5 Unbelievable Facts About Optimists

Содержание
  1. 5 Keys to Increasing Optimism
  2. What is optimism anyway?
  3. 1. Have a clear vision
  4. 2. Choose what you feed your thoughts
  5. 3. Avoid catastrophising
  6. 4. Foster curiosity
  7. 5. Move to boost your mood
  8. A word on positivity
  9. Seven Habits Of Optimistic People
  10. 6. They Forgive Others
  11. 7. They Smile
  12. How Optimism Affects Your Happiness
  13. The Areas of Our Lives Benefited by Optimism
  14. Careers and Vocations
  15. Self-Esteem
  16. Relationships
  17. Physical Health
  18. 1. A University of California study suggests that intentionally doing positive activities(e.g., expressing gratitude or being kind) can increase feelings of happiness
  19. 2. Positive thinking can increase the feelings of happiness, as shown by the results of astudy published in The International Journal of Indian Psychology
  20. 3. A study published in the BMJ reveals that optimism can protect against heart disease
  21. 4. Research published in the International Journal of Psychological and BehavioralSciences shows that optimism and hope are associated with positive well-being, and willbe absent when one is experiencing psychological problems
  22. 5. Being optimistic builds character necessary for success
  23. 6. Optimistic people tend to live longer, as revealed in a Dutch study published in JAMA
  24. Final Thoughts on Optimism
  25. Optimism
  26. Optimism Is Healthy
  27. Optimism vs. Pessimism
  28. Optimism Helps People Succeed
  29. Optimism Builds Resilience
  30. Realistic Optimism
  31. Is There a Place for Pessimism?
  32. How to Be More Optimistic
  33. 5 Facts About Optimism
  34. 1. Optimism can save your life
  35. 2. We’re all optimists
  36. 3. Pessimism is not the opposite of optimism
  37. 4. Optimism protects against anxiety and depression, but in different ways
  38. 5. Optimism matters less as you get older

5 Keys to Increasing Optimism

5 Unbelievable Facts About Optimists

Did you know that optimism is a skill that can be learned? This is a great thing, seeing as being more optimistic helps you:

  • Live longer
  • Be more successful
  • Have a better love life
  • Take fewer sick days
  • Bounce back faster and stronger[i]

It’s especially important when you’re a leader as the way you show up affects everyone else around you as well.

Pessimists tend to view the world in a negative, worst-case-scenario way (which can be important at times to temper risk) but overall tends to create poorer mental wellbeing.

What is optimism anyway?

Optimists and pessimists tend to differ in the way they view the things that happen in their lives in three ways:

  • Permanence. Optimists view challenges as temporary, believing that they will get better in the future, whereas pessimists say things “I’ll never get better at this” “It’ll always…” “I can’t…” When you view things as permanent and unable to be changed you’re more ly to give up, whereas optimists will persevere through challenges as they can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Personalisation. Pessimists blame themselves when things go wrong, whereas optimists take a broader view and take into account external forces that may have influenced events. On the flip side, when things do go well, pessimists attribute it more to chance whereas optimists acknowledge that they influenced the positive result.
  • Pervasiveness. When an optimist fails in one area of life, they see it objectively and don’t believe it makes them a failure in all areas. Pessimists tend to tell themselves “I’ll never be good at anything” “that didn’t work, so nothing will work.”

So it’s important to build the skill of optimism, especially if you are a leader (and I believe that everyone is a leader, as you’re the leader of your own life and the way you show up influences others.)

1. Have a clear vision

As Simon Sinek would say – “Know your WHY.” Understand what drives you and gives you a sense of purpose. Martin Seligman talks about a Sense of Purpose as the first pillar of his PERMA model for flourishing, because we need to feel a sense of meaning in life.

Clearly articulate it. Get clear on your personal why. What makes you get bed in the morning? Why do you do what you do? What legacy do you want to leave in the world?

Then cultivate it. Find ways to display your goals visually to remind yourself of them. Share your “why” with the people you trust.

