People can learn to be optimists—if they practice

Two women talking over coffee on the beach

June 11, 2024 – Even people who see the glass as half empty can learn to see it as half full by training themselves to think more positively, according to experts.

A June 8 AP article detailed the connection between optimism and good health outcomes and offered tips about how to change your mindset.

“We know that more optimistic people are more likely to live a healthier life, with healthier habits, eating healthier, having more exercise,” said Hayami Koga, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Koga was the lead author of a 2022 study that linked optimism with longer lifespan and living beyond age 90 in women across racial and ethnic groups. In another study from March 2024, Koga and colleagues found that an optimistic attitude may help women slow age-related physical decline.

The article listed ways that people can nurture an optimistic attitude, such as by envisioning, step by step, how they would achieve the best possible outcome in particular situations. Other suggestions included volunteering or mastering a skill.

Read the AP article: Optimism is just what the doctor ordered. But what if I’m already too negative?

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