The Power of Optimism and How It Affects Soldiers’ Chronic Pain
We often hear people saying “think positive.” And we usually don’t think much of it, just a statement to maybe offer a bit of comfort when we need a little pick-me-up. However, this simple comment might just have a greater effect than we realize.
A new study in the US found that soldiers who were showing high levels of optimism before being sent to Afghanistan or Iraq had less reported incidents of chronic pain and fatigue when they returned compared to those who had a more negative outlook on their situation. The study notes that US Army soldiers with a rather pessimistic attitude had a 35% bigger chance of reporting back and joint pain as well as headaches after returning home.
Optimism, as mentioned by Afton Hasset, an associate research scientist at the University of Michigan and lead of the conducted study, served as protection for the soldiers during battle, helping them as they became exposed to the great amount of trauma on the field. She also said that with all the demographic factors that were taken into consideration such as marital status, education, and rank, the power of optimism still played a huge role.
Although optimism is not something that can be forced onto someone, as people do not have the same levels of positivity and ability to see the bright side of things, this can be helped through therapy. Some programs could be set up that could better prepare a soldier before being deployed.
Pessimism is often rooted in how a person grew up or was raised, early experiences in life might have shaped how they view the world now. But if those negative beliefs were to be countered, it might change the way they think, therefore giving them a better chance of dealing with the struggles of their occupation.
The mind is very powerful, and the way you perceive your surroundings has a very powerful effect on your overall well-being, whether you are aware of it or not. Especially in the case of soldiers, who already carry so much weight on their shoulders with their duty, bringing along negative energy would definitely not result in anything good.
Having a healthy mind carries over to your entire being, therefore we should learn to take care of it. It’s not just about what you can see on the outside, it’s also important to check on what is going on inside.
Because sometimes you might think that someone is okay, or you are okay, just because you don’t see any problems physically. But if your mind is not strengthened, if you are still having unhealthy thoughts, everything else will come crashing down eventually. Learn to take care of yourself in every way possible.
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