Spend some time defining your own sense of purpose and have a regular (ideally daily) practice that links back to it, such as seeing it on your screen saver or vision board, writing it out or sharing it verbally. Make your login password a key from your “why”.

2. Choose what you feed your thoughts

Your brain is a sponge – constantly soaking up all of the influences around you, especially the things you choose to watch, read and listen to. Think of the books and magazines you read, what you watch on TV or stream online, what media channels you scroll and what you tune in to listen to. Even the conversations you have influence your thinking.

If a sponge is sitting in a bowl of dirty water, it’s going to be full of dirty water. So be mindful to choose what you want to soak in.

Here are three ways to improve your thought life, which will fuel optimism:

  • Actively limit negative influences.  Do an audit and take stock of that amount of time you spend watching the news, scrolling mindlessly. How much time might you spend in a week listening to, watching or reading things that are bringing you down?
  • Ring-fence time for inspirational content. Alongside limiting the negative influences, be sure to ring-fence time for uplifting content. Set aside certain times of the day to watch inspiring TED talks, listen to uplifting podcasts, and read inspiring books. Your local library is a treasure trove!
  • Surround yourself with uplifting people. They say that you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So look out for optimistic people that lift you up and spend more time with them.  Their thinking will rub off on your way of thinking.

3. Avoid catastrophising

Catastrophising is where we jump to the worst, possible conclusion, and then the next one and the next one and we take it very far. When combined with the three P’s – believing it’s permanent and will always be this, personal and “all my fault” and pervasive leading to failure in all areas of life – this can lead you into all sorts of negative thinking traps.

Catastrophising is always fear. The antidotes are to other f-words – facts and faith. Remind yourself of the facts. Take a piece of paper and write down the thoughts you’re having then write down as many facts as you can about the situation. Get perspective and notice if you’re using superlatives “always” “never” which are unly to be true.

Along with reminding yourself of the facts, lean into having faith that things will work out. The majority of things that we worry about never come to pass. So remind yourself to have a little faith and to trust that things can and will improve.

4. Foster curiosity

When you notice your brain jumping to pessimistic thoughts, practice metacognition (thinking about your thoughts) and bring curiosity in to play.

Be curious about why you thought that. Ask yourself “is it true?”

Ask yourself if it’s helpful or what would be helpful in the moment.

Picture yourself as if you are your best friend, if you were looking at the situation, what might you say?  Be curious about what comes to mind.

Remember that your thoughts are just thoughts they’re not always true.

The more you can bring self-awareness, self-compassion and curiosity to the table, the more you can build the skill of optimism.

5. Move to boost your mood

Your physiology affects your psychology, so create a physical shift to change your outlook and how you feel.

Roll your shoulders back and sit or stand a little taller.

Give yourself the biggest smile you can. (Go on – try it out right now)

Lift your gaze. Count the lights if you’re indoors, or even better…

Head outdoors for a walk and look at the sky. Make a point of looking at the top of the tallest trees.

Take a deep breath and focus on something you’re grateful for.

Small physical shifts can create huge mental shifts and when you do them consistently they become the norm.

A word on positivity

Remember that you don’t need to be “positive all the time.” There is such a thing as ‘”toxic positivity” where some people falsely believe that they should be happy all the time.

Humans are designed to have a full range of emotions. The more you can improve your emotional intelligence and boost your optimism, it will have a positive flow on effect to every area of your life.

Remember you are the leader of your own life and the way you show up matters as it affects everyone around you.

Feel free to share this article with someone you think would be interested.

Most of all go out and practice building your optimism skills by getting clear on your why, soaking your sponge in uplifting influences, using facts and faith to overcome fear, by fostering curiosity and choosing to move to boost your mood.

I wish you all the best with that!

Thanks for reading this article, I apprecaite your time. To find out more about the work I do helping individuals and organisation thrive, feel free to find out more at the Workplace Wellbeing or Helping You Thrive pages.

