Optimism is a positive attitude and outlook on life that focuses on looking for the best in any situation. It involves maintaining a hopeful and confident attitude in the face of uncertainty, and expecting the best possible outcome even when faced with difficult situations.
And Learned optimism is as the word says, the process of developing an optimistic outlook and attitude towards life.
One can develop optimism and learn it. Its not by birth skill. We were told to look life & things with positive perspective, but not many of us were trained.
Becoming optimistic involves recognizing and challenging negative beliefs and replacing them with more positive ones, to help cultivate an optimistic mindset.
If you are an optimist you’ll believe that good things will happen and you’ll be able to influence your future in a positive way. This outlook can help you take control of your lives and better cope with challenging circumstances.
I will share with you 3 step formula to learn optimism and kill optimism bias.
Benefits of Optimism
Optimism has been linked to numerous benefits, both physical and mental. Studies have found that optimists have better physical health, stronger immune systems, and even live longer than pessimists.
Researched benefits of optimism on our physical health
This study was aimed to examine the relationship between optimism and health outcomes. The meta-analysis included various studies with a sample size of over 200,000 participants.
The results showed a significant positive association between optimism and physical health outcomes, such as reduced risk of mortality, improved immune functioning, and reduced risk of various diseases.
It found that a positive association between optimism and mental health outcomes, such as reduced risk of depression, anxiety, and improved psychological well-being.
The results suggest that optimism may have a protective effect on both physical and mental health and may play a role in promoting overall well-being.
Overall Advantages of optimism
Better Physical Health: Research has revealed that optimists tend to enjoy better physical health and have stronger immune systems, potentially leading to a longer lifespan.
Positive Emotions: Optimists are more prone to experiencing positive emotions, which can lead to a better sense of mental well-being.
Improved Relationships: Optimism can also positively influence relationships, helping individuals build stronger connections with others.
Increased Motivation: With an optimistic outlook, individuals are more likely to remain motivated and persistent, even in the face of difficulties.
Increased Resilience: Optimism can help individuals build resilience, allowing them to better cope with life’s challenges.
A Fulfilling Life: Developing an optimistic outlook can lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling life.
The Workplace: Optimistic individuals are known to have an advantage in the workplace, where they tend to be more creative, productive, and open to new ideas.
Career Advancement: Their positive outlook can also lead to higher job satisfaction and career advancement.
Positive Team Environment: Optimists are better equipped to build relationships with colleagues, helping to create a positive team environment.
Real life example of optimism
Imagine you’re about to take a big test that will determine if you pass or fail a class.
An optimist would approach this situation with a positive attitude, thinking “I’ve studied hard, I’m well prepared, and I’ll do my best.” They would be confident in their abilities and believe that they have the power to shape their own outcome.
On the other hand, a pessimist might think “I’m never good at tests, I’m going to fail anyway, why bother studying?” They would be less confident and more likely to give up before they even begin. The optimist is more likely to perform well on the test, while the pessimist is more likely to underperform due to their negative attitude.
This is just one example of how having an optimistic outlook can positively impact real life situations.
3 Practical Strategies to Develop *Learned Optimism
Firstly Get rid of pessimistic thoughts
How does a pessimist think? He is dull and not look the best in situation or always find something negative in it. Recognize if you fall under this category, if yes great you are already an optimistic.
If not, practice getting ride of it. How? Focus and force yourself to look for something good in even worse situations.
With practice you’ll have an effective skill.
Restructure your circle
You had a pessimistic mentality because you’ve been around pessimists. So, now is time to change your circle and choose people who have positive outlook toward their lives.
Sometimes its hard to leave long relationships but this is for betterment of both. Hopefully other person will find direction and an optimistic circle as well.
I have been around both optimists and pessimists. I have experienced ups and downs. Choose people with dreams, who are uplifting and filled with optimism.
Choose to be joyful
Truth is most of us don’t intentionally enjoy small wins or moments. Truly, being happy is a choice and likewise you can choose to be joyful.
Most of us are rubbing our mental health around work-work-work or busy-busy..Which is mostly an excuse of not choosing to enjoy. (unless you love your work, more than sitting on a beach and staring palm tree. *in my case)
Do work, take some rest, feel the moment and relax, share your feelings and knowledge, go back to work.
Identify optimism bias
There is a whole study published about optimism bias. We will discuss about it some other day. But let me give you a short context of it. Sometimes it’s good but it can also lead to suffering.
What is optimism bias?
Optimism bias is the psychological phenomenon of individuals overestimating their likelihood of experiencing positive outcomes in life.
It is the tendency to believe that one’s own chances of experiencing a positive event, such as winning a competition or getting a promotion, are higher than the average person’s chances.
This bias can lead to unrealistic expectations and a lack of preparedness for unfavorable outcomes.
You can develop optimism. You have ability to look life with lens of positivity. And you get to develop optimism.
Good things comes to those who try.
Have a great day🌟💫