We have always espoused to our children about how important having a positive attitude can be. Reminding them of this often from the toddler years all the way through to exams and competitive situations. Often quoting the famous, Charles Swindoll quote:
“…life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it…”
Scott has an iconic paperweight on his desk that I gave him during some of the rough years, it is a door that swings two ways and inscribed on it is, “Another Opens.” So we are always reminded that there are opportunities and good times ahead.
We were encouraged to have recently read about some studies that prove that positive attitude also contributes to a healthier and longer life. Shawn Achor referenced one in Success magazine. 180 Catholic nuns from the School Sisters of Notre Dame were asked to write their thoughts in journals. More than fifty years later, researchers read those journals looking specifically for positive entries. 90% of the positive nuns were still living at age 85, compared to 34% of the nuns with least happy journal entries.
Another study was conducted in Denmark. This sample had 607 patients with ischemic heart disease. These patients completed the Global Mood Scale to assess their positive affect with an additional question about exercise. They concluded that the patients with higher positive effect were more likely to exercise and had a lower risk of dying during the five-year follow-up.
Each of these studies links a longer life to a positive attitude, but why is this so? Let’s list a few factors:
- People with a positive attitude exercise more
- Obviously, exercise leads to a stronger, healthier body
- Positive thinkers cope better with stress
- Too much stress leads to cardiovascular disease
- Positive Attitude Improves your Immunity
- Research showed that people with a positive attitude exhibited a stronger immune response than those with a negative attitude
- Positive Thinkers are More Resilient
- Optimists try to resolve a problem, not wallow in the negative
- Positive thinkers are less likely to be depressed
Ask yourself if you are a positive thinker with an optimistic outlook on life? We hope you are. If so, you will exercise more, eat better and live a longer life. This is something we should all strive to achieve.
A half-full glass is so much more thought-provoking than a half-empty glass.