It makes sense that optimism would be good for your personal goals, and even your well-being, but it’s shocking just how good optimism for your health.
An article titled Optimism and Your Health published by Harvard Health Publications says, “According to a series of studies, optimism helps people cope with disease and recover from surgery. Even more impressive is the impact of a positive outlook on overall health and longevity. Research tells us that an optimistic outlook early in life can predict better health and a lower rate of death during follow-up periods of 15 to 40 years.”
Any efforts spent building a more optimistic outlook, therefore, are wise investments. One way is to begin to let go of our uncanny attachments to negativity.
Often times we unknowingly limit ourselves to past negative experiences by our use of language. For example, if you have a history of a particular behavior, such as being bad at certain skill, you will limit yourself by saying “Oh, I’m bad at that,” as if it were a fact that is present and unchanging.
What many of us don’t realize is that we are forcing this generalization into reality by using words in limiting ways..
If we simply change our wording, the door to a whole new world of possibility will be opened.
Instead of referring to a past experience as if it were a present fact, use words like “In the past…” or “At one point in time…”
Doing this will unleash more possibility, and open up your mind to the idea that you can get better at it, and that your previous experience is not one that must remain. Your bad experience is not being projected into future experiences, and you are closer to beginning with a clean slate.
If believe that you are bad at something, instead of utilizing and activating the negative feeling of being bad at something, say “I wasn’t very effective at the time”. Simply changing “bad” to “wasn’t very effective” opens up the positive end of the spectrum, and allows us to see that there is room for improvement.
Optimism and your health – Harvard Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/optimism-and-your-health