Being Optimistic Strengthens Your Immune System

· March 11, 2017
A happy day keeps the doctor away. Just as being depressed weakens your immune system, being optimistic gives you an energy boost, improves your immune system, and makes you be happier. It's time to embrace that positive energy!

A happy day keeps the doctor away.

That’s right: believe it or not, being optimistic strengthens your immune system.

It’s true. When you don’t allow everything that happens to you to negatively impact you, you get sick less often and enjoy a healthier life.

Learn more in this article.

Optimism and your immune system

People who go through life with a smile on their face even if things aren’t going well and people who see the positive side of every situation get fewer illnesses and recover more quickly from an infection if they do get one.

Being happy doesn’t mean you deny your problems or pretend that what happens to you doesn’t matter. It’s a way of seeing that life can be even better for you than you think.

When you see the world in shades of gray, focus on the bad and live in a constant state of stress, your body reacts by producing a higher amount of steroids. In turn, these steroids affect your immune system.

Therefore, if you’re pessimistic and keep looking at things negatively, you’re probably more likely to get sick and get all kinds of infections.

Your body’s resistance to viruses and bacteria is lower and these microorganisms can get in without problems and wreak havoc.

In addition, people who have a chronic or serious illness can improve or worsen according to their mood.

For example, if they’re depressed or worried, the disease advances or develops more strongly than if they felt hopeful or optimistic.

Optimism is the best medicine

Being happy is the best treatment whether it be for preventing or for curing any illness. Your mood has a huge effect on your physical and mental health.

Being negative doesn’t just attract more problems, but also more diseases.

At the beginning of the last century, French psychologist Émile Coué developed a method called “psychotherapy” that includes healing techniques and improvement through autosuggestion and hypnosis.

He would tell his patients to repeat this kind of mantra: “I’m much better, I have less pain and I feel good.”

Years later, the medical doctor Madan Kataria created what is known as “laughter yoga.” This laughter technique demonstrated the interaction between mental and physical health.

Negative emotions weaken your immune system, while positive ones are the natural medicine you need to prevent illness.

The road to optimism

In order to take advantage of the benefits of optimism, you can practice and develop your resilience, or in other words, your ability to keep going in the face of adversity. We all have this ability to some extent.

The idea is to get back on your feet as soon as possible after a challenge and become stronger in the process.

Motivating yourself, prioritizing beneficial ideas and feelings, and not letting yourself be attacked by negative thoughts are the keys to achieving that much-desired happiness…and also to avoiding certain diseases.

As Sigmund Freud said, “the pessimist gets sick.” (We can also use the opposite: “the optimist gets better!”) According to the master psychoanalyst, being optimistic is an illusion that helps you survive.

Of course, we can’t go to the extreme and say that a good mood is the only way out there to heal your pain. Always remember that modern medicine, psychology and natural remedies are also there for your benefit.

How to be more optimistic

Now that you know the benefits of being optimistic for your health, the next step is to learn how to develop this feeling.

Once you’ve incorporated it into your life as a habit, you’ll be able to face any illness or problem that shows up.

Here are some of the strategies and recommendations to be more optimistic:

Recognize what is happening in your life.

The objective of optimism isn’t to be happy all the time, but to feel better when things aren’t going well.

Contain the negative emotion (anger, sadness, worry, etc) and focus on the feelings that can help you. That way, you’ll come out of the unfortunate situation having learned something in the process.

Before reacting, think: How should I feel right now? How would it change things if, instead of being sad, I felt thankful?

Look to the future and remember that optimism is a life philosophy.

Automatically change your perspective.

If you’re in a situation and your mind starts going down towards pessimism, take control of your emotions and move them back onto the path to good moods.

You probably have an internal monologue that insists on pointing out the negative, but you must direct the flow towards a happier and more peaceful place.

Always look for the positive side.

You might be feeling tired from work, or maybe you just had an argument with your partner again, or money is tight.

But how about considering all of the good things around you? A family, a home, a job, health, friendship, a bed, food on the table… You are more fortunate than you think.

Focusing on things you should be thankful for will make you feel better and happier. Chase away disease and the thoughts that aren’t letting you grow, and change what’s bothering you.

You can write a list with all the good things that happen to you and read it when you’re not feeling very optimistic.

Smile.

As much as you can, laugh. If it’s the rolling on the floor type of laughter, even better.

Look at yourself in the mirror and make funny faces to make yourself smile, look up funny videos on the internet, listen to jokes, and remember funny times.

In addition to instantly improving your mood, you’ll also be keeping illness and depression away.