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A reason to be optimistic in challenging times

March 1st, 2020

It is very easy right now with the constant news reports about the spread of Coronavirus to flip from being informed and aware to worried about our own health & saftey and that of our friends & family.

So right now acknowledge how you feel about the spread of the Coronavirus, whether its anxiety, worried, fear etc.  Often what happens when we get anxious, worried or fearful is that we project that state into our future.  So at this current moment, most us are healthy; our loved ones are well, and life is fine. So, be grateful for the things that are going well in your life right now and focus on the present.  And breath!

Two long running studies in the US which collected information from male war veterans and female nurses aged around 60 to 70 years old when they completed optimisim questionaires.  People who had the highest optimism scores had a lifespan about 9% longer than those with the lowest scores.  The most optimistic were in fact no more likely to live to the age of 85.

This reseach cannot prove cause and effect.  Both optimisim and lifespace may be influenced by many hereditary, health, lifestyle and personal factors.  People with a good overall standard of health and wellbeing are probably more optimistic about their future.  While researchers attempted to adjust their analysis for these sorts of factors, it’s hard to remove their influence fully.

Nevertheless the research does highlight that optimists live longer and the importance that mental health and wellbeing can have on physical health.

So right now focus on what is going well in your life.

Research

https://www.nhs.uk/news/mental-health/reason-be-cheerful-optimists-live-longer-study-reports/

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