Death By Optimism – How Being Optimistic can lead us into an early grave

Do you think you will win the lotto?  Maybe, right? You wouldn’t play it otherwise.

There is always this glimmer of hope, it could be you…that giant finger pointing at you from the sky that’s say hey, it’s your turn to catch a break! There is another lottery that you are much more likely to win, that you likely give little thought to. 


The Disease Lottery

The odds of drawing cancer or heart disease are incredibly high but we always think that it is going to happen to someone else. Why is that?


Well, its our evolutionary hardwiring.



We all have an inbuilt optimism bias, which leads us to believe that we will be ok and in many respects it can be beneficial. After all, whats the point of worrying, right?


Let me give you an example of Optimism Bias that endangers lives.. 


A common story from fire fighters who narrowly avoided death in rescue attempts, finds that most of them come back saying the same thing


‘We didn’t think the fire would do that.’


So their optimism bias actually enabled poor risk assessment. It’s great if they come out the hero but if they get engulfed by the fire…not so much.

Our optimism bias often hides the real risk of things which in the health arena can have drastic consequences.

Here is a good ted talk on the subject from Tali Sharot, a neuroscientist.

So should we be abandon Optimism then?

Well, no. If you live in a world where you think you are going to die from every disease then the stress and anxiety will likely increase your chances…so it’s a double edged sword.

Yet, we need to recognise the risks that are real so we can do something about it.

A perfect example here. There is a growing trend among Western populations, where blood pressure goes up a bit, blood sugar goes up too and people tend to gain weight around the abdomen.

This group of people are often overtired, have poor energy, poor moods and poor sleep.

Now human nature would say, don’t worry about it, you will be fine. Yet this is often the start of greater things to come. That road can lead to a variety of ailments such as Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes or Depression.

Of course thats not going to be you, right?…yip your Optimism bias is working just fine!

So lets just say we do the sensible thing. We go to our Doctor and say hey doc, I’m awfully tired at the moment and my concentration isn’t what it used to be and come to think of it, my moods have gone to pot.

The Doc might run some tests(if your lucky) and you will get black and white answers. Your fine or your not fine.

My question to you is this…Do you think people wake up with Diabetes or Heart Disease or does it happen over years or even decades?

Logically you know right, there is a grey area where people are not doing well but are without a disease Diagnosis.

So your Doctor gives you the all clear and you can continue as before..except are you feeling better?

Doctors are great for prescribing medicine but not with these grey areas of health, which can be completely turned around by the right diet and lifestyle changes.

The problem is, you wont get that advice from your Doctor and if you do, it will likely be something very generic that wont change anything. Its not their fault. They are Doctors of Medicine not Nutrition. The problem is…

You’ve Walked into the wrong office

Our health is our one true wealth and once we lose it, we will pay anything to get it back. So our Optimism bias stops us from taking action when we are in this ‘grey area’ of health where its much easier to turn your health around.

A Modern Health Epidemic – Diagnosing the Grey Area

There are often warning shots early on, that if heeded can help you reclaim health. Lets look at the most common ‘warning shots’ and how they fit together under one main condition.

So these conditions are all considered separate and different but actually they can all be manipulated by diet and lifestyle changes. The real question is, are you suffering from Metabolic Syndrome? Is this underpinning all your health problems?

Typically, at the core of all these issues is a bad relationship with sugar. Not just added sugar but also refined grains and other foods.

The good news is, you can actually readdress many of these health issues by learning to use your Blood sugar as a fuel gauge. This can show you when your blood sugar is high, potentially causing nausea, mood issues  and later on High Blood Pressure & Diabetes.

I teach clients how to do this, making it an individual process whereby people don’t have to be concerned with the latest food fads or restricted eating.

Its about learning to eat in a way that respects your inner fuel gauge and potentially avoiding long term health issues. This is the future of Personalised Nutrition.

I’m in the process of transitioning most of my work to online group programs so this service may not be available for much longer so if you want it, reach out while its still available. If you are ready, contact me and we can arrange for a consult locally or through Skype.

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