In his book Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman, Ph.D., defines the Difference between Optimists and Pessimists in the following way:
“The defining Characteristic of Pessimists is that they tend to Believe Bad Events will last a Long Time, will Undermine everything they Do and are their Own Fault. The Optimists, who are confronted with the same hard Knocks of this World, think about Misfortune in the Opposite Way. They tend to Believe defeat is just a Temporary Setback, that its causes are Confined to this one case. The Optimists Believe defeat is not their Fault: Circumstances, bad Luck, or other People brought it about. Such People are unfazed by Defeat. Confronted by a bad situation, they Perceive it as a Challenge and Try Harder.”
Neuroscientists have discovered that people who have a more Cheerful Disposition and are more Prone to Optimism generally have Higher Activity occurring in their left Prefrontal Cortex (PFC): it means that Happy Thoughts and Positive Thinking, in general, Support Brain Growth, as Well as the Generation and Reinforcement of new Synapses, Short Term Memory and Emotive Intelligence.
Optimism, for example, involves Highly Desirable Cognitive, Emotional, and Motivational Components. Optimistic People tend to have better Moods, be more Resourcefulness, Persevering and Successful, and to Experience better Physical Health. In addition, Optimists:
- Are very Independent
- Have Few but Significative Relationships
- Have Better Healthy Habits
- Have a stronger Immune System
- Are Long Lived
Also According to Researches made by Hearth Math Institute of California, Optimism Favors the State of Coherence, that is the Psycho-Physiological State when the Heart Rate Variability (HRV), Mind and Emotions are in Energetic Alignment and Cooperation. HeartMath Institute Research Director Dr. Rollin McCraty Defines this Condition “a State that Builds Effective Resiliency, Empowers Personal Energy and Helps to Manifest Intentions and Harmonious Outcomes”.
In the other side, Pessimistic People have the Habit to Explain Positive Events by citing Transient Causes, such as Moods and Effort for Living a determined Favorable Situation. Studies by the University of British Columbia has observed that some People are Genetically Predisposed to see the World Darkly as they Had Inherited a Range of Negative Beliefs about Life that has Build Dysfunctional Cerebral Synaptic Circuit. In Addiction Pessimists:
In Fact Pressure, Stress, Strain Anxiety are often the Consequence of a Limited Mindset and According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, a Researcher of the University of California, Unhappy People spend hours Comparing themselves to other People in a Negative Modality and they are often Focused on Negative sides of each Situation Self-Creating Stressful Situations and Bitterness.
- Are eight times more likely to Be Depressed than Optimists.
- Have Difficulties to Improve their Cognitive Performances
- Have many Impersonal Relationships
- Have more Health Problems than Optimistic People
The Good News is that is Possible to use the Mind to Train the Mind itself and the Brain to Create new (or Improve the the ones that already Exist) Functional Pathways in terms of Mental Links and of Synapses.
Everybody, Optimists and Pessimists can Learn to Activate and Master Neuronal Changes that will lead to greater Happiness, and an Increase of Cognitive Performances.
A Recent Report Published by the Positive Psychology Centre describes Three Routes to Happiness: Positive Emotion, Gratification, and Meaning. Being more Optimistic could help in all Three Areas, leading to a Happier and more Fulfilled Life.
Author: Cristina Capucci