A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to your brain stops. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. Consequently, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, which might result in an inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field.
Mentality is a major factor affecting stroke. A new study suggests that optimism can lower your stroke risk. Moreover, more optimistic people have a healthier immune system, faster wound healing, a lower risk of heart disease and other benefits already.
Eric Kim, a doctoral student and his colleagues at University of Michigan looked at the results of standard optimism tests for 6,044 men and women over the age of 50. They found a significant association between positivity and stroke risk in particular. At the study’s start, all the participants were free of stroke. The optimism score was on a 16-point scale. The participants self-rated their health, and the team followed them for two years. At the end of the study, 88 participants had stroke. After adjusting for age, each unit increase in their optimism score reduced stroke risk about 9%.
Start with self-talk. Unspoken thoughts run through your head every day. The thoughts could be positive or negative.
We know that depression can impact functioning and optimism can as well. Optimistic people often expect the best things in life. In the optimism scale, optimism can help you get positive numbers while someone who seeks help for either anxiety or depression might be lifted from a negative 10 or so on a scale back to zero, or neutral.
Findings from the study leads to an implication of teaching optimism to pessimists at risk for stroke might be of real benefit to public health.
So how to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking?
Let’s start with self-talk, unspoken thoughts that run through your head every day. The thoughts could be positive or negative.
Identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, for example, work or relationship. Then start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.
Share your positive mood and positive experience, both you and those around you enjoy an emotional boost. That helps you become less critical of the world around you.
Practicing positive self-talk helps you handle everyday stress in a more constructive way. Therefore, it can help you lower your risk of stroke as well as other health benefits. So, the advice for everyone is do not worry, be happy.