There are two types of people in this world: the type who love to shout out encouraging words like “Stay positive!” and the type who will roll their eyes back. If you’re the guilty of being an eye-roller from time to time, you may want to stop your scoffing and listen up. We’ve all heard having a positive mindset and staying hopeful can help you achieve what you want, but are there actual benefits to being an optimist? Life coaches say yes—and they have the facts to back them up.
Sorry, pessimists: It may be time to join the other part of the world. Here are just four things hopeful people do better:
They have better relationships
Sure, any Negative Nancy can find herself a group of equally passionate complainers to hang around with, but only more optimistic, glass-half-full personalities attract the best friendships and partners. As life coach, speaker and author Rocky Detwiler explains, “People are naturally drawn to positive people. Focusing on the positive in your life allows you to also focus more on the other person in your friendship or relationship.” If you’re in need of a new crew or if you’re S.O. is dragging you down, it may be time to revamp your mindset and attract some more happy, healthy relationships in your life.
Encouraging others to get well soon isn’t just a form of etiquette, it can be a form of healing, too. Hopeful people tend to have strong mental and physical health and bounce back from illness much more quickly than negative people. Detwiler says, “In the late 1800s, a French psychologist and pharmacist named Emile Coue found positive thinking was crucial for medicines to work and for patients to recover quickly. The patients who believed their medicine would cure them quickly did indeed get better much faster than the patients that didn’t. Those patients who said affirmations daily like, ‘Every day in every way I’m getting better and better,’ healed much faster than those that did not say the affirmation.”
While this doesn’t necessarily mean hopeful people never feel under the weather, channeling some optimism and positive vibes can actually help you cope and recover much more quickly.
They move up in their career quicker
Since optimists tend to believe things will work out the way they’re supposed to, they are often more confident about themselves and the decisions they make. Channeling this confident mindset at work not only makes you feel happier in your career, it improves your performance, too. Detwiler says that having a positive attitude can significantly affect your career, since hopeful workers “advance and receive raises quicker.”
If you’re a writer, an artist or simply someone who uses creative thinking in their career, then adopting a positive attitude can be even more crucial. Positive change guru Viv Thackray says hopeful people are much better at creative thinking than pessimists. “A negative mood creates a narrow, sharply focused beam, whereas an optimistic mood creates a broad, far reaching, wide beam, enabling us to engage more effectively in the creative process,” Thackray says.
Finally, pushing skills and knowledge aside, positive people are simply happier workers. And happier workers tend to be well-liked around the office, especially compared to your Debbie Downer co-worker. So if you’re showcasing that positive outlook, chances are you’ll have better relationships with your team and boss.
…And they make more money doing it
Not only do more hopeful people have stronger, more fulfilling careers but yup, they make more money from it, too. Those with a positive outlook tend to ask for better salaries and pay raises because they’re hopeful their boss will say yes, and—you guessed it—they often do.
But they’re not just good at making money—they’re also better savers. Optimists are more likely to set financial goals and actually meet them compared to pessimists. Dr. Mary Ann Mercer, psychologist and co-founder of PositiveLifeAnswers.com, says hopeful people “keep plugging away at being frugal, investing wisely and working hard to turn financial dreams into reality.” Pessimists? Not so much. “In contrast, pessimists are less likely to set net-worth goals,” she says. So if you’re bank account is looking bleak, you may want to adopt a sunnier outlook and start cashing in.