Dr. Martin Seligman, a renowned psychologist, from his research presents an interesting piece of thought and advice: that, Optimism can be learnt. Indeed in his book “Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life”, he indicates that one can learn optimism and thus utilize it in the face of adversity.
Research indicates that pessimistic people have a nearly 20 percent higher risk of dying over a 30-year period than those who are optimistic.
This research in conjunction with Dr. Seligman’s, all point to the importance of avoiding self blame or perhaps a perceived character flaw and instead learn to psyche our mind to accept failure or misfortune and realize they all are a necessary facet of life.
Instead of going into our shells when the storm of life hits, we should learn how to bounce back an even stronger of our selves than ever before. This can be done by learning to be Optimistic in the Chaos that is the modern era with all its nuances and intricacies.
Mr. Seligman outlines 3 crucial ways to changing our mindset to face even the worst situation with a positive mindset: Permanent, Pervasive and Personalization.
” It’s not PERMANENT: When adversity strikes, don’t think your bad time will last forever.
It’s not PERVASIVE: Don’t think that it happens all the time.
Don’t PERSONALIZE it: Can’t take all of the blame
When adversity strikes, it helps if we use an explanatory style or inner dialogue that doesn’t give us such heavy responsibility for making bad things happen to ourselves.
Nothing grows without a make-or-break moment. Understanding that challenges are part of growth gives you the calmness to handle what might normally be a very stressful time. When problems arise, It is a measure of your sense of self in how you tackle and eliminate or inverse foster till it becomes a cancer and impediment to your continual growth as a person and a team player.
If you want to feel positive, it pays to stop putting yourself down in your own mind. With practice, you can resist worrisome thoughts and perhaps even transform your internal critic into more of a cheering squad. No man is an Island after all.
I end today by pointing to the need for Exercise. Yes Exercise! When one takes action, it leads us to feeling less helpless and more in control. This is key: to feeling like our actions matter. Good or bad especially…creates consequences. Consequences which can signal to our brain that we are not helpless, reinforcing our optimistic dialogue during tough times.
When all else fails you there is only one refuge to whom optimism and strength comes naturally,”So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10.
Always remember, tough times don’t last, be optimistic, you are not the first to face challenges and you will not be the last.