Life can seem like a constant bombardment of negativity: negative news, negative perspectives and negative people. Sometimes it feels next to impossible to find a way forward. The people we hang out with are essential for our wellbeing. And by fostering relationships that are positive, we can improve our wellbeing significantly.
- Recently, I met online with my coaches group. We’re a handful of coaches with completely different backgrounds. After each session, I am rejuvenated, full of new ideas and get a ton of work done. Over the following days, this energy-burst wanes, however, and I start to become less effective.
- Positive people are more committed and optimistic about their goals and are therefore more successful in achieving them. When we spend more time with people who are pursuing their goals, we are inspired to make progress toward our own goals and enjoy greater success too.
- Positive people are more willing to share of themselves. Perhaps they feel less guarded because they realize there are abundant opportunities and that they do not need to protect their ‘turf’. I am thrilled to offer and receive advice from others in my coaches group, and I learn so much each time we meet.
- It is nice to have positive people who offer us moral support, especially for those times our spirit is low and we are not feeling our best. Optimists are more satisfied with their lives, and can, therefore, cope better during hardships and times of stress. I’m so grateful for the positive jolt I get from my coaches group every couple of weeks.
- Obviously, we want to feel good about ourselves. Positive thinking puts our minds in a better place to fight negativity and ward off fatigue. According to Professor George Patton, at the Murdoch Children’s Centre for Health, in Australia: optimism in teens protects against depression, substance abuse, and antisocial behaviour. Regardless of our age, remaining optimistic during stressful times is easier on the mind and body.
- I think most of us would rather be happy than sad. Optimism may actually increase life span. That’s certainly something to smile about. A Dutch study found that those with a negative way of thinking were 55% more likely to die during the nine-year follow-up period of the study. The effect was especially strong in men.
- Mobility naturally declines as we get older, and negative people are more likely to develop mobility and functional problems. It makes sense to delay the onset of ageing as long as possible. By maintaining a positive outlook, not only will we live longer but we will also slow the signs of ageing. Optimism may also lead to a more active, healthier lifestyles, including a better diet, more exercise and stress management.
- Doctor Segerstrom from the University of Kentucky published a study that investigated the connection between optimism and immunity. She discovered that when a subject displayed optimistic thinking, he or she also had greater cell immunity.
A pessimistic outlook had an actual negative effect on the response of immune cells. Another way to look at this – is negativity may make you more vulnerable to illness. So when you encounter that co-worker with the constant cold, try not to get down, because your negative attitude could contribute to making you sick.
- High cholesterol is an issue for a large number of Canadians. Diet and exercise are great ways to lower cholesterol. But did you know that by being optimistic, you could lower your cholesterol too? A 2013 study found that middle-aged participants who scored as optimistic had higher levels of “good” cholesterol. Think about that, attitude can affect your cholesterol levels.
- Heart disease is the number one killer. But apparently, we can use positivity to defend against it and reduce the risk of death from heart attack. A study published in the journal of the American Heart Association found that optimistic people were less likely than pessimistic people to develop coronary heart disease.
- When we have optimistic people in our lives, we prevent loneliness and can radically improve our relationships. Once we start to attract positive people, the more positive we become, and the more we attract other positive people. We essentially become our own positive-feedback loop, which reflects on our personality, and shows others that we are special and worth knowing.
But how do we find these people in the first place? And how do we draw them to us? Next post, we’ll do exactly that, as we look at several practical ways to develop positive relationships.