant role in enhancing both mental and physical well-being. Numerous studies have highlighted the positive effects of optimism, illustrating its profound influence on various aspects of health and quality of life. Optimism benefits not only the mind, but also the heart.

(1) – “Optimism is a mental attitude that heavily influences physical and mental health, as well as coping with everyday social and working life. Through an adaptive management of personal goals and development and by using active coping tactics, optimists are significantly more successful than pessimists in aversive events and when important life-goals are impaired”.

Positive mood every day
Positive mood every day

So how do you become an optimist? Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being.

In fact, for many it is easier said than done. Of course, no one is born with multi-ton deposits of faith in the future, and life’s trials can severely deplete the reserves of natural enthusiasm. So what? The only question is to develop several skills that help to develop and maintain a sense of optimism and increased stress tolerance. Such a health-supporting change of mindset can be learned. As with following a proper diet or maintaining good physical shape, it is easier to develop a habit with constant practice and, of course, a well-thought-out implementation plan.

#1. In any situation, look for a sparkling ray of hope – it is sure to be there! If things go really badly, the optimist always tries to find something positive among the adversities. Make an effort, see glimpses of light in the dark and learn from a difficult situation. This will reduce the tension and you will be able to return to the ranks faster. Rather than live in constant fear and regret, learn to be more flexible: bend, but not break. This is how you can prepare for future challenges by meeting them in a good mood, with patience and wisdom instead of the usual fear and regret.

Thus, optimism is the key to mental comfort and success in life. Mental readiness for work, planning for the future, flexibility of thinking — all this gives the optimist an advantage in achieving his goals and coping with difficult life situations.

#2. Be sure that you will pass through all the trials

When solving a difficult task, evaluate it from the position of an optimist: remind yourself that so far you have coped with all the difficulties, and this once again confirms that you can do everything that lies ahead. Feeling in your heart that the goal is achievable, think about a positive change in your life, and not about the impending dark clouds.

An optimistic attitude is vital, as it helps to better cope with stress and acts as a protective factor against depression and other mental illnesses. Optimistic people are often more successful in achieving their goals and planning for the future. This is because they see opportunities instead of limitations and obstacles, which helps them take more risks and move forward towards their goals.

#3. Spend time with like-minded people
Spend more time with positive people. Optimism makes it easier to establish new contacts and interact with other people. Optimistic people usually have a large number of friends and social connections, which helps them better adapt to new conditions and achieve their goals faster thanks to the help of other people.
This does not mean that you should completely stop communicating with pessimists, but if there is a desire to change the future, limit their influence. Are there a lot of pessimists in your environment? Try to solve common problems in a positive way, or be an example and direct conversations in a positive direction.

Go barefoot
Go barefoot

#4. Give support to all the life-affirming things that are inside you
This is a self-sustaining process: having a positive conversation with yourself and believing in your abilities will help lay the foundation for further positive results. Even if everything planned goes awry, an optimistic outlook on life will allow you to better cope with accidental failures, as opposed to perceiving any slip as a disaster and subsequent prolonged despair.
Optimism is good for the psyche, because it allows you to adaptively cope with difficulties, and not run away from them. All this shows how important it is to be an optimist in order to overcome life difficulties and gain health, both physical and mental.

Mechanisms linking optimism to well-being. Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being.

Biological pathways:
Hormonal balance: Optimism influences hormonal regulation, leading to lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. This hormonal balance supports better physical and mental health.
Neurotransmitter activity: Positive thinking enhances the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are crucial for mood regulation and overall mental well-being.

Behavioral pathways:
Proactive health behaviors: Optimists are more likely to take proactive steps to maintain their health, including regular medical check-ups, adherence to treatment plans, and preventive care.
Social connections: Optimistic individuals tend to have stronger social networks, which provide emotional support and practical assistance in times of need.

What distinguishes a “reasonable realist” from an optimist with pink glasses or a boring pessimist? Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being.

Positive in choosing a profession

The strategies of optimists and realists will differ. The former are characterized by great enthusiasm and a lightning-fast, unrestrained desire to try, despite mistakes. A reasonable realist will do the same thing – he will also try. But he will wait for his time: while the children grow up, savings will increase, and the financial cushion will allow him to take the next step, enlist the support of loved ones. But the most important thing is that the realist will back up his steps with research and make sure he is right more than once.


A life-affirming look at mistakes and problems
None of us is immune from mistakes and problems. And everyone has enough energy to cope with them and move on. What distinguishes optimists in their attitude to this? A passionate desire to pounce on more problems and certainly get rid of them. Whereas the realist accepts these situations as a daily given, quietly solves them and moves on.

The density of the “communications funnel”
Today, social media activity and communication are immeasurable. We can discuss for a long time and positively how interesting, useful and multifaceted this is. And what is your density of the “communications funnel”? Thus, if you live your daily life fervently and optimistically, sometimes you get tired, and yet again and again you “put on” a smile and activate the position “I’m not like that – I’m an optimist!”, think about it – what is your smile worth?

Optimism is a powerful predictor of both mental and physical well-being. By fostering a positive outlook and employing adaptive coping strategies, optimistic individuals can enhance their overall health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and improve their quality of life.

(1) -US National Library of Medicine; Optimism and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Well-Being; Ciro Conversano, Alessandro Rotondo, Elena Lensi, Olivia Della Vista, Francesca Arpone, and Mario Antonio Reda; Published online 2010 May 14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894461/