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Nurse Study Finds Positive Outlook Linked to Lower Risk of Death

Have you ever had a friend who likes to point out that the “most wonderful time of the year” also coincides with flu season and nasty colds? Well, you might want to warn your Scrooge-like friends that looking on the bright side of life has its benefits.

According to a long-term study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, a positive outlook could help you ward off sickness. Researchers from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health studied survey responses from more than 70,000 mostly white female nurses taken over 40 years and discovered that optimistic women were a third less likely to die of any cause than did those with the least positive attitudes.

The team behind the study pointed out that optimism alone cannot cure people of serious illnesses, but rather it could be used as a tool to help improve a person’s overall well-being.

In other words, we should all start practicing to see the silver lining in every cloud. After all, it certainly can’t hurt, and it might even help you live longer. Plus, a happy and healthy hospital staff equals a productive team. So, how can you help you and your staff start feeling more optimistic? Below are a few habits of positive people:

  • Find time to exercise: Get your heart pumping and feel the rush of endorphins, those feel-good hormones everyone’s always talking about. When you feel energized, it’s hard to be a pessimist.
  • Put others first: Lend a helping hand to a co-worker, neighbor, or loved one. Helping others naturally makes you feel more positive.
  • Take a break from social media: For all it’s good points, social media can sometimes be a negative place, especially during an election year. So don’t forget to take a breather from your Facebook page every now and then.
  • Write letters of gratitude: It may seem old-fashioned, but writing a thank you note can actually help you feel better about your outlook on life. With the holidays just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to test this one out!
  • Journal about your day’s high point: When you focus on what went right with your day, you’ll spend less time worrying about the negative parts of your day.

As a medical professional, your day can be stressful. What are some ways you try to stay positive?

Elena Barker

Elena Barker is a Creative Content Ninja at Medical Solutions, one of the nation's largest Travel Nurse staffing companies. Elena develops and edits content for Healthcare Staffing Blog which covers healthcare staffing industry news and trends.