If you’ve finished a contest in second place, will you jump for joy at the good finish and push even harder for better results next time or will you be discouraged and find an excuse not to compete ever again?
Life is a continuous string of choices. You may opt to have a pessimist’s view and live a self-defeated life or you may decide to take the optimist’s route and take a challenging and fulfilling life.
So why support an optimist’s point of view?
Optimism has been linked to having a positive mood and good morale; to academic, athletic, military, occupational, and political success; to popularity; to good health, and even to long life and freedom from trauma.
But on the other hand, the growing rates of depression and pessimism have never been higher. It affects middle-aged adults the same way it hits younger people. The mean age of onset has gone from 30 to 15. It is no longer a middle-aged housewife’s disorder but also a teen-ager’s disorder’ as well.
Here’s how optimists are in action and research that backs up why it really pays to be an optimist:
Optimists expect the best
The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events, which will last a long time and undermine everything they do, are their own fault.
The truth is optimists are confronted with the same hard knocks that affect everyone else in this world. What differs is the way they explain their misfortune – it’s the opposite way. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, and that its causes are confined to this particular instance.
Optimists tend to focus on and plan for the ‘problem’ at hand. They use ‘positive reinterpretation.’ In other words, they most likely reinterpret a negative experience in a way that helps them learn and grow. Such people are unfazed by bad situation, they perceive it is a challenge and try harder.
They won’t mope around saying things such as “things will never get better,” “If I failed once, it will happen again” and “If I experience misfortune in one part of my life, why wouldn’t failure curse everything else I do in my life?”
Positive expectancies of optimists also predict better reactions during transitions to new environments, sudden tragedies, and other unexpected events. If they fall, they will stand up. They see opportunities instead of obstacles.
People respond positively to optimists
Optimists are proactive and less dependent on others for their happiness. They find no need to control or manipulate people. This characteristic usually draws people toward them. Their optimistic view of the world becomes contagious and influences those they are associated with.
Optimism seems a socially desirable trait in all communities. Those who share optimism are generally accepted while those who spread gloom, panic, and hysteria are treated unfavorably.
In life, the optimists often win elections; get voted most congenial, and are sought after for advice.
When the going gets tough, optimists get tougher
Optimists typically maintain higher levels of subjective well-being during times of stress than do people who are less optimistic. In contrast, pessimists are likely to react to stressful events by denying that they exist or by avoiding dealing with problems. Pessimists are more likely to quit trying when difficulties arise.
Optimists, however, tend to persevere. They just don’t give up easily, they are also known for their patience – inching their way a step closer to that goal or elusive dream.
Optimists are healthier and live longer
Medical research has justified that simple pleasures and a positive outlook can cause a measurable increase in the body’s ability to fight disease.
Optimists’ health is unusually good. They age well, much freer than most people from the usual physical ills of middle age. And they get to outlive those prone to negative thoughts.
So why not become an optimist today and think positively towards a more fulfilled life.
Why not look forward to success in all your endeavors? Why not be more resilient? Like everybody else you are bound to hit lows sometimes – that’s just the nature of life. Do something about it, don’t just stay there. Get up off of the ground, dust yourself off, and work toward improving your chances of getting back on the right track. And why not inspire others to remove their dark-colored glasses and see life in the bright side? The world will be a better place for it.
- Optimists or Pessimists (customerthink.com)
- 4 Ways to Overcome an Addiction to Pessimism (money.usnews.com)
- A Primer for Pessimists (time.com)
- Need a Job? Become an Optimist (blisstree.com)
- The Type A B C’s Of How Your Personality Effects Your Health (peterhbrown.wordpress.com)
- Are Negative Emotions More Important than Positive Emotions? (psychologytoday.com)
Category: Healthy Mind