Blog Entry, Lori Peters September 2, 2015

Happiness Hangout
Find out how much optimism can affect your life!
Summary: 
So I’ve been pondering if a pessimist should care about being more optimistic and I say YES. I say this for several reasons. First of all, there are many research studies done on the major mental and physical health improvements that typically occur when we are more optimistic. I’m talking about lower stress, less depression, more energy, more resilience and more success in life, to name a few.

Should a Pessimist Even Care About Being an Optimist?

So I’ve been pondering if a pessimist should care about being more optimistic and I say YES. I say this for several reasons. First of all, there are many research studies done on the major mental and physical health improvements that typically occur when we are more optimistic. I’m talking about lower stress, less depression, more energy, more resilience and more success in life, to name a few.

Whether you’re on one side or the other, it has an effect on those around you. For example, if you have or work with children, they often learn from what others are doing. They will pick up on others’ attitudes and adopt that as their belief. I know many pessimists and even they admit that they want others to be happy and they would not want to pass on negative behavior to anyone.

Martin Seligman, often called the father of positive psychology tells us about this in his research and book Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. Apparently, if we are naturally more pessimistic, we can change it using well-researched techniques such as keeping a journal and analyzing it for optimistic or pessimistic thoughts. Then you can refute those thoughts and replace them with a more positive line of thinking until you get used to it, which may take a bit of time.

Remember, you can start small. Refute what you are thinking when you have a negative thought. Think about how something good could happen if you put action toward something you believe in or just need to get done. Stop and think for a second before you nod NO. If you think you’ll sound too out of touch, remember, most of this is just in your own head. I mean it’s not like you’re running around throwing rose petals into the street and yelling how happy you are. Take heed my pessimist friends, there could be a better way out there for you.

Take the Optimism Test and see how optimistic or pessimistic you really are. http://web.stanford.edu/class/msande271/onlinetools/LearnedOpt.html

Guest Kim Langley of Life Balance Enterprises, Inc. will be on my show at bbs radio on Wednesday, Sept.9 at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific.

Lori Peters is the creator of Happiness Hangout which provides resources, activities and services in the area of happiness and well-being.