optimism and health

Topics: Optimism, Psychology, AIDS Pages: 3 (722 words) Published: September 25, 2014
Optimism and Health
Optimism is something that we all use from time to time, it is hopefulness for a successful future and a good outcome. Optimism can let us down at times, especially when you have high expectations for something and it doesn’t quiet work out as you had hoped for. It is a positive mindset, which is good for an individual’s psychological health. Optimism is also believed to reduce health risks and lower stress levels.

Optimism also effects an individual’s physical health in many ways. For example optimists are believed to have less issues with heart disease, self-esteem, depression, and neuroticism. Research suggests that optimism is relevant to biological outcomes. One study even found that optimism predicts longer life. Among 900 elderly Dutch persons, those reporting a high level of optimism at baseline were less likely to die over the next 10 years (Giltay, Geleijnse, Zitman, Hoekstra, & Schouten, 2004). The evidence on biological outcomes is less consistent than it is for self-reports concerning health (Rasmussen et al., 2009), but relations between optimism and physical well-being clearly deserve further study (Carver, Scheier, & Segerstrom, 2010). This study also showed that optimists are less likely to be rehospitalized following coronary artery bypass surgery. These studies also show that optimistic people also report less pain, better physical functioning, and fewer physical symptoms. Personally I have always believed that people who possess higher hopes have fewer health issues.

Optimism also has many psychological effects. The article I chose for my essay discusses the effects optimism has on gay men who are at risk of catching AIDS. I chose this article because I think it’s important to relate psychological issues with health matters. In a cohort of gay men responding to the threat of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), dispositional optimism was associated with less distress, less avoidant coping, positive...


References: 1) Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., & Segerstrom, S. C. (2010). Clinical Psychology Review [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. : . Retrieved from , University Library.
2) Taylor, S. E., Kemeny, M. E., & Aspinwall, L. G. (1992). Optimism, Coping Psychological Distress, and High-Risk Sexual Behavior Among Men at Rsik for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome [University of Phoenix Custom Edition eBook]. Los Angeles , California: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from , University Library.
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