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Can Optimism Make a Difference in Your Life?
If you’re a person who always has a rosy outlook and sees the glass as half-full rather than half-empty, your positive attitude may have even more benefits than you think.
A growing number of scientific studies indicate that optimistic people tend to live longer and have better physical and mental health than pessimistic people.
The science behind the smiles
The unique phenomenon of optimism leading to better health has been scientifically studied. In 2010, a group of researchers studied the results of 83 of these reports to look for any common findings.
Once the researchers developed a consistent way to analyze the results of these different studies, they were able to show that optimism seemed to have a fairly remarkable impact on physical health. Whether an individual study looked at overall longevity, survival from a disease, heart health, immunity, cancer outcomes, pregnancy outcomes, pain tolerance, or another health topic, it seemed that those who had a more optimistic outlook performed better and had a better outcome than those who were pessimistic.
The message is that having a positive attitude can boost your physical health, regardless of what might be ailing you. The researchers also noted that optimism seemed to have fairly consistent benefits for people regardless of demographic factors such as income level or overall health status.
How to be more optimistic
Changing yourself from a pessimistic person into an optimistic person isn’t easy. Some approaches you can try to switch your mindset are to have positive thoughts about yourself and others and to stop comparing yourself to others in a competitive way—each individual has unique and special talents that should be appreciated.
Try to find the good in every situation, even at difficult moments. When facing a challenge, focus on achieving a positive outcome, rather than anticipating defeat.
Other strategies that can lead to a more optimistic point of view include exploring your own beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life, whether they are philosophical or religious. Also, strive to improve your physical health through exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleeping habits and hygiene—the better you feel, the brighter your outlook will be. Finally, challenge your mind every day by learning something new, including learning about yourself and your family history.
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Our pediatric outpatient facility provides medical care, case management, social services and other types of intervention to children and adolescents with chronic illnesses and developmental disabilities and to provide support and education to their families.
The Children's Diagnostic & Treatment Center (CDTC) is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 11,000 children with special health care needs in Broward County. CDTC's mission is to promote the optimal health and well-being of children with special health care needs by providing comprehensive prevention, intervention and treatment services within a medical home environment. CDTC is a nationally-recognized "Center of Excellence," offering a unique system of care for infants, children and youth with chronic illnesses, disabilities and developmental delays.
CDTC programs & services include:
- Pediatric and Adolescent Primary Care in a medical home environment
- Multi-disciplinary evaluations in our Early Steps program
- Dental care for special needs children
- Comprehensive, coordinated case management
- Family support services
- Pharmaceutical & nutritional counseling
- Pediatric Clinical trials
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 954-728-8080.
Visit Childrensdiagnostic.org for additional information on services provided at CDTC.
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