To connect with me to discover how I can help your team thrive, feel free to book a chat into my online calendar.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it so it can reach more people and help them boost their health and happiness. With thanks in advance.

[i]https://www.verywellmind.com/unbelievable-facts-about-optimists-1717551

Источник: https://laurenparsonswellbeing.com/item/5-keys-to-increasing-optimism/

Seven Habits Of Optimistic People

5 Unbelievable Facts About Optimists

Editor’s Note: This article is one of the top 10 habits to adopt to be better at your job in 2016. See the full list here.

Optimists aren’t just people who see the glass half full. They also make more money than pessimists and enjoy health benefits such as fewer colds, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and a longer life.

That’s something to smile about.

“Children are born optimists and over the course of time, life happens,” says Jason Wachob, cofounder and CEO of the healthy living website MindBodyGreen.com. “Circumstances change and cynicism sets in, but deep down most of us want to get back to the optimism of our childhood.”

David Mezzapelle, author of Contagious Optimism, has studied optimistic people for five years: “Some people are naturally more optimistic,” he says. “I believe, however, that somebody who is negative or pessimistic can control it and improve upon it.”

Optimism isn’t a pie-in-the-sky ideal, says Mezzapelle. “It’s not closing your eyes and being in the clouds,” he says. “People often tell me they’re a realist, but reality alone may prevent you from getting past first base. Combine optimism with acceptance of the life you’ve been dealt, and the sky’s the limit.”

any healthy habit, Wachob says optimism is something you need to practice every day. He and Mezzapelle share seven traits optimists share and the habits you can implement to become one, too:

Being appreciative of big blessings isn’t enough; Mezzapelle says optimists are grateful for the smallest things in life.

“The sun coming up in morning, your child or dog excited to see you–being thankful about the littlest thing makes the bigger things that much better,” he says.

Optimists also find good in hardships, obstacles, and failures, because these are the situations that give you strength and resilience: “When optimists stumble across problems, it doesn’t seem as bad because they’ve learned to always find the silver linings,” Mezzapelle says.

Whether it’s helping at the local soup kitchen or being available to people you know, Wachob says giving back is a habit optimistic people practice.

“This helps you feel grateful for what you have,” he says. “It’s a good place to start if you want to become more optimistic.”

Mezzapelle agrees: “No matter what you’re going through, you need to be good to others and help when you can,” he says. “The spirit of altruism can make you feel optimistic about your own life.”

When people hear the stories of how others persevere, it fosters optimism, says Mezzapelle.

“People often think they’re alone in their struggles, such as divorce, cancer, or financial problems,” he says. “When they hear about people who’ve experienced the same thing and came out on the sunny side, it can give them hope, and hope is the foundation of optimism.”

Wachob says simply reading inspirational stories can help. “This is something everyone can do on a daily basis,” he says. “There are so many amazing stories about amazing people who overcome incredible odds.”

You are the sum of the people you spend time with, says Wachob.

“If you are with pessimists, every time you hang out with them it can be draining. If you’re with optimists, however, it’s easy to absorb that energy and it can be powerful.”

Mezzapelle s a phrase coined by Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton: “Optimism is a happiness magnet.” “It’s true,” he says. “When you’re around people who are positive and upbeat, it brings you up.”

What other people do or say is a reflection of their own reality, not yours, says Mezzapelle. Optimistic people don’t take the opinions of others too seriously when they don’t agree.

This means not listening to the naysayers who will tell you that you can’t achieve your goals: “You can disagree with other opinions–that’s the beauty of life,” Mezzapelle says. “Don’t look at it any other way and don’t let it affect you. It’s their reality, not yours.”

6. They Forgive Others

While this can be easier said than done, Mezzapelle says optimists have an ability to forgive.

“The easiest way to forgive is to reflect on the fact that the past is the past,” he says. “Make peace with it so that it doesn’t spoil the present.”

7. They Smile

Smiling creates a happy environment that draws others in, says Mezzapelle, and happiness, even in brief doses, releases serotonin, a hormone that contributes to the feeling of well-being.

