There is information that indicates that optimistic people can recover before others, live in a lighter way and with fewer loads, which can translate into a greater ability to deal with stress and this has an impact on better health, in a few words, optimists do better.

Convincing yourself that “everything will be fine” is the first condition to better cope with medical procedures such as coronary artery bypass surgery. Those who think positively have healthy immune systems and live longer, both in general and when they suffer from diseases such as cancer, heart or kidney failure. This is stated by scientists in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Optimists live better

Studies conducted with optimistic 25-year-olds showed that they were in better health when they reached 45 and 60 years of age. Other studies found a higher rate of infectious diseases and worse health among pessimistic people.

It is known that negative thoughts (pessimism, or falling into stress) and anxiety are harmful to health.


Stress (the alert that we are at risk) is vital for survival because it triggers physiological ‘fight or flight’ responses, mediated by the sympathetic nervous system. Its purpose is to protect us from danger; However, when this system remains on for a long time, it increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes and dementia.

A positive mind not only helps quell stress, it also has an effect on the body , helping it repair itself. A recent analysis of several studies concluded that the health benefits that positive thinking generates are comparable to the damages caused by negative states, indicated in Psychosomatic Medicine .

Optimism favors health

Optimism appears to reduce inflammation-induced tension and levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. Also, it decreases the susceptibility to diseases by reducing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter regulates the so-called ‘rest and digest’, the opposite of ‘fight or flight’.

Just as useful as having an optimistic view of the future is having an optimistic view of yourself. Those who show high self-esteem have a better cardiovascular response to stress and their recovery is faster, says the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Anyone can train to think more positively, even the more stressed or pessimistic you are, the better you will function, says a study in Health Psychology .

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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