Effects of Optimism on Psychological and Physical Health

Topics: Optimism, Psychology, Pessimism Pages: 3 (742 words) Published: May 15, 2010
Effects of Optimism on Psychological and Physical Health
Heather LaBombard

The definition of the word “optimism” is a favorable attitude about conditions or events in life. Some believe that optimistic views in life will have beneficial effects on psychological and physical health. However, excessive optimism can have harmful effects on psychological and physical health. Many tests and research have been done on people to see if optimism does in fact have an effect on psychological and physical health.

According to one of the articles that I researched about the effects of optimism on physical health suggested that people who have an optimistic view tend to engage in health-promoting actions such as: not smoking, not drinking alcohol, watching their diet, using sunscreen, taking vitamins, and other health-related actions. According to the Encyclopedia of Health and Behavior Management (2004) there have been studies on people who optimistic about their lives and the studies have shown that the optimistic people are less likely to become sick or to develop a disease as a person who is pessimistic. In a study that monitored the blood pressure of people doing normal activities the results showed that a person who was optimistic had less of a chance of elevated blood pressure than a pessimist. Another study has shown that optimism can lead to faster recoveries from surgeries or an accident. . However, a person who has an optimistic view may think that everything will go his or her way and that nothing can go wrong for either one of them. This could lead them to taking behavioral risks, such as: engaging in unprotected sex, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, smoking cigarettes and not taking care of their general health. I know that when I have been pessimistic...

References: OPTIMISM, PESSIMISM, AND HEALTH. (2004). In Encyclopedia of Health and Behavior Management, Sage. Retrieved from http://www.credoreference.com/entry/sageeohabm/optimism_pessimism_and_health
Pinquart, M., Fröhlich, C., & Silbereisen, R. (2007). Optimism, pessimism, and change of psychological well-being in cancer patients. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 12(4), 421-432. doi:10.1080/13548500601084271.
Wimberly, S., Carver, C., & Antoni, M. (2008). Effects of optimism, interpersonal relationships, and distress on psychosexual well-being among women with early stage breast cancer. Psychology & Health, 23(1), 57-72. Retrieved from CINAHL Plus with Full Text database.
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