According to studies conducted by researchers from Europe and the USA, it has been found that people have recovered from surgery and are able to cope with diseases with their positive outlook or in other words, optimism. Not only this, studies also indicate that optimism leads to lower rate of death and overall better health.
There are two popular ways of measuring optimism. One is the explanatory approach and the other is dispositional optimism. Through an explanatory approach how an individual explains any good or bad news is measured. Either verbatim explanation method, content analysis or attributional style questionnaires are used to identify the scale in which an individual falls. An optimistic individual will never blame oneself for any bad news or would generally see the positive side of any news event.
Researchers have been using Life Orientation test which is a 12-item test to measure the scale of dispositional optimism. The generalized view of the individual is taken to understand how positive is his outlook in various spectrums of life.
Studies have shed light upon the fact that optimism helps in specific life conditions like if one is suffering from cardiac ailments, blood pressure issues etc., then it has been found that those who are pessimists have a three times higher risk of bypass operations, repeat angioplasties or are more likely to have heart attacks. Not only this, pessimistic individuals are three times more likely to develop hypertension. People with positive outlook have been found to have lower blood pressures than those with negative outlooks.
In the year 2006 a study explored the interrelation between viral infections and emotions. 193 healthy individuals who volunteered for this study were evaluated. They were induced with a common respiratory virus. It was found that those who were optimistic showed less likeliness to develop this virus in their bodies leading to respiratory ailments compared to their pessimistic counterparts. In these times of Covid we can take a cue from here and try to maintain our positive outlook. Probably, it would help us from keeping the corona virus at bay. Let’s all cultivate optimism for ourselves, our families and our society.