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Why Seeing The Glass As Half Full Could Improve Your Health

New research shows that being an optimist has massive health benefits

What you need to know
  • Good news if you're an optimist!
  • Bad news if you're a pessimist.

If you’re an optimist, we’ve got some good news for you – though you were probably expecting that already. Also, if you’re a pessimist, we’ve got some bad news for you – though you were probably also expecting that already.

According to new research published in the JAMA Network Open medical journal, people who identify as optimists may be more than a third less likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke.

The team of scientists analysed data from 15 previous studies that involved 230,000 participants from all over the world, including Australia, that analysed people’s health outcomes over a 14-year period.

This man will live forever.

Those who identified as optimists experienced 35% fewer strokes and were 14% less likely to suffer a premature death compared to those who didn’t identify as optimists. So, basically, you can think yourself healthy!

It makes sense you look at someone like the Dalai Lama. He’s literally the most optimistic and happiest person in the world and he just celebrated his 176th birthday. Plus, he doesn’t look a day over 150.

Still going strong.

Speaking to the Independent, Professor Alan Rozanski, a corresponding author of the study, said that the research was “the first meta-analysis, to our knowledge, to assess the association between optimism and clinical outcomes,” adding that the “cardiovascular and psychological benefits of optimism make it an attractive new arena for study within the field of behavioural cardiology.”

The scientific reasons why optimism is associated with better health were not confirmed by the study, though it is likely due to a combination of optimists having lowered stress hormones as well as being more inclined to promoting a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

The findings are in line with a study conducted by scientists at the Boston University of medicine earlier this year, which found that being an optimist may increase the likelihood of living to at least 85-years-old.

Of course, let’s not forget that this is terrible news for pessimists. If you were pessimistic about your health, this study probably does nothing to change that.

But, if you switch to a more optimistic outlook, perhaps you can reverse it! So turn that frown upside down, start seeing the glass as half full and you too can reach the ripe old age of 176!*

*Results may vary.