Health benefits of hope

An optimistic outlook may help people live longer, and may also lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions, research suggests. One reason for this may be that optimistic people are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors, such as exercising and eating a healthy diet, and less likely to smoke, Claudia Trudel-Fitzgerald, research scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a February 12, 2021 Healthline article.

While hope may seem like a tall order a year into a global pandemic, Trudel-Fitzgerald and other experts quoted in the article offered tips for building optimistic muscles.

One suggestion is to look forward to better times, and start planning safe activities for when COVID-19 is more under control. Trudel-Fitzgerald said, “For instance, one could envision a small outside social gathering with a few close friends or family members once the weather is permitting, and start thinking about the details, such as guests, location, music, etc.”

Other tips included finding ways to make a positive impact, such as helping a neighbor, taking a break from consuming negative news, and making a conscious effort to notice and express gratitude for the good things that are still happening even during these difficult times.

Read Healthline article: How Hope Affects Your Health and 5 Ways to Build It

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An optimistic outlook may be a healthier one (Harvard Chan School news)