Did you know that optimistic people are more likely to live longer and achieve exceptional longevity that exceeds 85 years of age? This is the conclusion of a study by Boston University’s School of Medicine in partnership with Harvard Unversity’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and published in August this year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the official publication of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. According to the study, optimism refers to a general expectation that good things will happen or to a belief that the future will be favorable because there is the idea of being able to control what is about to happen. The study sparked a series of news that point to optimism as a formula for longevity and as a kind of practice or "food" that is recommended to be included in the daily routine. More than the desire to see the "glass half full" or the "glass half empty", dictated by a state of mind or a more or less positive attitude towards life, optimism is the object of scientific study and, as if reveals in the referred study, with practical effects on people's lives.
In an interview with Máxima and conducted in 2015, Tali Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist and teacher, explained that 80 percent of the population is naturally optimistic (often without recognizing themselves as such), that geography is not about this characteristic, but that age has, since younger and older people are much more optimistic than middle-aged people. This true expert of optimism works in the Department of Experimental Psychology at University College London, where she is also the director of Affective Brain Lab, a laboratory where the impact of emotions on everything we do is investigated and clarified: "Optimism is an important element for two reasons. The first because waiting for good things to happen in the future makes us happy, whether they happen or not. The second because optimism makes us try new things and work harder. " Sharot released her first book on the subject, The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain, in 2011, and that year she was the author of the cover of an issue of Time dedicated to the science of optimism, The Optimism Bias. If the topic was already of public interest and started to gain scientific interest, it is safe to say that it also aroused curiosity. In such a way that, this year, that American magazine returned to dedicate a special number to the optimism, The Art of Optimism, edited by Ava DuVernay (California, 1972), influential personality in the universe of the cinema with experience in several areas, among them in realization, production and writing. The approach to the theme counted on the contribution of artists from different areas and focused on the importance of the Arts as inspiration and catalyst of optimism in the current world.
At a time when the speed of everyday life prevails and when the catastrophes of the world and humanity stand out in the news, optimism, more than a luxury, is a must. Can optimism then be a key to happiness? Everything indicates that he can at least give precious help. That is why we asked five women, whose work inspires and influences other people's ways of being, to help us understand how optimism is stimulated. A yoga and meditation instructor, an oncology doctor, a family mother who has had a serious illness, a pedagogue and a life coach explain the importance of optimism as a tool for life.
"The woman who is positive is a fighter"
Emília Vieira, oncology surgeon and breast cancer specialist
"Oncological disease, whatever it may be, is traumatic both physically and psychologically. If it is breast cancer, since this organ is a symbol of female identity, the greater the emotional impact. Being a depressed patient there is a passivity, an abandonment , with a consequent decrease in immunity and a greater likelihood that tumors may appear. In view of the diagnosis, there is fear of death, painful treatments and mutilating surgery, and depression, fear, anger, revolt, insecurity, losses and the despair of possible family and work losses. There is a negativity that "attracts" complications. The woman who is positive is a fighter. In the face of a cancer diagnosis, although the fear of death does not cease to appear, instinct arises in the short term of survival and of wanting to quickly start treatments and beat the disease. First of all, there is the goal of winning. Every complication that comes comes a positive never give up and learn more to find out how you can help doctors in the fight that everyone is engaged in. Hope is always on your horizon.
There are three very important factors for the positivity and optimism of the patients: the family rear, that is, a good family environment, as the presence of the family favors the good recovery of the different stages of the disease. There are always times when you will need the support of others and knowing that you have a partner, children, parents and friends makes all the difference in improving the disease and quality of life. Trust in the medical team: there must also be a positive empathy with the multidisciplinary team. As well as confidence in your competence. Although complications can sometimes arise, it is important to know that everyone will do everything to help you overcome possible setbacks. Confidence in the probability of cure: it is important to believe. Believe in yourself first. Have faith in healing. Be persistent and resilient. Never give up fighting. On the part of the doctor, the doctor must never break hope or discourage the struggle. The patient's personality and positive attitude are very important. However, the treatment period and the critical phase of the disease can range from one to two years. It is a long period of time with emotional and physical ups and downs. There is almost always a need at some point for psychological support, both for the patient and for family members. For anyone who is a believer, whatever their religion, spiritual support is very important in resilience and hope in overcoming the disease. "
'Never give up! ’
Fernanda Serrano, actress, mother of four
"Unfortunately, there is no magic or fulminatingly effective formula (to face the adversities of life), but the perspective of the 'half-full glass' instead of the 'half-empty glass' has always helped me a lot. It is important to say that these expressions and his later realization was "born" from a conversation with my irreplaceable friend Maria Henrique when I was ill. It completely changed my perspective on everything in life! There are always adverse situations that are much worse than ours, I always think. I am very lucky to be facing this or that moment or obstacle with so much love around me. Optimism always prevails. (In difficult situations, optimism) we work calmly, with harmony and serenity. But love always wins and will always win! My maxim for my four wonderful children, who are so different from each other, but who are so unanimous in terms of love for family and friends. friends, affection, dedication and respect for everyone, is always the phrase ‘Never give up!’. Never. In no situation that, attention, is really important for our journey. Otherwise, make a U-turn and go the other way. You have to know how to make decisions. For everything in life. Always wanting to achieve the good in life. The sun rises every day for us. ‘Enjoy life!’ Was said by my extraordinary director, colleague, actor and then friend, the great António Feio. "
"There is a difference between optimism and a positive attitude"
Mikaela Oven, coach, trainer and founder of the Conscious Parenting Academy
"There are studies that indicate that we were born with a predisposition for optimism. And it seems to me that it works as a survival strategy. Optimism offers motivation and direction. There is a difference between optimism and positive attitude. Optimism is related to the future and to positive attitude towards the present moment. I am optimistic about what can happen in the future and I see positive things in this present moment. The role of the family is fundamental to both. These attitudes are strengthened, or not, in children through communication. pessimistic and negative daily comments will contribute to a pessimistic and negative attitude.If we intend to educate children who can access these qualities, we must become very aware of our communication.
Another thing that has a great weight is the way adults react to the child's own challenges and the way they communicate directly with him when they want to correct and discipline him or when they want to teach him things. If the child has a 'bad' grade, parents have basically two options; react in a negative, pessimistic and punitive way or in a positive, optimistic and enabling way. Parents are often unaware of the impact their communication has on children. But it is really important to remember that the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. And our inner voice is the influence of our childhood. To break a cycle of pessimism and negativity, we have to become aware and, little by little, actively cultivate a different inner discourse.
For me, the main tool (to work a positive and mentally healthy life) is Mindfulness, the teachings and the self-knowledge that the practice of Mindfulness in us …
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