Sunday 22 September 2019

Mindful moment… Have you tried vitamin O?

Optimists are better able to maintain friendship
Optimists are better able to maintain friendship

Marianne Power

As I come out of the flu of doom, I've learned that there is something more beneficial to my immune system than masses of vitamin C and Lemsip. What is this magic potion? Optimism.

According to Martin Seligman - who is considered the father of the positive psychology movement and is the author of a book called Learned Optimism - optimists have stronger immune systems than pessimists. That's because they are more likely to engage in things that make them healthy - such as a good diet and exercise - because they are optimistic about the benefits this will have.

Pessimists, on the other hand, tend to think that nothing they do will help, and so they are more likely to eat the cake and slob out on the sofa.

Optimists are also better able to sustain friendships which are beneficial to our health - because having someone to share a problem with eases stress.

So, with that in mind, I'm going to walk around the block, call a friend and talk about how optimistic I am that this flu is gone for good...

* Marianne Power is the author of

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