Feeling hopeful, confident and cheerful, looking on the favorable side of events, expecting the most favorable outcome, believing that good ultimately predominates, seeking the positive, finding the best in circumstances.
Optimism exerts an indirect influence on one's quality of live and may significantly influence intellectual and physical well-being through the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. Research has shown that being optimistic is associated with an increased lifespan, and lower rates of depression.
Being optimistic helps one to frame one's emotions in a positive way, and use helpful coping strategies when facing life's difficulties and times of stress.
Spirtually, being optimisitic can help one to find meaning and purpose in various situations of life. It is easier to find gratitude in circumstances and respect others when one frames circumstances positively.
Achat, H., Kawachi, I., Spiro, A., DeMolles, D. A., & Sparrow, D. (2000). Optimism and depression as predictors of physical and mental health functioning: The normative aging study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 22(2), 127-130.
Ghitis, F. (2012, August 16). Is optimism really good for you? CNN Opinion. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/09/opinion/ghitis-optimism
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wiseGEEK. (n.d.). What is an optimist? Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-an-optimist.htm