Smiling also has health benefits; a study from the University of Kansas found that cracking a smile–even when you don’t feel it–reduces the intensity of the body’s stress response, regardless of whether a person actually feels happy.

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Источник: https://www.fastcompany.com/3042025/seven-habits-of-optimistic-people

How Optimism Affects Your Happiness

5 Unbelievable Facts About Optimists

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Do you want the key that unlocks the door to happiness?

You actually already possess it. It’s called optimism.

According to London-based neurologist Tali Sharot, who wrote the book Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain, around 80% of the human population is inherently optimistic. Most of us just aren’t aware that we are.

When a person is an optimist, he or she tends to expect more positive things to happen than negative ones.

The good thing is that when people realize that they have this hopeful outlook within them, it does not take a lot of work to develop their optimistic side.

(Side note: Another positive ​way to improve your life is to read and learn something new every day. A great tool to do this is to join over 1 million others and start your day with the latest FREE, informative news from this website.)

In this article, we will talk about why optimism is an important character trait to develop, and six reasons why optimism affects your happiness.

Let’s get to it.

The Areas of Our Lives Benefited by Optimism

Study after study has shown the different benefits of optimism on people’s health and well-being. Today, let’s discover together how being optimistic impacts the level of our happiness and other aspects of our lives. There are a variety of reasons to be optimistic, and after reading this article you will understand how powerful this frame of mind is.

The specific areas of our lives that can benefit from seeing the glass half full are as follows:

Careers and Vocations

Optimistic people have a positive outlook on the future and an inclination to view themselves as being in control of positive events. Optimism increases creativity and productivity. People who have hope in the future can focus on accomplishing tasks because they believe that their creative ideas will work.

Optimistic people have a positive outlook on the future.

Additionally, positive emotions such as optimism allow people to build upon their existing knowledge and abilities. Optimism promotes curiosity, a willingness to explore beyond one’s daily tasks, and a motivation to take initiative. It allows people to look outward, rationalize anything that comes their way, and be open to making connections and trying new things.

Finally, optimistic individuals who become unemployed often attribute the causes of their job loss to external and temporary factors, rather than reasons specific to a lack of their success.

This mindset allows optimistic people who are unemployed to continue to believe that they will be successful, and that a new job is in their future.

This is one of the benefits of optimism that applies to most people and can help people get ahead in their careers.

Self-Esteem

People who are optimistic respond to the potential of failure by focusing instead on any progress they have made or positive results that they have achieved in the past that they can apply to future endeavors. Doing this instead of trying to avoid failure helps boost self-esteem because it allows people to reflect on their past successes.

Being able to optimistically focus on one’s end goal requires the self-esteem and confidence to believe that success is possible. Optimistic people do not let failure define them, but rather use it as a stepping stone for new projects and opportunities.

Relationships

Optimistic people seldom view others as enemies. They see the good in everyone, and are quick to offer the benefit of the doubt. This means they make friends faster in social situations compared with their pessimistic counterparts, who may only see the negative characteristics of those around them.

When it comes to romantic relationships, optimists and their partners are typically happier than couples that are more pessimistic. In fact, research the University of Oregon found that being optimistic is linked to having an increased sense of happiness in a relationship, regardless of whether or not both people or just one person was identified as being optimistic.

Physical Health

Several research studies have shown how optimism positively impacts psychical health. The positive psychological well-being of optimism, which includes the acceptance of oneself and positive relationships with others, has been linked to improved cardiovascular health.

In fact, one’s level of optimism has been found to be the biggest predictor of all cardiovascular diseases. People who are optimistic also have healthier levels of cholesterol, and research has found that over an eight-year period, people who were optimistic were less ly to die from all causes than those who classified themselves as being cynics.

When a person experiences all of these positive benefits, his or her level of happiness can definitely increase as well. Let’s look at some answers to the question of how does optimism make you happy.

