Can You Learn to be More Optimistic?

We all know that one person who sees the positive in every situation. Some of us hate that person. Some of us love that person. And some of us ARE that person.

If you are not that person, you may be wondering if you can actually learn (or teach yourself) to be more optimistic. While some people are inherently positive, others are inherently negative. Are we capable of changing from one to the other?

There are many benefits of thinking more positively as optimists tend to be healthier and simply lead lives that are better overall.

Changing the Way you Think

It turns out that optimism is not simply the tendency to believe that things will turn out for the better and pessimism is not just the tendency to think things will turn out poorly. Instead, these terms are used to describe the way a person thinks about what causes the adversity. A pessimist tends to think about these things in a way that makes them feel powerless. For example, many pessimists attribute the adversity to internal forces, such as this affects everything, this is all my fault, and there is no way I can change this.

It is possible to change the way that you think about things. When you are faced with an adversity and the first thought you have is negative, take a step back and reconsider it from a different angle.

For example, if you have an upcoming test and you are having difficulty understanding the material that is being covered it is easy to fall into the line of thinking that you are going to fail. A healthier option is to think about ways you could better understand the material and work on learning and studying what you need to in order to get a better grade on the test. The idea is that if you are thinking you are going to fail, you probably will. Changing your thought process and studying the material thoroughly can improve your chances of success.

While our attitudes towards things are somewhat inherent, it is possible to change the way that you think about things, thus learning to be more optimistic about events. While the process is not as simple as reciting positive quotes to yourself, it really is as simple as teaching yourself to look at every situation from different angles in order to improve your attitude about it.