Beliefnet
Astrological Musings

by Lynn Hayes

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For years, researchers have been studying optimists and pessimists, and they have found that an optimistic outlook carries certain advantages. Optimistic people are better achievers, are more resilient in the face of difficulties and cope with stress more easily than their more negative counterparts. And now, there appears to be one more reason for wearing those “rose-colored glasses”–a longer, healthier life!


In a new study, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh reviewed questionnaires that surveyed the personality traits of more than 100,000 women aged 50 and over who are participants of the Women’s Health Initiative, an ongoing government study that began in 1994. They tracked the women’s rates of death and chronic health conditions for an average of eight years. What they found was a strong link between optimism and a person’s risk for cancer, heart disease and early death. …


So, where does optimism come from? For some lucky people, being optimistic comes naturally. But experts say that for those who aren’t as fortunate, optimism is an attitude that can be learned and practiced. By avoiding negative environments, making every effort to seek the company of positive individuals and celebrating your strengths instead of bemoaning your weaknesses, even pessimists can begin to exercise their optimistic muscle. Just remember: It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.   



I grew up in a family where negativity was encouraged and optimism was punished, and with Saturn on my Sun I am not a natural optimist.  However, after being shoved out of the nest at a relatively early age I had to fend for myself, which meant I was able to begin making choices about the kind of people I wanted to surround myself with.  I learned that the more upbeat my friends were, the better I felt around them and slowly I began to absorb their way of thinking.  Later in life I made this a practice and called it Visioncrafting, a process I teach today.  Reframing the way you think can have a powerful effect on your life AND your health.  

This does not mean that we should bury our heads in the sand and ignore problems and difficulties.  That’s not a healthy approach either.  But if we train ourselves to look for the positive in every situation while honoring the challenge of the difficulty, we will eventually be able to transform our lives in ways we never thought possible!

My editor Valerie Reiss writes about this in her new blog Fresh Living.  Pay her a visit and give her some love, she’s the one who found me and gave me this opportunity to expand my audience. 
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