|Being optimistic means you have a tendency to view things positively. |
There is the expectation that everything is going to turn out just fine – even if you don’t know that for sure and you’re simply hoping for the best. And, if it doesn’t turn out positively, well then better luck next time or thinking to yourself – what do I need to learn from this.
While pessimists feel it is safer to believe nothing will work out, that it will be the worse- case scenario and if that happens, well just proves they were right. By golly they knew it. And if it goes positively, well it was just a fluke.
I know this because I am an optimist and I have a very pessimistic friend. And no matter how hard I try to get her to see something in a positive light, she digs in her heels and truly wants to see that nothing is going right. It can be a bit exhausting and I suspect she is grown tired of my Pollyanna attitude. Although she has from time to time, thanked me for trying.
Being optimistic, I don’t give up.
It is well known that optimists live longer than pessimists and have a lower risk of chronic disease. So it intrigued me when I reviewed several studies that indicate having an optimistic view helps with sleep.
How does that make you feel reading that?
Hopeful? Then you are likely optimistic.
Or are you saying what a crock of baloney? Then you are likely a pessimist.
In one study, conducted over a period of 5 years on 3,500 people located across the USA, found that optimistic people slept better.
One of the observations of the study was that the scientists aren’t sure of the exact mechanism through which optimism can influence sleep. Perhaps they buffer the effects of stress with adaptive coping?
There were two other studies looking at optimism and sleep.
One was conducted on Chinese students and the other on Chinese working adults.
And basically, they came to the same conclusion. There seems to be a bi-directional relationship, meaning that a good night’s sleep and optimism are both a cause and effect of each other. So optimism improves sleep and poor sleep makes one pessimistic.
Although I am an optimist, I have to think back to my days of insomnia and I suspect that my optimism was probably dampened. Not sure how pessimistic I was but I do recall thinking that I will never find a good night’s sleep again and that nothing works. (The optimist in me laughs when I read what I just wrote!)
Another study from Austria on sleep and optimism noted that perhaps it was because optimists exercise more, have a healthier diet and have better coping strategies for stress that leads to better sleep.
So it seems to me that just being an optimist is not going to do the trick.
All this has me thinking about my own program where I help women get to sleep through what I call the 5 pillars: diet, mindset, movement, relaxation and having harmonious hormones.
It is clear to me that rarely one thing helps with sleep. It really is multi-faceted.
Being optimistic perhaps is instrumental in helping you find solutions and even gives you the motivation to do something about it.
The optimist in me knows that there is a way to find sleep again.