Being optimistic seems to be good for your health.
Boston University researchers found that when it comes to dealing with day-to-day stress, being more or less optimistic didn’t make a difference in how older men emotionally reacted or recovered from those stressors. However, optimism appeared to promote emotional well-being by limiting how often the men experienced stressful situations or changing the way they interpret situations as stressful.
The data showed more optimistic men reported not only lower negative mood, but also more positive mood (beyond just not feeling negative). They also reported having fewer stressors. Study author, Dr. Lewina Lee, says we don’t know much about the underlying mechanisms of optimism, but that, “Stress, on the other hand, is known to have a negative impact on our health. By looking at whether optimistic people handle day-to-day stressors differently, our findings add to knowledge about how optimism may promote good health as people age.”