Be patient, as good things take time is a way to approach life's challenges positively or optimistically for a healthy, happy and long life. Researchers have found that women who are optimistic have shown signs of decreasing death rates in various major cases like cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and infection, when compared with women who were found to be less optimistic, according to the study.
"While most medical and public health efforts today focus on reducing risk factors for diseases, evidence has been mounting that enhancing psychological resilience may also make a difference," said Eric Kim, research student at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, US.
‘A healthy way to cope with lifes challenges is to have a healthy behavior by boosting the levels of optimism (positive thinking).’
"Our new findings suggest that we should make efforts to boost optimism, which has been shown to be associated with healthier behaviors and healthier ways of coping with life challenges," Kim added.
The study also found that healthy behaviors only partially explain the link between optimism and reduced mortality risk.
One other possibility is that higher optimism directly impacts our biological systems, said Kim.
For the study, the team analyzed 70,000 women, their levels of optimism and other factors that might play a role in how optimism may affect mortality risk, such as race, high blood pressure, diet and physical activity.
The results showed that most optimistic women had a nearly 30 per cent lower risk of dying from any of the diseases analyzed in the study compared with the least optimistic women.
Previous studies have shown that optimism can be altered with relatively uncomplicated and low-cost interventions, even something as simple as having people write down and think about the best possible outcomes for various areas of their lives, such as careers or friendships, the researchers said, adding that encouraging the use of such interventions could be an innovative way to enhance health in the future.
The study appeared online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.