Note: This is a guest post from Ayo Olaniyan of Discovering Purpose
Look at the picture closely: Is the glass half full or half empty?
The BBC website published a report Optimistic women ‘live longer’. This was based on a research carried out by a group of US scientists who studied 100,000 women to deduce pessimists had higher blood pressure and cholesterol; optimistic women had a 9% lower risk of developing heart disease and a 14% lower risk of dying from any cause after more than eight years of follow-up.
The concept of this post isn’t targeted at women only; I believe the subject of optimism affects every individual going/living through life’s struggles each day. There have been various studies carried out on optimism and while I have a few reservations on extreme optimism, one can’t deny the role optimism plays in enhancing your personal growth.
What is optimism?
Optimism is looking at a more favorable side of events and simply anticipating the best possible outcome in any situation.
Sir Winston Churchill states ‘A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.’ What do you see?
A few months ago, I filled out the VIA Survey of Character Strengths by Martin Seligman (founder of Positive Psychology) and the results showed I was moderately optimistic.
It’s also important to note that there are elements of hope expressed in optimism.
Rick Snyder states ‘hope is a process of goal-directed thoughts that reflects both the belief that one can find pathways to the goal and has motivation based on one’s perceived capabilities or thinking.’
In no particular order, here are 45 benefits of optimism:
- It gives you a reason for living.
- It reduces the level of stress experienced.
- Research shows that it increases longevity.
- It enables you to handle and put your emotions in check.
- It promotes happiness.
- It promotes self respect and integrity
- It enhances various coping skills developed in order to combat life’s struggles.
- It forges persistence which is an essential trait required for achieving success.
- It creates a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.
- It promotes healthy living.
- It creates a positive anticipation of the future.
- It increases your level of productivity.
- It allows you to deal with failure constructively.
- It allows you to develop the attribute of patience.
- It makes you proactive.
- It improves your physiological and psychological well being.
- It enables you to take a balanced approach to life by dealing with the constant negative thoughts which spring up.
- It increases the likelihood of effective problem solving.
- It gives you peace of mind.
- It enables you to generate an alternative, more hopeful explanation for various difficulties experienced.
- It ensures you believe in your dream.
- It creates a positive attitude.
- It increases your tolerance levels because it lowers the risk of you being irritated by little things.
- It allows you to develop the habit of being thankful.
- It increases your level of motivation.
- It builds successful careers by promoting productivity.
- It promotes laughter.
- It doesn’t give any room for self denial.
- It welcomes any form of constructive change.
- It creates positive expectations.
- It sets your mood for the day.
- It promotes positive relationships.
- It builds resilience in the face of adversity.
- It promotes self confidence and boosts self esteem.
- It ensures you are focused.
- It promotes bonding between individuals.
- It reduces the level of your frustrations and worries.
- It promotes forgiveness.
- It enhances effective communication.
- It increases your spiritual development and awakening.
- It deals with your limiting beliefs which try to keep you from using your abilities.
- It gives room for self expression.
- It increases your mental flexibility.
- It is therapeutic.
- It improves your social life.
There are several ways optimism can be developed. They are as follows:
- Have realistic goals and expectations.
- Always remember you are human with a lot of imperfections.
- Acknowledge past events, but endeavor to manage the present with a view to creating a brighter future.
- Don’t fall into the trap of feeling hopeless.
- Be true to yourself.
- Network with people who show optimism in their daily lives.
- Believe in your dreams.
Once again, the aim of this post is to remind you of the benefits of optimism.
I look forward to your comments and suggestions.
Ayo Olaniyan is a certified Unitive Life Coach. He is also an Accredited Professional Counsellor with the Counselling Society United Kingdom. He writes on how you can discover your purpose through personal development and self-awareness on the blog Discovering Purpose. He is also the publisher of The Life Skills Magazine.
I am going to print this off and put it on my fridge to keep me motivated every day, thank you :).
Really great article.
Hi Ayo! Glad to see you guest posting here!
Yet another awesome list post. Thanks for sharing!
These are great tips and it’s great to know I’m on track. I love the fact that you mentioned, not putting pressure on ourselves to be happy. On the jovial side, optimist can develop a disease I like to call Optimisticitis (<— no such word, I made it up…LOL) where they put pressure on themselves to be happy at all times.
We can all learn to accept ourselves and most importantly, be ourselves.
Thanks for such great tips!
thank you so much for giving me th opportunity to express myself and thoughts on your blog.
I really appreciate your kind gesture.
@ed rosell:hello ed, how are you? thanks a lot for your comment.
@troy: hi troy, how are you? it’s great to see what you intend to do with the lists. I’m sure it will work out just fine.
@kiesha, hi kiesha how are you? thanks for stopping by and your comments . Hope you are doing well?
@jarrod: hi jarrod, how are you? great to have your perspective to this post and lol@ Optimisticitis. I am going to borrow that word lol!!! if it’s okay.
mind how you go.
Hi Ayo and Donald,
46. It makes you feel much better when you are sick.
I have a cold right now. But I am being optimistic. And I am trying to feel good, to spend a good time at the office, and after that, with my friends. I am feeling better now. 🙂
Does It increase your tolerance levels? Sometimes you have to be tolerant to see the good side of things. I am not sure which one comes first: tolerance or optimism.
What do you think?
It’s my pleasure. Thanks a lot for contributing such a useful post!
Nice addition 🙂 I think it’s optimism first. When you learn to see the good side of things, your tolerance level will increase. It’s still debatable though.
Very nice post. Optimism is a wonderful thing and I enjoy it’s benefits. You should do 45 benefits of pessimism – I bet you can’t find 10 :p
thanks for your comments.
i’ll certainly look into your challenge lol!!!
correlation does not mean causation. It coul very well be that high blood pressure etc causes pessimism / a negative outlook on life, and not vice versa.
Just a quick thought 😉
[…] Optimism is one of those key ingredients to a happier life. And in Donald’s article, he provides 45 benefits you’ll receive from having a more optimistic attitude […]
[…] I just read a great blog on optimism. Optimism is eventually a choice. It is a choice that in many of use takes dedication and constant work to achieve. Writing in your journal each day about your optimism, where you struggled and where you succeeded is positive reinforcement of your goal to become more optimistic. Read this article about the value of optimism. Benefits of Optimism […]
Optimism is the basic belief change that can change everything else in your life. It’s like Einstein said. You have to make the world your friend.
[…] your goals. Optimism is a real asset. In fact, Ayo Olaniyan suggests there are at least 45 Benefits of Optimism. Take a look at this list because it will help convince you of how valuable and important it […]
I am principal of a primary school in New Zealand. We explore a virtue eery two weeks. Our ficus this week is Optimism. I am going to share your 45 Benefits of Optimism with the rest of the staff and students. Thank you !
I am sorry – typed in a bit of a hurry – that should say every, and focus!!
It’s really a good article. I ll save this to my computer and can reread, whenever I am pessimistic.
How did they categorize the women into optimistic or pessimistic? Surely there isn’t a clear line between the two. Are there defined factors of having an optimistic personality?
Its quite true. I’mm also trying to be optimistic and positive. This post has really motivated me. Now whenever I will fall into negativity I’ll start thinking ’bout this post and become positive again. Thank you so very much for this post.
Optimists are more destined to fail than pessimists.
I would like to object. Yes, optimists are destined to fail, it’s because they try more things. The more things they try, the more likely they are to fail. Even though the risk of failing gets higher, so does the chance of being successful. Optimists aren’t always complete failures.
that’s very great and important to our lives being optimistic.But remember with out trusting in God we can’t afford it.Thank you
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