Dr. Forshee, Psy.D, LCSW spoke with Elite Daily about how optimism can be good for your health.
And last, but not least: just keep smiling. I know this is one of those things that’s much easier said than done, but according to the JACC review authors, using problem-solving and planning for the worst possible scenario ahead of time really can reduce stress in the long run. But, if you’re not much of a planner, or things just have a way of happening outside of your control, doctor of psychology and licensed clinical social worker, Danielle Forshee, Psy.D, LCSW, LLC, says staying cool, calm, and collected might be as easy as imagining the outcome you’d like.
“Research suggests that positive thinking in the form of fantasies about the future relates to decreased symptoms of depression and overall positive well-being,” Forshee tells Elite Daily over email. The key, she explains, is to imagine yourself engaging in a positive behavior, rather than giving into the fact that things aren’t exactly going your way at the moment.
So, for example, let’s say you aren’t able to make it to the gym tonight like you’d planned. Instead of focusing on the obstacles preventing you from achieving your goal, imagine yourself exercising more often, and figure out realistic ways you can make this happen, like taking the stairs over the elevator. “This small thing will create optimism for your future habits rather than make you feel bad about them,” Forshee says, “providing a better opportunity for you to achieve what you would like to.”
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