In 2010, researchers studied the results of 83 scientific studies measuring the impact of optimism on physical health. In these studies, covering a variety of health issues, those who had a more optimistic outlook performed better and had a better outcome than those who were pessimistic.
But what if you're more of a glass-half-empty kind of person? Don't let that get you down! According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., professor in the department of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, "Optimism is like a muscle; you have to exercise it to build it."
There are three easy ways you can work that optimism muscle and strengthen it to improve your mood and your health:
1. Write down three things you're looking forward to. Let the good feelings sink in for five minutes.
2. Reminisce. Listen to music from your past, or think about past events that make you nostalgic. Bringing up positive memories can boost your confidence, which in turn, boosts your optimism.
3. Get enough sleep. People who sleep seven to eight hours a night were more optimistic thatn those who got less that six hours of sleep. Proof that losing sleep can make you grouchy!