1. A University of California study suggests that intentionally doing positive activities(e.g., expressing gratitude or being kind) can increase feelings of happiness

In addition to one’s motivation and efforts to do positive activities, people’s tendency to be optimistic can impact how much they could possibly gain from engaging in positive activities.

The link between personality and happiness has been studied extensively, but researchers have only recently found that people who are optimistic and highly open to new experiences are exceptionally predisposed to benefit from doing these positive activities.

So, if you plan an activity—whether it is something that you know you will enjoy or not—if you are optimistic about the experience that you will have, you are ly to benefit from it in some way.

Make it a point to do positive activities or random acts of kindness. Take time to show gratitude for the things in your life that you are thankful for, no matter how small they are.

Doing so will increase your feelings of happiness.

Expressing gratitude or being kind can increase feelings of happiness.

2. Positive thinking can increase the feelings of happiness, as shown by the results of astudy published in The International Journal of Indian Psychology

One thing you can do to increase your positive thinking is to make it a point to come up with a positive thought every time you have a negative thought. This will help retrain your brain to think more positively. One’s overall happiness is largely impacted by the ratio of positive to negative thoughts that take place, so try to make that ratio work in your best interest.

Once you become aware of your negative thinking patterns, it will be easier for you to begin to reduce them. Take some time every day to think about (or list) any positive thoughts that you have, whether that means writing in a gratitude journal or just making some observations of the things that are going right in your life at the time.

3. A study published in the BMJ reveals that optimism can protect against heart disease

While researchers have long known that there is a significant relationship between poor psychological health and cardiovascular disease, studies are now showing that traits hope and optimism, along with a higher level of satisfaction with one’s life, are linked to a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

The results of one study strongly supported the notion that women with no pre-existing heart conditions benefit from having an optimistic outlook.

Looking at 97,000 women with no pre-existing heart conditions who were assessed for their degree of optimism versus their levels of hostility and cynicism, it was found that those who had high levels of optimism had a 9% reduced risk for developing cardiovascular disease than women who had low levels of optimism. Further, women with high levels of hostility and cynicism had a 16% greater chance of dying than those who had low scores for hostility and cynicism.

4. Research published in the International Journal of Psychological and BehavioralSciences shows that optimism and hope are associated with positive well-being, and willbe absent when one is experiencing psychological problems

Optimism and hope (which is having positive expectations about the future) are large factors in understanding one’s susceptibility to mental illnesses, especially mood and anxiety disorders. There is a positive relationship between optimism and the ability to cope with adversity or stressful situations.

When one is able to use healthy coping strategies, optimism has an influence on their quality of life. Research shows that optimistic people have a higher quality of life versus those who look to the future in a negative light.

One reason that optimism may have an impact on one’s mental well-being is due to the propensity for optimistic people to live a healthy lifestyle and be resilient while having other positive cognitive responses as well.

Optimism and positivity are linked to greater flexibility, improved problem-solving abilities and a better ability to handle negative information.

5. Being optimistic builds character necessary for success

The character qualities that people possess in a business setting have a great impact on the success or failure of the business. They impact productivity and the ability of a business to make a profit, and can ultimately determine the success or failure of the business.

Business leaders are beginning to lean away from putting all of their focus on achievement and profit, and are spending more time analyzing and working on character qualities (such as optimism) that build the foundation for achievement.

Employees with a positive outlook on the future are able to pay more attention to their work, be more alert, take on more responsibility, and work more diligently, resulting in greater success.

Because of this, character training is an essential part of the success of a business.

6. Optimistic people tend to live longer, as revealed in a Dutch study published in JAMA

Studies have often found a link between depression and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death from all causes. However, the relationship between optimism and improved health has been studied less frequently. Researchers do know that the personality trait of optimism has consistently been related to better health outcomes in general.

One study found specific statistics for this phenomenon. It found that African-American women who are optimistic have a 33% reduced risk of death from all causes than African-American women who are cynical or pessimists.

Among white women, optimists have a survival advantage of 13%.

