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wellness and well-being solutions

sponsored health education

Spotlight on: Optimism

looking on the bright side Having a positive outlook isn’t just a pleasant personality trait – Dr. Kristin Koetting explains how optimism can improve your health. Q: What are the health benefits of optimism? A: Because optimists expect good things will

happen in the future, they are more likely to be proactive and engage in behaviors that will ensure a healthy future. For example, optimists are more likely to engage in physical activity, eat more fruits and vegetables, take vitamins, wear seat belts and adhere to prescribed health regimens. Optimists cope better with stress, and are half as likely as pessimists to have a first heart attack. In addition, optimists experience better pregnancies, cardiovascular functioning, surgery outcomes and immune functioning. Perhaps the most compelling information is that pessimism is linked to premature mortality. However, optimism is linked to longevity. Some studies have found optimists may live up to 10 years longer. Q: Why is it hard to be optimistic? A: Many people don’t realize that they have

control over how they think, which is especially problematic because our brains are hard-wired to focus on the negative. Evolutionarily speaking, we want to be hyper-sensitive to the negative so we can detect the predator around the corner. Our natural tendency to attend to the bad is a good thing, though; it has helped our species survive. What’s more, we live in a sea of mild contentment, and most people report that things are generally OK. So, when something negative happens and rocks the boat, our attention is pulled to it much more strongly than when we sail through a patch of calm waters. After all, the consequences of rocking the boat are dire compared to the consequences of smooth sailing. Q: What are the outcomes of optimism? A: Optimism is important in terms of how people

Q: HOw can I become more optimistic? 1. Write. One of the empirically supported

exercises in optimism is to imagine yourself five or 10 years in the future, and that you have successfully accomplished meaningful goals in various areas of our life. Then spend 20 minutes a day for at least three days writing about your best possible future and your best possible self. Do not compare your best possible future to your current situation. 2. All is well that ends well. At the end of the

day, write down three good things that went well that day and why they went well. Give yourself due credit. 3. Take a break from the news. Right now there’s a general feeling of pessimism about the economy. Stress rates are at an all-time high, higher even than the days after 9/11. It’s OK to take a news break and at least temporarily avoid topics that consistently bring you down. 4. Surround yourself with optimistic people.

Dr. Kristin “KK” Koetting Licensed Psychologist/ Wellness Coach

Wellness & Well-being solutions

Ready to make a positive change? At Wellness and Well-being Solutions, Dr. Kristin Koetting provides individuals and organizations with the skills they need to make positive changes.

Friends and companions have the ability to both improve our moods and bring us down. Positivity is contagious!

Free 20-minute phone consultation

5. Expect the best. If I had a dime for every time someone told me they don’t want to expect the best because they could be disappointed, I’d be doing this interview from my villa in Southern France. The next time you have a personal goal or a project you are working on, allow yourself to harness great expectations for the best possible outcome. Remind yourself to expect the best every time you put forth effort to reach that goal.

www.wellnessand wellbeingsolutions. com 4901 W. 136th St. Leawood, KS 66224

>> www.wellnessandwellbeingsolutions.com

913-674-9355 enhance magazine

pursue goals. Let’s face it, all of us have failed or will fail at some point. What sets optimists apart from pessimists is what they do in the face of failure or obstacles. Pessimists quit pursuing their goal. Optimists persist toward their goal, which is why they succeed. In fact, optimism is a predictor of success

in various domains, such as athletics, work, academics, and relationships. Talent is also necessary for success, but studies of intellectually gifted children show that a genius IQ or high talent isn’t enough to ensure success. Geniuses who don’t persist despite obstacles likely will not succeed. After all, success is a war of attrition. It is possible that optimism can make up for lower IQ or less talent.

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Profile for Mark Williams

Piecing Together the Puzzle of Sickness and Health  

In this issue of Enhance, we look at breakthroughs and challenges in medical diagnostics. There is something in this issue for every Kansas...

Piecing Together the Puzzle of Sickness and Health  

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