Optimism Can Aid in Recovery

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When life knocks you down, pick yourself up with a smile.

It might sound somewhat naive to claim that positivity can get you through life’s hardships. Well, yeah, positivity alone won’t do that. But positivity, in addition to good health practices and care, can actually do you a lot of good.

According to a study from the American Stroke Association, patients who survive a stroke but maintain higher optimism exhibit reduced stroke severity, lower physical disability, and reduced inflammation during the recovery process. Patients have been noted to produce fewer inflammatory proteins the more optimistic they feel. Optimism has also been observed to have positive effects on one’s lifespan.

I know this sounds a bit hokey, but look at it this way: when you choose to be optimistic after a frightening experience like a stroke, to tell yourself “I can get better, I can get over this,” it’s quite empowering to your body. If you just give up and stop putting work into your body’s regular processes, things are going to get worse. Optimism won’t bring you back to 100% instantly, but I’d say anything you can do to improve and hasten a recovery is worth doing, especially if all you have to do is smile.