Optimism and Health
Leticia Barrios
Pepperdine University

PSY220 Positive Psychology
Gary Fry PhD.
February 12, 2009
Optimism and Health
      Optimisms effects on ones physical health and psychological health have been the focus of many studies. Interpretations and impressions on the articles cited will be made in an effort to form an opinion relevant to the importance of understanding the relationship optimism has on our everyday lives. While numerous articles were reviewed, only two have been chosen that best illustrate the general consensus of recent studies on the topic.

            While we all face physical health challenges in our life, the impact on each individual is different. What is it that contributes to the smaller impact and faster healing of some individuals over others?   The first article discusses the effects of optimism on physical health. The article starts out by discussing the correlation between Type A personalities and Chronic Heart Disease (CHD) (Smith, 2006) . This Type A personality tends to be people that cut off other people talking or talk over others and they are typically very boisterous. The findings state that this type of person has a higher risk of contracting the disease. Having known people in this category, it is easy to see that amount of stress for this type and the ease at which they can anger. This constant stress on the body begins with an unnatural increase in blood pressure. What seems interesting here is that while this type of personality is seen as more susceptible to the disease, not all contract the disease. One can’t help but wonder if those that don’t contract the disease have methods of taming their reactions while not in the public eye. Things like exercise, and meditation, and other stress reducing activities are not uncommon among Type A personalities. Deeper in the article, the discussion turns too validity of studies. This is why the choice was made to read other articles to get a general...