SMART LIVING: Science of optimism

ORLANDO, FLa. (IVANHOE NEWSWIRE) – Science shows that being hopeful can improve your health and even save your life.

Jamie Blanek knows the benefits of optimism all too well.

“A car came down the highway and crashed into us and I was crushed,” Blanek says.

The next memory she has is waking up in the ICU. Her right leg was gone, and her left leg was crushed. Jamie lost a lot, but she never lost hope.

“I’ve gone through this whole process wanting to reach my goals,” she says.

Social science researchers at Arizona State University found that hopeful people are able to set goals easier, identify ways to reach their goals, and achieve those goals.

Jamie’s trauma surgeon Daniel Stahl says he sees how hope makes an impact in the E-R.

“There’s also a hope that as a trauma surgeon, you have to instill to say, even though this terrible thing happened to you, we’re gonna, we’re gonna fix what we can fix,” Stahl says.

He believes honesty and positivity can change outcomes.

“I think when they hear that from their surgeon, it, it does. It instills a lot of hope,” Stahl says.

Research shows you can learn to be more hopeful by taking small steps to reach long-term success. Check with yourself regularly to make sure your goal is still what you want. Hope is also easier to reach by surrounding yourself with others who hold your optimistic view.

According to a 2019 study, researchers found that optimism is specifically related to a 15 percent longer life span and to greater odds of living to the age of 85 and beyond.

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