Dr. Nicola Finley (Internist)
Spring Reset with Optimism
In thinking about the season of Spring, I think about moving forward. It’s a time of leaving cold weather behind and entering into warmer weather. It’s a beautiful time of change in nature, when we see more flowers in bloom and hear more birds chirping. In addition, we can also see Spring as a time to reset or reinforce our mindset to embrace optimism. Instead of seeing the glass half-empty, we can choose to see the glass half-full.
Optimism can be defined as anticipating the best outcome. In any given situation, we tend to focus on something. Why not focus on the positive? Being optimistic is something to strive for, because there are more benefits than only more obvious benefit of enhancing our mood.
Being more optimistic is a mindset that is within our control. While there are many things that we cannot change, we can choose to look for the silver lining in whatever circumstance we are in.
Optimism is linked to better health and well-being. Studies show that optimism is associated with a lower risk of lung decline, lower risk of cardiovascular events, less pain, and a lower risk of dying early. One explanation for these associations is that people who are optimistic may be more likely to engage in healthy behaviors. These healthy behaviors include physical activity, a healthy diet, and not smoking, which all have a positive effect on health outcomes.
When we put on sunscreen to protect our skin this Spring, let’s also look on the bright side of a given situation. Being more optimistic is a mindset that is within our control. While there are many things that we cannot change, we can choose to look for the silver lining in whatever circumstance we are in.