Pessimism’s Effect On Your Health

Have you ever heard someone be called a “negative Nelly”? This is a person who is always down about everything. He/she never has anything positive to say and rather looks at the downside of every situation, similar to the character of Eeyore from “Winnie the Pooh”. Truth is, we’ve all been a “negative Nelly” at one point or another. Whether it was a bad day or a plain old bad situation, we’ve all experienced a time or two where we were down and out. That’s normal. What’s not normal is to experience these types of feelings every day,

When bad days start happening every day, and “negative Nelly” rears her head on a regular basis, it’s time to start considering the implication of a pessimistic mindset. Pessimism impacts both your mental health and physical wellbeing. Those who are routinely pessimistic are at greater risk of developing depression, heart disease, and other mental illness. They may suffer from a compromised immune system and are more likely to be inactive. Overall they have a reduction in both physical and mental health and are more likely to seek mental or physical health care.

Persistent pessimism has detrimental effects on physical and mental health. It inhibits an individual’s ability to obtain total wellness. As such, a negative mindset is a barrier that must be broken through in order to attain optimal health. Exchanging negative thoughts in favor of positive ones improves mood, outlook and life satisfaction. Optomistic individuals are generally happier and have more fulfilling relationships. When you find yourself having a “negative Nelly” day, make an effort to find one thing positive that occurred in your life. This one action has a way of turning the entire day, and attitude, around.


About the Author

Christopher Burton, MD is a physician, speaker, coach and author, practicing in Pensacola, FL. He specializes in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, which focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions - particularly those of the musculoskeletal and nervous systems - that may produce temporary or permanent impairment of function. Dr. Burton also provides one-on-one Health & Wellness Coaching for select clients who want to improve their life significantly. In addition to his practice and coaching, he actively lectures on health, nutrition and exercise for healthcare groups, colleges, and businesses, and travels internationally teaching on various topics including the treatment and rehabilitation of athletes.

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