Want Less Stress? Be Optimistic!

The way you manage stress can be evident by the way you see “the cup”. What? Well it turns out that if you are a cup half full, or optimistic, type of person, you are better at managing your stress than your cup half empty neighbors. You could have guessed that, right?

Remember Elle Woods classic line in Legally Blonde:  “Exercise gives you endorphins–endorphins make people happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands… they just don’t.”

Elle Woods

Same thinking here – if you’re happy, you don’t flip under stress. Now there is research to back this observation up. A new study published in the American Psychological Associations Health Journal and ScienceDaily.com shares:

Results show that indeed the “stress hormone” cortisol tends to be more stable in those with more positive personalities…. that pessimists tended to have a higher stress baseline than optimists, … also had trouble regulating their system when they go through particularly stressful situations. “On days where they experience higher than average stress, that’s when we see that the pessimists’ stress response is much elevated, and they have trouble bringing their cortisol levels back down. Optimists, by contrast, were protected in these circumstances,” says Dr. Jobin.

While the study generally confirmed the researchers’ hypotheses about the relation between optimism and stress, one surprising finding was that optimists who generally had more stressful lives secreted higher cortisol levels than expected shortly after they awoke (cortisol peaks just after waking and declines through the day). Jobin says there are several possible explanations, but also notes that the finding points to the difficulty of classifying these complex hormones as good or bad. “The problem with cortisol is that we call it “the stress hormone,” but it’s also our ‘get up and do things’ hormone, so we may secrete more if engaged and focused on what’s happening.

So if you are not a natural optimist, there’s hope. You can change your thought habits with much discipline and persistence. Let me tell you a secret to changing your outlook. It’s gratitude. Expressions of gratitude, in your thoughts, and out loud, throughout each day change the way you see life.

The bottom line is that YOU make the choice, each moment of every day to be grateful or stressed, negative or energetic.

Tips For Being Fabulous at Work!

If you are job hunting, and getting ready for interviews, you will have read and memorized my “Tips for Success in Your Job Interview” and are practicing your presentation.  There’s more!

What is it that your potential new employer is looking for in their Fabulous New Employee??

” Employers are searching for positive, enthusiastic people who show up for work on time, who are dressed and prepared properly, who go out of their way to add value and do more than what’s required of them, who are honest, who will play by the rules, and who will give cheerful, friendly service regardless of the situation.”

Read more here:  “Reviving Work Ethic in America,” from Forbes Magazine. [Read more…]

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