Even if there are debates if optimism is a shallow and naive outlook on life or not, there are many proofs that optimistic approach of life has many positive effects. It has many positive effects in contrast with the pessimistic approach, which has many negative effects. Also it has more positive results in comparison with another highly appreciated approach – the realistic outlook on life. And this fact makes optimistic thinking the best option we can make, in all areas of our life.
The question is: What makes you optimistic?! If we agree that this is the way to go, the next step is to understand what makes you think optimistically, what is strongly associated with being optimistic?
There is a direct correlation between your level of health and your level of optimism. In general, physical and mental healthy people are more optimistic than those which have problems of health. But there are exceptions too; some physical and mental impaired people show a healthy dose of optimism and hope.
Due to the strong mind-body connection, here appears a circle of determination: the healthier you are, the more optimistic you’ll be, and the more optimistic you become, the healthier you’ll be.
There is a general opinion that young people are more optimistic than old people, and studies prove this. This happens because young people think they have a whole life in the front of them and have a lot of positive expectations from this. Old people generally think that their life is close to the end, and so they have no more expectations and hope from this life.
Even so, in old people the optimism live when their mental age is younger than their physical age, and also when they hope in a positive after-life.
It is well established that physical activity boosts your subjective well-being. The same thing happens with your level of optimism. Physically active people are more optimistic than physically passive people. This happens due to power of body over mind (the physical and chemical processes that physical activity produces in the brain).
Here we talk about two kinds of physical activity: the physical activity due to the nature of your work and physical activity through exercise. Both boost your optimism level.
Social Activity and Relationships
There must be equilibrium between two conflicting kinds of needs: the need for loneliness and the need for social interaction. We sometimes need to be alone and other times to talk and interact with others.
A rich social activity and quality social relationships correlate highly with a high level of optimism. Being among others and positively interacting with them make us feel better, have confidence and hope in ourselves and others.
Others may influence your life very much, so you have to pay attention when you chose your pals and friends. However, much more affect your life the way you manage your interaction with others, how you perceive others and how you relate with them.
Mental Activity and Education
Higher scores of optimism are associated with being better educated. Even if there are some that say that a high level of education makes you more realistic not more optimistic, there are reasons to think that a high educated person will integrate the realistic viewpoint in an optimistic approach of life. Mainly, because an educated person is pragmatic and so will make the difference between usefulness of optimism and accuracy of realism, integrating them in the long run of achievement and success.
Another aspect of mental activity is if its tone is predominant positive and so optimistic or negative and so pessimistic. Here, the main role plays your power and ability to monitor, change or replace our negative beliefs, values, attitudes and thoughts.
If you have noticed, the activity is a key factor in the causal process of optimistic thinking. What do you think about “being optimistic”? How do you maintain your level of optimism?