Finally, African-American women who have high levels of hostility and cynicism have a 62% greater chance of death than African-American women who do not identify as being cynics.

This means that if you are someone who takes a proactive approach in your health and wellness, it is important to not neglect your state of mind. Being able to see the positive side of things can improve every aspect of your life.

Final Thoughts on Optimism

Today, we’ve learned that optimism does indeed affect our level of happiness. We’ve also learned that optimism has benefits for our health and relationships.

By becoming aware of our optimistic tendencies, we can harness the benefits of this trait in order to achieve a better quality of life.

Finally, if you want another positive ​way to improve your life, then read and learn something new every day. A great tool to do this is to join over 1 million others and start your day with the latest FREE, informative news from this website.

Источник: https://www.happierhuman.com/optimism-happiness/

Optimism

5 Unbelievable Facts About Optimists

Before you keep reading, take a moment to think about some of the things that happened to you today. Even better, grab a pen and write down a few specific events.

So what did you come up with? Was it mostly positive stuff : «My day's going great! My grandmother made me pancakes for breakfast.

I sat with my friends at lunch, and I actually enjoyed English class today!» Or did your mind land on what went wrong: «My grandmother cooked breakfast and it made me so late I missed the bus.

My friends wasted the entire lunch period gossiping about a boring TV show, and I had English class today. I hate Thursdays!»

Optimism Is Healthy

Researchers have spent a lot of time studying people who think positively. It turns out that an optimistic attitude helps us be happier, more successful, and healthier. Optimism can protect against depression — even for people who are at risk for it. An optimistic outlook makes people more resistant to stress. Optimism may even help people live longer.

The best thing about optimism is you can learn it, even if your outlook tends to be more pessimistic.

Optimism vs. Pessimism

Optimism and pessimism are mindsets — ways of thinking and seeing things. Optimists see the positive side of things. They expect things to turn out well. They believe they have the skill and ability to make good things happen.

You've probably heard people who tend to see the faults in everything called «pessimists.» A pessimist is more ly to expect things to turn out poorly or to focus on what didn't go well.

People aren't always optimistic or always pessimistic, but most people tend to lean toward one of these thinking patterns. The good news is, if you tend to be more pessimistic, you're not destined to always think that way. We can all become more optimistic by adjusting the way we see things.

Optimism Helps People Succeed

Optimism goes beyond seeing the bright side of a situation or expecting good things. It's also a way of explaining what has already happened.

When something good happens, optimists think about what they did to make the situation turn out so well. They see their abilities as permanent, stable parts of themselves. They think of how this good thing can lead to other good things.

When things don't go as expected, it's the reverse: Optimists don't blame themselves. They see setbacks as temporary. When something goes wrong, optimists link it to a specific situation or event, not their capabilities. Because they don't view setbacks as personal failings, optimists are able to bounce back from disappointment better than pessimists.

Here's an example: Griffin and Jake both try out for the basketball team during sophomore year. Neither makes the final cut. Both feel disappointed, but they handle it differently.

Griffin is an optimist. He thinks: «There was a lot of talent at the tryouts and only a few openings. That pushed me to practice hard and I played my best — it felt good! The coach gave me great feedback. I'm going to work on the things he suggested and watch all the games this season. That way, I'll have a better chance next year.»

Griffin is focused on the specific situation, not on personal shortcomings. He doesn't see the situation as permanent. He fully expects to get on the team next year and is already thinking of how to make that happen.

Jake tends to be more pessimistic. He thinks: «No wonder I didn't make it — I was the worst one at tryouts and the coach doesn't really me. I never get a break.

I might as well face it, I'm just not a great athlete.» Un Griffin, Jake takes the setback personally. He blames himself, but he also sees outside factors (the coach, life) as working against him.

Even worse, he lets this one event make him doubt his athletic abilities altogether.

Which guy is more ly to feel discouraged longer? Who is more ly to practice more and try again? Who is more ly to give up?

