Optimism and Health
There is much to be said about how optimism impacts our physical and psychological health. People who are optimistic are more likely to persevere in the face of diversity because they foresee a positive outcome. Ultimately our psychological self has a huge impact on our physical self. If we are going into a situation with a pessimistic attitude we will most likely be stressed, which could lead to high blood pressure and anxiety. This will in turn impact our psychological self because we end up using negative self-talk as opposed to positive self-talk. With negative self-talk we can end up allowing this to take a toll on our physical health as we stop taking care of our bodies, both inside and out. In this paper we will look at two peer reviewed articles that emphasize how optimism impacts our physical and psychological lives.
The first article we will look at is Do Dispositional Pessimism and Optimism Predict Ambulatory Blood Pressure During Schooldays and Nights in Adolescents? Here we learned that low optimism was associated with anxiety, anger, and depression. High optimism predicted better self-rated physical health and less frequent doctor visits. This article provided results from studies on the relationship between ABP and the effects of optimism and pessimism. The dispositional optimistic-pessimistic orientation is usually measured by the Life Orientation Test. Participants in this study took the test found that those who scored low on the optimism subscale had higher average ABP. It was also reported that when these normally optimistic people were in a negative mood, that they noticed ABP levels that were just as high as less optimistic adults. People with high ABP levels can end up dealing with hypertension and cardiovascular problems.
The second article is Perceived Academic Control: mediating the effects of optimism and social support on college students’ psychological health. Going to college can be stressful for anyone,...
References: Bolt, M. (2004). Pursuing Human Strengths: A Positive Psychology Guide. New York: Worth
Social Psychology of Education; 2009, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p233-249
Journal of Personality; Jun2008, Vol. 76 Issue 3, p605-630
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