It pays to look at the brighter side of life, as optimists may be better equipped to handle stressful situations not only mentally but also physically, according to a recent report from Science Daily.
For over six years, researchers from Concordia University in Canada monitored 135 older adults, aged 60 and above, to see just how well they handled stress. The scientists collected saliva samples five times a day to measure levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and surveyed the participants’ daily stress levels as well as the kind of outlook they had toward problematic situations.
Based on their findings, it appears that the pessimists among the group had higher stress baselines. The optimists, on the other hand, had less trouble dealing with rising cortisol levels.
Cortisol, when secreted in moderation, is not necessarily bad. In fact, previous studies have shown that it may help spur the production of brain cells and even help you get over stage fright. However, constantly having high levels of stress may have a negative effect on your body's chemical stability.
So instead of being a worrywart during stressful situations, try calming down by looking at things in a more positive light. Doing so won't only help you think more clearly but will also make you a happier and healthier person.
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