Question: What’s the difference between pessimism and optimism?
We all have heard the question about how we look at a glass that has water in it. Is it half full or half empty? We have determined that the pessimist sees it as half empty and the optimist sees it as half full. Clearly, both are accurate, however, the person who sees the glass as half empty, sees what’s been taken away, and the person who sees the glass as half full, sees the hope, the possibilities and is much happier.
Today we are going to talk about optimism, and in particular, learned optimism.
Question: Is optimism something we can learn or are we born with it?
Obviously, some people are born with a personality that approach life more relaxed and are able to let things go easier when negative things happen. But, for the rest of us, it is a skill that can be learned.
Question: So how can we learn to be optimistic?
We can acquire the skills of optimism by consciously making choices of doing what an optimist appears to do intuitively.
Optimists describe good things that happen as permanent and pervasive in their lives. Pessimists describe good things that happen as temporary and likely not to happen again…(it was just luck or it was just good fortune that I made a good presentation)
In turn, optimists describe bad things that happen as temporary and likely to not happen again…while pessimists describe bad things as pervasive and a permanent part of their life…(This always happens to me)
How we explain things that are happening in our life have a huge effect on our mood and outlook. We feel the way we thing. In other…what we say can lead to happiness or unhappiness…it’s our choice.
Working on ways to correct sweeping negative statements can help to go a long way to learn the art of optimism.
If you or someone in your life would like to learn how to be optimistic, please call Penrose-St. Francis Women’s Behavioral Health Services at 634-1825.