What is pessimism? ~ Veronica

Veronica, Pessimism is always living as if the cup is half empty, not half full. Most events in your life are neutral, like driving your car or getting the mail from your mailbox, but it is your attitude that will define your experience. Pessimism is definitely a poison to the roots of true happiness. It is important to realize we now have research on the healthy effects of optimism. Optimists are healthier, have more fun, and live longer than negative individuals. It's your life. You choose.


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What are some benefits of optimism? ~ Cameron

Cameron, Here are some reasons to be optimistic. First, you will have a richer life and have more fun. Second, you will attract happier people around you for a more supportive life. Third, your family will reap the benefits of your optimism. Fourth, you will live a healthier life and live longer if you are optimistic.


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Why should I try to be optimistic at work? ~ Drake

Drake, Given the current economic crisis, optimistic leadership in our corporations is essential for a company to thrive and compete in our global economy. Every corporation must take the emerging brain science on optimism seriously. Just as you can infect a corporation with contagious stress, you can nurture a business environment with optimism. Optimism can be a learned skill. Whether you are in a position of leadership or working with peers as a coworker, you can model behavior that teaches no matter what happens within your corporation or business setting, or in the global economy, every obstacle becomes an opportunity. An extremely troublesome area of human relations management in the workplace is the tremendous increase in the levels of bullying and aggression. This makes it a challenge to create an optimistic work environment. Research tells us that positive, encouraging work environments are healthier, create less employee turnover, decrease absenteeism, and are more productive. Complaints of bullying must be taken seriously, as that kind of aggressive behavior will lower the morale of a workplace and affect productivity. Optimism cannot flourish where problems are not addressed.


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What is the difference between optimism and pessimism? ~ Julia

Julia, Optimism is a tendency to expect the best possible outcome. Optimists believe that the universe is always evolving toward good, that good triumphs over evil, and that people are inherently good. The traditional definition of an optimist is that you see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Pessimists see their role as diminished, insignificant, their lack of action shrinking the big picture to a pinhole. Optimists see the bigger picture and themselves as having a significant or meaningful role.


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How can optimism affect longevity? ~ Susan

Susan, We know through research that every thought or emotion we experience has electrical energy and a chemical response attached to it. Therefore, when you are optimistic you are sending healing hormones all over your body that boost your immune system and create health in your mind, body, and soul. The Journal of Personality and Psychology released a study that found people who had positive attitudes toward aging lived an average of seven and a half years longer than those who viewed aging in a negative manner. Margery Silver of the New England Centenarian study at Beth Deaconess Medical Center studied the psychological profiles of two hundred healthy centenarians. She discovered the common theme that runs through these centenarians is that they remain positive thinkers. A study in the Archives of General Psychiatry showed after ten years of follow-up, people who were very optimistic had a 55 percent lower risk of death from all causes and a 23 percent lower risk of heart-related death, compared with people who reported a high level of pessimism. The MacArthur Foundation Study of Aging in America showed that lifestyle choices are more important than genetics in determining the quality of an individual's aging.


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Is optimism genetic? ~ Elliott

Elliott, Science tells us that optimism is actually a component of our deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). You can look back to your ancestors and see the imprints of optimism. About half of your optimism comes from your DNA and half comes from your environment. But if you weren't born with optimistic DNA or didn't receive doses of it in your environment as you were growing up, it is not too late. You can learn how to become optimistic.


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How can spending time in nature help me be optimistic? ~ Regan

Regan, Nature is a perennial source of Divine optimism. Every spectrum of nature fosters the seeds of Divine optimism. Each of the four seasons beckons us to the next phase of our lives. The mystical phases of the moon lure us into optimism and wonder. The powerful forces of nature beam the energy of optimism to us through each ray of summer sunlight, the refreshing sweet smells of the cool fall air, the winter winds summoning spring, and the single droplets of spring rain exciting us with expectations of summer. Nature is the womb of Divine optimism.


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What is the role of optimism in marriage? ~ Mark

Mark, The institution of marriage is based on optimism. I believe the definition of marriage should include the word optimism. How can you stand before another person and repeat those vows and not have a seed of optimism within you? You pledge to stay with another person for the rest of your life through being rich or poor, sick or healthy. That's either optimistic or crazy! Couples who commit to a partnership and move in together root their relationship in optimism. Both partners are giving up the security of their own homes and identities to forge a new committed relationship. This can be more challenging than a marriage, because there are not the legal guarantees married partners enjoy. Hope and optimism become the energy that drives these beautiful, rich relationships.


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