O – Optimism – Recover our wellbeing

Optimism is essential for wellbeing. Optimists are likely to be healthier and to live longer, find out the practical benefits of growing optimism in your team.

RECOVER YOUR WELLBEING outlines 7 conversations you can have with your teams. Each topic is evidence-based and can be applied right away to improve the wellbeing in your team.

This video has been shared with the NHS Leadership Academy with the kind permission of A Kind Life whose mission is to spread kindness in healthcare. These short videos give you a taster of A Kind Life’s approach to creating kinder cultures.


Recover outlines seven conversations you can have with your teams. Each topic is evidence based, so simply having these discussions will improve the wellbeing of the team. The O in Recover stands for optimism. Optimism, hope is essential for the presence of wellbeing. Optimism is the tendency to expect positive outcomes. A belief that things will turn out OK in the end. Tomorrow can be better than yesterday. It doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen, but people with an optimistic mindset are more able to deal with them if they do. Studies have identified lots of practical benefits of choosing to be optimistic. A study of 545 men showed that over 15 years, optimists were 55 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular disease. A similar study of women showed that over eight years, people with an optimistic outlook were 30 percent less likely to die from a serious illness. So optimists are likely to be healthier and live longer. They have better relationships too, at work and outside work. Optimists are more likely to cooperate to demonstrate the reciprocity that’s so important in teamwork. Optimists are happier and more engaged at work, and that hope gives us reasons to stretch our goals. It improves our performance, and the great thing is, these optimistic traits are not fixed. It’s not down to personality. You can develop it. It’s a choice. How firstly, optimism, like every other emotion, is contagious. So simply ask people around you to share what they may be hopeful about. Right now, they say, a rising tide raises all boats. Hearing what others are hopeful for raises our levels of optimism, too. Another way to become more optimistic is to focus on the positives. Think about the upsides of a situation. What can you learn from it? What opportunities might it offer up? So to recover the team’s wellbeing all you need to do is spend a few minutes together asking what each of you is optimistic about right now, and you can cultivate a more optimistic attitude yourself if you like, for work and at home. Studies show the optimistic people rate themselves as most satisfied in their personal relationships too. 

Having now watched the video, please take a moment to reflect on the following questions:

Q: What key piece of learning will you take from this video?

Q: How will you put your learning back into your professional practice?

Q: How did this video make you feel? 

Please feel free to share your reflections in the comments section below.

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