Optimism Builds Resilience

Optimism lets us see disappointing events as temporary situations that we can get past. It strengthens us to try again rather than give up. It allows us to keep our goals and dreams in play so we can act on the motivation to keep working toward them. Because of this, optimistic people feel more in control of their situations and have higher self-esteem.

Pessimism influences us to take disappointments and rejections personally. It also makes them seem more permanent than they are. A pessimistic outlook exaggerates the negative aspects of a situation so they overshadow anything positive. Pessimistic thinking makes it harder to cope when things don't go as hoped.

Realistic Optimism

Optimism isn't about seeing everything as rosy. Optimists don't ignore problems or pretend life is perfect.

They just choose to focus on what's good about a situation and what they can do to make things better.

Optimists have true confidence because they're prepared: They know they need to study if they want to ace a tough test. They know they can't make the basketball team without practicing.

Optimism goes hand-in-hand with action. It's about finding a healthy balance of positive and realistic thinking.

Is There a Place for Pessimism?

Pessimism can drag us down — so it's good to know we can change a negative mindset. But that doesn't mean erasing all negative thinking. A healthy «what's wrong?» mindset lets us zoom in on a problem. Thinking about what could go wrong helps us avoid too much risk.

Imagine your brother is texting while he drives you to rehearsal. Your negative thinking alerts you: «Hey, this isn't good!» So you tell your brother to stop, if not for his own safety, for yours. In this case you're combining pessimistic thinking («Texting leads to car crashes!») with optimism («I know I can do something about this.»).

Just about all of us go through a rough patch now and then where it can seem nothing's working.

It's healthy to identify feelings when we're discouraged, and it's OK to talk about what's wrong. Confiding in someone can lift your mood and remind you of the optimistic possibilities.

Negative thinking can help you move forward, as long as you don't get stuck focusing on what's wrong.

How to Be More Optimistic

If you tend toward mostly pessimistic thinking, you can get better at seeing what's good. Here are some things to try:

  • Notice good things as they happen. At the end of the day, take 10 minutes to run through your day and come up with things that you're grateful for. Write them down in a journal or keep track using a motivational app on your phone or tablet.
  • Train your mind to believe you can make good things happen in your life. Get in a habit of telling yourself specific things you can do to succeed. For example: «If I study, I can get a better grade.» «If I practice, I'll perform well at the audition.» «If I go on that volunteer trip, I'll meet new friends.»
  • Don't blame yourself when things go wrong. What does your inner voice say when things don't go as planned? Instead of thinking, «I failed that math test because I'm terrible at math,» tell yourself: «I failed that test because I didn't study enough. I won't let that happen next time!» Instead of saying, «Grace broke up with me because I'm such a loser,» think: «Now I know why people say breakups are so painful, but hanging out with my friends will help me feel better again.»
  • When something good happens, give yourself credit. Think of what you did to make a good outcome possible. Did you prepare for the test? Practice with dedication? Think of the strengths you used and how they helped you succeed.
  • Remind yourself that setbacks are temporary. As soon as something goes wrong, remind yourself that it will pass — and come up with a plan for making that happen. For example: «My SAT results aren't what I hoped, but I can study more and take the test again.»
  • Notice how other people talk about themselves. Are friends and family members optimistic or pessimistic? For example, does your dad say, «I burned the hot dogs, I'm just a terrible cook!»? Or does he say: «I burned the hot dogs because I got distracted watching the dog chase a squirrel around the backyard!»?

Optimism is a thinking style that can be learned, which means that pessimism can be unlearned! It can take a little while, so don't feel discouraged. Becoming more aware of the two styles can gradually help you start noticing more ways to be optimistic. Just keep telling yourself, «I can be more optimistic and I'm going to keep practicing!»

Источник: https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/optimism.html

5 Facts About Optimism

5 Unbelievable Facts About Optimists

Honestly, I tend to tune out when people talk about the power of positive thinking. The idea that being optimistic can solve all your problems never really rang true to me. Surely it should go in the other direction, that you become more optimistic by solving your problems, no?

