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Learned Optimism

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Learned Optimism

Post by Glimmer on Sun May 15, 2016 6:30 am

https://www.brainpickings.org/2012/06/28/learned-optimism-martin-seligman/

Martin Seligman wrote:A pessimistic attitude may seem so deeply rooted as to be permanent. I have found, however, that pessimism is escapable. Pessimists can in fact learn to be optimists, and not through mindless devices like whistling a happy tune or mouthing platitudes…but by learning a new set of cognitive skills. Far from being the creations of boosters or of the popular media, these skills were discovered in the laboratories and clinics of leading psychologists and psychiatrists and then rigorously validated.

http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/accentuating-a-positive-attitude

WebMD wrote:

How to Be More Positive

Our brains are not hardwired for optimism or pessimism, so you can learn to accentuate the positive. Here's how:

Learn to meditate. An eight-week program of daily mindfulness meditation -- trying to stay in the moment without distracting thoughts -- increased activation of the left prefrontal lobe in study subjects.
Think in threes. Approximately three positive moments are needed to counteract one negative one, according to Fredrickson. So volunteer, listen to music you like, or pet a puppy.
Write it down. Martin Seligman, the psychologist who authored the book Authentic Happiness, suggests you create a journal. Every night, write down three good things that happened that day -- and include an explanation for why each happened.



http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/doug-turner/2007011536

Positive Psychology News wrote:According to Seligman, pessimists can begin to acquire the skill of optimism by consciously doing what an optimist may do intuitively. By adopting the optimist’s explanatory style, the pessimist begins to challenge the sweeping statements they make about the bad things that are happening in their lives. Over time and with practice the pessimist learns to describe good things as permanent and pervasive. As this skill grows and becomes more and more natural the loud pessimistic voice softens.
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Re: Learned Optimism

Post by Evie on Sun May 15, 2016 8:50 am

Well, I just took the Learned Optimism Test, which I'd recommend to everyone - it's fascinating!

My results don't surprise me - gave me a good chuckle.

Permanence Bad Score
5 -moderately pessimistic


Permanence Good Score
5 - average

Pervasiveness Bad Score
6 -moderately pessimistic


Pervasiveness Good Score
3 - moderately pessimistic


Stuff of Hope
11 - moderately hopeless


Personalization Bad Score
5 - moderately low self-esteem


Personalization Good Score
2 - very pessimistic


Total Bad Score
16 - crying out for change

Total Good Score
10 - great pessimism

Good minus Bad Score
-6 - very pessimistic


I can only conclude I'm no good at optimism Razz
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Re: Learned Optimism

Post by Night Eyes on Sun May 15, 2016 11:29 am

oh i didnt see the test.

But i defnitely think we can learn to be more optimistic, ive always naturally leaned to the philosophy that... it will be ok, mainly because at times i've felt in a corner where the only way is up.

but there's lots of things we can do to change our cognition and turn our negative thoughts into positive ones, a lot of it is breaking that cycle.

http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/14/1/29
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Re: Learned Optimism

Post by Evie on Sun May 15, 2016 1:54 pm

Ohh thanks for that Night, looks fantastic. Smile

And yes, I will be working on my optimism.... with me I think it depends on my mood, if I'm in a good mood I'm optimistic and if I'm in a bad one I'm pessimistic...does that make sense? Though sometimes of course it's possible to be pessimistic and have that bring you down into a bad mood...

To some degree I do believe we can shift our own thoughts to more optimistic ones.

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Re: Learned Optimism

Post by Glimmer on Sun May 15, 2016 11:05 pm

A Pessimist's Guide to Being Optimistic

Prevention wrote:Don't try to be happy
In one of Segerstrom's favorite studies, researchers asked a group of people to use a beautiful piece of classical music to raise their moods, while telling other volunteers simply to listen to the symphony. The result: The concert didn't help those who were focused on lifting their spirits—but the others wound up feeling much better.

"To truly be happy, you have to stop trying," says Segerstrom. Even monitoring yourself—Am I feeling better yet?—gets in the way, studies show. Instead, aim to be engaged. "Engagement bypasses pessimism," she says. One reason: When you're fully involved in something, it can distract you from a pessimist's favorite pastime—rumination. (That's what psychologists call the destructive pattern of obsessing endlessly over problems or concerns.) When you're ruminating, it's not just a bad day—it's always a bad day, and a bad life, and you're a bad person. The habit will blow up even a minor problem to billboard size. It takes up so much bandwidth, who has room to focus on a solution? It's no surprise that optimists accomplish more than pessimists.

Attitude adjustment Find quick distractions you can use when you realize you're stuck on the same negative thought, suggests Segerstrom. Try activities that demand your full attention: Go to a yoga class (or a kickboxing or aerobics class, where you have to commit fully to avoid falling on your face). At the office, try calling a friend or switching on some absorbing music.
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Re: Learned Optimism

Post by Glimmer on Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:03 am



"There are two general ways for you to deal with your pessimistic beliefs once you are aware of them. The first is simply to distract yourself when they occur - try to think of something else. The second is to dispute them. Disputing is more effective in the long run, because successfully disputed beliefs are less likely to recur when the same situation presents itself again." - M. Seligman

What are some ways you could become more optimistic?
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