Positivity and optimism

Optimists have lower risk of cardiovascular disease[12], decreased stress and depression[14][16], stronger immune systems with greater resistance to the common cold[15], faster recovery rates following injury or surgery[10], and increased longevity[12][17]. People who smile more often have higher life satisfaction[8] and live longer[7]. Optimists are more physically healthy and cope better with stress[1][2]. Optimists are more liked by others[9]. Positive thinkers have better coping skills during serious diseases[10] and other times of hardships and stress[13]. Individuals with a more positive view of aging live longer than those with more negative views of aging[11]. Optimism seem to be a major factor in living a healthy, successful life[3][4][5][6].

Rate your health contributing behaviour so we can help you improve.

0.0%
I do not agree with this statement. I somewhat agree. This may sometimes be representative. I agree with this statement. It describes my situation very well.
I turn problems into opportunities.
I smile every day.
I help others think positive when they are being negative.
I focus on finding solutions rather than focusing on what's bad.
I give compliments every day.
I replace my negative thoughts with positive ones.
I spread optimism by trying to make people around me happy.
I don't dwell on bad things I can't do anything about.
I expect obstacles, and so I don't get mad when it happens.
I let go of bad things that happened in the past and instead look ahead.
I express appreciation.
I will see a doctor if I have frequent worrisome thoughts.
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      Research
      • [1] Harju, B., & Bolen, L. (1998). The effects of optimism on coping and perceived quality of life of college students. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 13(2), 185-200.
      • [2] Chang, E. (2002). Optimism-pessimism and stress appraisal: Testing a cognitive interactive model of psychological adjustment in adults. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 26(5), 675-690.
      • [3] Seligman, M. (1990). Learned optimism. New York: Pocket Books.
      • [4] Seligman, M. (1995). The optimistic child. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
      • [5] Seligman, M. (1995, September). Building optimism. Parents, 70(9), 108-114.
      • [6] McGinnis, A. L. (1990). The power of optimism. New York: HarperCollins.
      • [7] Abel, E. and Kruger, M. (2010). Smile Intensity in Photographs Predicts Longevity. Psychological Science, 21, 4, 542-544. View
      • [8] Seder, J. P. and Oishi, S. (2012). Intensity of smiling in facebook photos predicts future life satisfaction, Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3, 4, 407-413. View
      • [9] Frymier, A. B. (1994). The use of affinity-seeking in producing liking and learning in the classroom. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 22(2), 87-105.
      • [10] Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Ph.D., et al., “Optimism is Associated With Mood, Coping, and Immune Change in Response to Stress,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Volume 74, Number 6, June 1998.) View
      • [11] Levy, B. R., Slade, M. D., Kunkel, S. R. and Kasl, S. V. 2002b. Longevity increased by positive self-perceptions of
      • aging . Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83, 2, 261-70. View
      • [12] Tindle, H. A., Chang, Y.-F., Kuller, L. H., Manson, J. E., Robinson, J. G., Rosal, M. C., … Matthews, K. A. (2009). Optimism, Cynical Hostility, and Incident Coronary Heart Disease and Mortality in the Women’s Health Initiative. Circulation, 120(8), 656–662. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.827642. View
      • [13] Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress - mayoclinic.org. View
      • [14] Pessimistic explanatory style is a risk factor for physical illness: A thirty-five-year longitudinal study. Peterson, Christopher; Seligman, Martin E.; Vaillant, George E. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 55(1), Jul 1988, 23-27. View
      • [15] Segerstrom, S. C., & Sephton, S. E. (2010). Optimistic Expectancies and Cell-Mediated Immunity: The Role of Positive Affect. Psychological Science, 21(3), 448–455. doi:10.1177/0956797610362061. View
      • [16] Gillham, J. E., Reivich, K. J., Freres, D. R., Chaplin, T. M., Shatte’, A. J., Samuels, B., … & Seligman, M. E. P. (2007). School-based prevention of depressive symptoms: A randomized controlled study of the effectiveness and specificity of the Penn Resiliency Program. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75(1), 9-19.
      • [17] Maruta, T., Colligan, R. C., Malinchoc, M., &Offord, K. P. (2000). Optimists pessimists: survival rate among medical patients over a 30-year period. Division of Adult Psychiatry, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN 55905, USA. Mayo Clin Proc., 75, 140-3
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