Write your way to optimism and happiness

Write your way to optimism and happiness

by Dr. Tom Muha for The Capital

Thomas Edison once quipped, “I failed my way to success.” Well known for his tenacious pursuit of perfecting the light bulb, we can only wonder what our lives would be like today if Edison had been a pessimist. Rather than benefiting from his single-minded determination to illuminate the world, we all might be languishing in darkness had he allowed himself to feel frustrated and hopeless.

Optimism is a key positive psychology principle. It’s how people who achieve success and satisfaction think about life. There are two dimensions in which optimism has been found to make a difference in your life. One is your ability to dream, particularly by helping you to convert your deepest desires into a series of achievable goals. The second way in which optimism helps you is to make it easier for you to deal with the inevitable setbacks and struggles that you’ll encounter while striving to achieve positive outcomes.

Optimists have a strong belief that their goals can be accomplished somehow. Studies show that optimists spend much more time thinking about the specific steps they need to take to reach their goals than their pessimistic counterparts. Some people think that optimists are Pollyanna’s, but scientists have shown that using optimistic thinking is the key to feeling hopeful, empowered, capable, and energetic.

Why? Optimists are able to attribute the setbacks that they experience to causes that are temporary, specific to the situation, and external to themselves. Pessimists, on the other hand, tend to tell themselves that failures are permanent, pervasive, and personal. While we all hate the feelings of frustration that we feel when we fail, optimists are able to heal their hurt, sometimes almost instantly. Pessimists, on the other hand, hold onto their hurt, often allowing it to congeal into a grudge against other people or a loss of confidence in themselves.

Learning to be more optimistic begins by visualizing your best possible future…

…enjoying this happiness related story? Read more about writing your way to optimism and happiness HERE