Can you guess what the most successful and happy people think about all day long?
The answer is quite simple… Healthy, happy people think about what they want, and how to get it, most of the time. Developing a positive attitude can truly change your entire life.
When you think and talk about what you want and how to get it, you feel happier and in greater control of your life. When you think about something that makes you happy, your brain actually releases endorphins, which give you a generalized feeling of well-being. As a result, you develop a positive attitude. Based on many psychological tests, happy people seem to have a special quality that enables them to live a better life than the average.
Can you guess what it is?
It’s the quality of optimism! The best news about optimism is that it is a learnable quality.
A growing body of research over the past decade has expanded the understanding of optimism and its potential long-reaching benefits. Finding greater personal happiness and even longer life expectancy has been shown more likely among optimistic-leaning individuals.
Psychologically, optimism is also associated with stronger mental health and improved coping abilities in times of emotional difficulty.
Optimism is the disposition or tendency to look more favorably on events, conditions, oneself, or the future. Not everyone is naturally optimistic, and some self described pessimists may even mock an optimistic outlook, but optimism is often a way of thinking coveted by many.
From Pessimism to Optimism: Adjusting Your Outlook
A study led by researchers from the University of British Columbia found a genetic marker may play a significant role in determining whether someone sees a glass as half empty or half full. A gene variant was shown to cause a more vivid retention of mostly negative responses following an emotional event, suggesting many people may intuitively steer toward pessimism.
However, according to two prominent psychologists who have each taken a career interest in the concept of optimism, the practice can be learned, but—like many skills—may need to be maintained through exercise. Suzanne Segerstrom is a clinical psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky. Her years of research reflect an interest in how self-regulation can potentially improve mental and physical health. Through behavioral adjustments, she believes even longtime pessimists can slowly rewire how they approach life and its many challenges. Likewise, psychologist and self-help author Martin Seligman has long been intrigued with how perspective can have a significant impact on everyday life. He has devoted decades of energy and research to understanding how personality, outlook, and disposition play a pivotal role in shaping individual happiness. According to his research, finding a more positive outlook can effectively reduce depression symptoms while also boosting the immune system.
So how do the experts advise people to locate their optimism? Here are some steps to becoming more optimistic.
The Power of Positive Thinking
Optimists seek the valuable lesson in every setback or reversal. Rather than getting upset and blaming someone else for what has happened, they take control over their emotions by saying, “What can I learn from this experience?”
Resolve today to develop a positive attitude toward yourself, the people around you and your life.
Resolve from now to see your glass of life as half full rather than half empty. Happy people give thanks for the many blessings in life rather than worrying or complaining about the things they do not have. Assume the best of intentions on the part of everyone around you. Most people are pretty decent, honest and are trying to do the very best they know how to. When you look for something good in their words and actions, you will almost always find something. Finally, resolve to be cheerful, no matter what happens.
Looking on the bright side is most important when things go wrong. Your Positive Attitude In Action It is easy to to be cheerful when everything is going according to plan. But, it is when you encounter unexpected setbacks and difficulties that you demonstrate to yourself, and the world around you, what kind of an attitude you really have. Make sure that it is a positive one!
Prof. Urmila Deshmukh
Asst. Prof. (E&TC)
Indira College of Engineering and Management, Pune.