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A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

~Winston Churchill

What is Positive mental health? It is the practice of positive emotion, good relationships and accomplishment. Martin Seligman, the creator of Positive Psychology defines positive mental health as flourishing.

Pessimists Vs. Optimists

Dr. Seligman found that pessimists get depressed more readily than optimists, that they underachieve in their jobs, in the classroom, and on the sports field, and their personal relationships are rockier.

Cardiovascular Disease  and Optimism

120 Men from San Francisio had their first heart attack. The group of men served as a untreated control group in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MR FIT) study. The group were all interviewed concerning: family, job, and hobbies. Each interview was then coded for optimism and pessimism.

Within eight and a half years, half the men died of a second heart attack.  Using measures of health- blood pressure, cholesterol, not even the extensiveness of  damage from the first heart attack help predict the second heart attack. Only optimism, eight and half years earlier, predicted a second heart attack: of the sixteen most pessimistic men, fifteen died. Of the sixteen most optimistic men, only five died.

For more information on Positive Physical Health: The Biology of Optimism, read Flourish by Martin E.P. Seligman.

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