The Advantages of Optimism 

 by Dr. Kevin O’Hara D.C.
Are you a pessimist or an optimist? Half empty or half full? Is it always someone else’s fault or can you take your portion of the responsibility? Let’s take a look at positive versus negativity in the human brain. Positive thinking has been proven to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Lower levels of depression and distress
  • Increase resistance to the common cold
  • Improve psychological and physical well-being
  • Reduce risk of death from cardiovascular disease
  • Enrich coping skills during hardships and times of stress
  • Boost health and become less susceptible to disease

You know that constant stream of thoughts you have? Everyone has it. What is that little voice in your head saying? Is it optimistic or pessimistic? In some disciplines, that little voice is called “self-talk”. Some of it comes from reason and logic; some may arise from misconceptions you create because of lack of information. The point is that it can be changed. 

When you catch yourself being negative— or “hating”, as my daughter calls it— stop. Replace that thought with a positive, optimistic one. Don’t fall into the “oh, that’s just new age psycho-babble”. You can take my word on it, or if you’re doubtful, do the research yourself. The fact is this: you are at the root of how you feel and who you are. More of us should think like Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right”, or “Don't find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain”. 

When it comes to health, well being and happiness, the most fulfilled people are always optimistic. Should you choose to stick to positivity, try starting with a motivational thought such as this: “You bring about what you think about”. The rest is then up to you to turn those inspirational words into actions and create that reality.

Dr. O’Hara’s office is located at 940 S. Arthur Avenue in Arlington Heights. For more information, call 847/577-3597 or visit


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