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Being Optimistic May Improve Your Health

In the early stages of recovery, it can be difficult to maintain a positive outlook on life. We are often dealing with a litany of strong emotions, and anxiety and depression are common. By doing our best to maintain a sense of optimism, however, we can improve both our mental and physical health, making for an easier journey of healing in our recovery.

Recent research into the link between positivity and health has yielded some surprising results. According to Dianne Vella-Brodrick Maps in a 2016 Psychlopaedia article entitled How Being Positive Improves Your Health, “In 2003 a landmark study revealed what psychologists had long suspected: that people who experience positive emotions are at a reduced risk of disease. Researchers assessed a group of 334 people aged 18 to 54 for their tendency to experience positive emotions like happiness, pleasure and relaxation along with negative emotions like anxiety, hostility and depression. Participants were then injected with nasal drops containing the common cold. People who expressed more positive emotions were less likely to develop the common cold, and the relationship was so strong that it held across age, gender, education, race, body mass and even season.” By maintaining positivity and optimism in the early stages of our recovery, we may be at less risk of disease and illness that could be potential risks to our ability to engage in our program of recovery.

Maintaining a sense of optimism seems to affect every aspect of our health. According to a 2008 Harvard Men’s Health Watch entitled Optimism and Your Health, “A large, short-term study evaluated the link between optimism and overall health in 2,300 older adults. Over two years, people who had a positive outlook were much more likely to stay healthy and enjoy independent living than their less cheerful peers. Staying well for two years is one thing, remaining healthy for the long haul another. But for 447 patients who were evaluated for optimism as part of a comprehensive medical evaluation between 1962 and 1965, the benefits of a positive outlook were desirable indeed. Over a 30-year period, optimism was linked to a better outcome on eight measures of physical and mental function and health.” Overall, the more we look on the bright side, the better our mental and physical health may become. This can be particularly useful to men and women in recovery—simply by changing the way we view the world, we can change our own body and brain health.

Your life can become one of happiness, joyousness, and freedom. You can break the chains of addiction and begin building a brighter future in sobriety. Resilient House, located in beautiful Shreveport, Louisiana, offers the highest quality behavior health and addictions specialists, spiritual guides, and holistic experts to address the disease of addiction from every possible angle. For information about treatment options, please call today: (833) 242-6431