Learning to be optimistic in Life

Two ways of looking at Life

In my experience, when I was 12 I met with severe accident which made me bed ridden for more than 6 months with severe injuries. Then, I can choose to be pessimist about the circumstance and hardships rather I choose to be an optimistic in that situation thinking that this phase would not last forever and its temporary. That thought gave me hope for survival, hope towards the future. I learned to be optimist since childhood no matter what the life events are and no matter what the set backs are, thinking those events as a temporary and passing clouds and challenges that I have to face which gave me hope to live even in hardships.

Why it is important to learn to be optimistic? What are the pit falls of pessimistic view of world or pessimistic thinking? First let us understand what is optimism and pessimism?

Optimists: They believe defeat is temporary set back, no self blame, perceives bad events as a challenge!

Pessimists: They tend to believe bad events will last a long time, undermine what they do, self blame as their fault and gets depressed.

Optimistic view of life and life events: The optimists with similar bad life events, think about the misfortune as temporary phase and exact opposite to pessimistic thoughts. They take things a challenge, and when causes are analysed, they believe that the defeat is not their fault; circumstances, bad luck or other people brought it about. When confronted with a bad situation they take it as a challenge.

Pessimistic view of life and life events:

This pessimistic thinking habit can be seen as an opposite way of thinking pattern to optimism. In this pessimistic view of life people tend to blame self or others for the circumstances, or situations they are in. they take bd life events as forever and long lasting and often gets depressed.

This attitude may seems so deeply rooted as to be permanent. However, pessimist can learn to be optimistic by changing their thoughts and behaviours optimistically.  

Pessimism is one phenomenon that of helplessness. Helplessness is a state of matter in which nothing you choose to do affect what happens to you. Meaning, we will be able to do what is there in one’s hands or in voluntary control and will feel helpless about things which we can’t do or which are not in our control.

The state of helplessness is there since we are infants, we can’t literally do many things rather than display our discomfort through crying and few movements, we feel helpless state here and during the last years of our life similar conditions would repeat like unable to walk, find words to talk etc., which pushes us into state of helplessness.

How to overcome pessimism:

Many things in our life are beyond our control, but there is vast unclaimed territory of actions which we can take control of or simply surrender to fate, or control of others. The following are list of actions that can change our lives forever; they are the way we lead our lives, how we deal with people, how we earn and so on. These all actions has some degree of control which we can take and which we can choose to do.

Small actions together make big difference as the these thought habits has significant impact n the realms of life. Being optimistic and optimist thoughts can improve health, achievement and safe guards from depression.  

Vamsy Krishna D
Psychologist

One response to “Learning to be optimistic in Life”

  1. […] a previous article about optimism in life, I described pessimists and optimists and their differences. Here, we need to understand […]

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