We have heard time and again that optimism allows us to be successful. However, we may not have received many compelling answers as to why this is so. Or we may not be sure how to actually be optimistic.
In recent years, researchers have sought to gain a deeper understanding of which strengths and skills lead to greater personal satisfaction and fulfilling lives. According to these studies, optimism is definitely a step on the way to personal happiness!
What are the benefits of being optimistic?
Optimistic people are less likely to experience depression. Obviously, optimism protects us from accepting the perspectives that are characteristic of depression. It alleviates the impact that troubles can cause. At the same time, he helps us to see ourselves as people who are able to face conflicts and overcome suffering.
Optimism also seems to help people avoid physical illness. Obviously, an optimistic attitude supports us in times of stressful situations and offsets the harmful effects of stress on our health.
Likewise, optimism can promote better academic and athletic performance, as well as professional adaptation. It helps us overcome setbacks while also letting us set ambitious goals and dreams, maintaining our motivation and focus on making them happen.
How does an optimistic person behave?
Pessimistic and optimistic people use different strategies when it comes to coping with stressful situations. Optimistic people use much more efficient and constructive mechanisms when dealing with conflicts.
By having an optimistic mindset, we are more inclined to solve the problem at hand directly. At the same time, it prevents us from making the typical mistake of wanting to forget or running away from this painful or stressful circumstance, which definitely does not help us to find a solution to the conflict.
Optimists seem much more able to focus on solving what is troubling them. They feel more competent, more capable of acting, remain in control and are more likely to achieve success. As a result, they work harder to improve and think less about their discomfort. They are increasingly looking for better solutions. In contrast, pessimists tend to focus on the negative emotions that the problem arouses in them. You are then stuck in a cycle that is difficult to get out of and which will not lead to a solution.
But … how can I become a real optimist?
It seems that this is often related to expectations. Optimists tend to expect positive results, with a general belief that “everything will be fine” even though they may be going through tough times. You develop this mindset by interpreting past events.
Positive events are attributed by optimistic people to permanent and global causes that are supposedly related to them. For example, if they are promoted, it is attributed to the fact that life is fair and they are genuinely competent. This gives them the conviction that invites them to approach the world, to get closer to people, to experience life without fear and to trust in their own abilities.
In return, negative events are attributed to external, temporary and specific factors. A hostile attitude from your partner or friend may be attributed to their partner having a bad day and being thoughtlessly hostile. This form of explanation invites them to give the other person a second chance. It protects the relationship with that other person and with oneself. This is much less painful and easier to work with than thinking that every person is fundamentally cruel and that there is something bad within all of us. Thus, the optimist blames something ephemeral for this negative event. Tomorrow is a new day!
Although many factors affect our success, it seems useful to turn our pessimistic attitude into an optimistic one. Having the hope that things will get better can definitely make our lives a little easier and a lot more successful!