Still, one of the lessons life is good at driving home is that in the long run, you’re probably going to be put in a lot of situations where you don’t have much control over what happens, so the best you can try for is having a say in how you react to what happens.

In aggregate, these situations have helped me see that even though staying positive can be hard work, it’s an important goal to aspire to. To put it another way, optimism is a really useful skill to have.

Although it took me a while to realize this, it turns out it’s not a brilliant, original insight. A lot of people understand that looking at the glass half full isn’t just a cliché. I mean, it is a cliché, but a lot of cliches, it’s not just a cliché – it contains some important truth.

And some of the people who understand this best are scientists. Over the last few years, a whole line of psychology research has sprung up looking at what optimism is, where it comes from, and how it affects people’s lives.

So in my quest to understand the power of positive thinking – or, as I prefer, the necessity of positive thinking – I looked through a bunch of the recent studies that have been done on optimism. Here are some interesting things I found.

1. Optimism can save your life

Incidentally, this is a big reason optimism is such a hot research topic. Optimism is really good for your health. This goes back to how intertwined mental health and physical health are – making one better often improves the other.

To give one example, being more optimistic makes you less ly to die of coronary heart disease. There’s more research that needs to be done on why this is, but it appears that optimism both changes your actual physiological response to stress and also leads you to make healthier choices ( not smoking).

Bottom line: score 1 for the power of positive thinking.

2. We’re all optimists

One of the things about people is that we’re all basically wired to keep going no matter what happens to us.

One study looked at this fundamental human optimism in the context of sports. Specifically, it asked people to rate how how many game they thought different NFL teams would win in the upcoming season.

People overestimated the number of wins teams they d would get and underestimated the number of wins teams they didn’t would get.

Along the same lines, reporters tended to overestimate the number of wins for the teams they were assigned to cover.

The researchers took this result to mean that people are generally more prone to optimistic interpretations of uncertainty, at least in the realm of sports.

If you think about it, this human tendency is good news for all of, and it’s especially good news for professional sports – there might be many teams that simply had no fans if people were realistic about assessing their teams’ chances!

3. Pessimism is not the opposite of optimism

Paradoxically, lack of optimism is not the same as pessimism. A 2015 twin study found that optimism and pessimism are more “two distinct systems” than “polar opposites.”

So why does it matter? Because while both optimism and pessimism influence how you respond to stress, they do so in slightly different ways.

Specifically, another 2015 study found that optimism may be more related to your physiological response to stress, pessimism more to your psychological response.

In the study, optimism (but not pessimism) influenced how quickly people’s levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) stabilized following a stress test.

Meanwhile, pessimism (but not optimism) affected how psychologically difficult the test seemed to people.

4. Optimism protects against anxiety and depression, but in different ways

Optimism affects how people react to stressful life events. Specifically, people who are more optimistic are at less risk for anxiety and depression after something stressful happens to them.

This idea is intuitive enough, but in 2015 researchers followed it up by asking: optimistic how?

Apparently, the kind of optimism that reduces the risk of depression is different than the kind that protects against anxiety. Specifically, having positive expectations for the future is what counteracts depression while a having a sense of being invulnerable is what lowers anxiety.

5. Optimism matters less as you get older

Here’s some optimism research that will make you a pessimist: even if you’re blessed with an irrepressible knack for seeing the glass as half full, it matters less and less as you get older.

In particular, some research published in March looked at how optimism stops stressful events from giving rise to depressive symptoms in older adults.

What emerged was that younger older adults (yes, you read that correctly) got the most benefits from optimism while older older adults experienced optimism’s protective effects against depression less strongly.

The glass-half-full interpretation of this study is that there’s good news for pessimists here: the older you get, the less your negative outlook matters! Of course, if you’re a pessimist, you probably don’t care, because you know something bad will happen anyway.

How do you stay positive? I’m optimistic that you’ll comment below.

Image: Flickr.com/Bart

Источник: https://allpsych.com/5-facts-about-optimism/

Psychologydo
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