Being optimistic, of course, has mindset benefits, but did you know there are physical health benefits to being more optimistic? When you think of being optimistic, do you believe that some people are naturally born with it? The good news is that while, yes, some were born with a naturally cheery disposition, others can learn how to be optimistic. Even better news is being optimistic can improve your overall physical health. There are several benefits to leading a life of optimism. Research shows those with more optimism bounce back more quickly when getting sick, are more resilient in life in general, sleep better and even live longer.
The Benefits of Optimism on Your Physical Health
With a framework of a belief system of “I think I can, and I know I will,” your wellness choices will transform before your eyes. With hard work and, more importantly, a committed dedication to achieving your health goals along with an optimistic attitude you can see those goals come to fruition.
In the story of “The Little Engine that Could,” the Little Engine (a small, blue engine) takes on the task of pulling a larger train which has broken down, up and over a mountain. With diligence and much effort, the Little Engine tries to pull the larger engine over the mountain. However, without the benefit of an optimistic mindset (“I think I can, I think I can”), the Little Engine might not have succeeded.
Once you develop an optimistic mindset and apply it to routines, the benefits include:
- More enjoyable exercise
- An increased capacity for a sustained commitment to your health routine
- The learned skill of creating momentum and reaching your goals
- An enhanced self-confidence helps you succeed in other areas of your life
- Reaching goals with more ease by thinking optimistically
- A willingness to take on other challenges in life
- Experiencing satisfying results of optimistic thinking and affirming your success
- A healthier mind and body
- Improved sleep
- Building of self-esteem
Focusing on how hard things are or how much you dislike doing something keeps your mind focused on what does not work. This will only make you think, feel, and take action steps in the opposite direction of having optimal physical, emotional, and mental health. Optimistically focusing on the thought process of “I think I can, and I know I will,” keeps your mindset in a forward-moving, goal-setting pace where those goals are more achievable.
The Mind, Body Connection of Optimism
Think about the mind, body connection. Have you ever been disappointed? What does that feel like? It probably feels like a sinking in the pit of your stomach and your shoulders begin to sag. Your emotions, thoughts, and feelings are all stored in your body somewhere. Nervousness can show up as butterflies or an upset stomach. Anxiety can show up as sweaty palms and trembling, while embarrassment shows up with a red flush to your cheeks.
If you want a healthier body and a better mental outlook try taking on learned optimism. If you think you can and know you will, your body and mind will begin to show the results. With more effort and less time, you may begin to see better results. Your mind and body will thank you.