12 Most Glass Half Full Reasons to Be an Optimist
Everybody has bad days. Things go wrong. Mistakes happen.
And tragedy strikes.
Yet, the saying that every cloud has a silver lining is not just a cliché — there are many good reasons to look on the bright side of life.
Here are 12 benefits that flow to optimists:
1. Live longer
Research shows that being optimistic can add years to your life.
2. Have less stress
Other medical data demonstrates that optimists have less stress than their pessimistic peers.
3. Enjoy better health
It shouldn’t be surprising that if optimists are living longer and facing less stress, they are healthier than those who see the glass half empty. But, it’s actually true, too.
4. Laugh more
Laughing is free, fun and an instant mood-lifter. Optimists laugh more than their less cheery chums. They keep a smile or giggle nearby for easy access.
5. Show resiliency
Soldiers who are optimists showed greater resiliency in combat and tended to be less affected by post-traumatic stress syndrome, as shown by research done on Iraq war veterans in 2004.
6. Forgive more easily
Forgiving makes space in our hearts, and it welcomes in peace and love. Only good can come from that.
7. Communicate more effectively
This is wonderful, by itself. But if you’re communicating with more skill and listening more attentively (which you have to do to communicate well) many other things are going to go better in your life and work and relationships, too.
8. Display persistence
In his article called “The Power of Optimism,” Robert M. Sherfield, Ph.D., wrote: “Optimism does not mean that you are constantly and eternally happy; it simply means that you have an outlook on life that is generally upbeat and positive. It means that you know and value hope.” According to him, “one of the most important traits of an optimist is perseverance. Optimists will last through tough times. They have enough faith in their abilities and enough self-esteem to carry them through rough patches, even if the rough patches last for quite a while.”
9. Create richer, more fulfilling social lives
What a fantastic side effect of optimism: a deeper network of people to rely on when you need them!
10. More likely to realize their dreams
This is related to the persistence that optimists show. In that context, this makes sense. People are more likely to achieve their goals if they keep at it.
11. Shape more successful marriages
“Optimists are better problem solvers, happier, more creative, more sensitive — all of which helps marriages survive and thrive,” says relationship expert Paul W. Coleman, author of “The 30 Secrets of Happily Married Couples. Other research supports that as well.
12. Happier, more grateful and joyful
This is enough for me, even without all of the others.
To me, being an optimist means being a hopeful, persistent realist. What does it mean to you?
Featured image courtesy of Hamed Saber licensed via Creative Commons.