“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope
What is optimism ?
Optimism word comes from Latin word Optimum means ‘The Best’.
Optimism is a positive anticipation. It is expectancy confidence based on the idea that goal can be achieved even an individual distrusts to attain the goal or leave the attempt towards it.
There are two things in optimism
- Inclination to Hope
- Tendency to believe that we live in “the best.”
Definitions of Optimism
According to American Psychological Association (APA) Optimism is the attitude that good things will happen and that people’s wishes or aims will ultimately be fulfilled.
According to Lionel Tiger, (1979), Optimism is an attitude towards those expectations which are closely related to social future with regard to socially desirable for his /her advantage.
The Dispositional Theory of Optimism
Charles Carver and Michael Scheier introduced the term ‘dispositional optimism.’ They defined dispositional optimism as trait of an equilibrated personality, in time and in various situations, that influences the way in which individuals come to terms with present, past and future events in life.
The dispositional theory of optimism suggests that optimism leads to positive consequences in life, and pessimism leads to stressful outcomes and increased dissatisfaction (Scheier and Carver 1992, Scheier, Carver, and Bridges 2001).
The basics of the dispositional theory of optimism are:
- Optimism is a built-in trait or personality disposition.
- Optimism is directly associated with reduced depression, anxiety, and stress.
- Optimistic individuals are overall healthy – both physically and emotionally.
- Optimism calls for increased resilience and coping strategies.
- A positive outlook helps people to accept themselves unconditionally.
- Optimistic individuals are less likely to engage in denial or avoidance defense mechanisms (Chang et al. 1997).
Why Optimism is important ?
An optimistic nature can help people cope more effectively with stress and reduce their risk for illness (Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994).
Optimism also promotes active and persistent coping efforts, which improves long-term prospects for psychological and physical health (Segerstrom, Castañeda, & Spencer, 2003).
Optimists use problem-focused coping, seek social support from others, and emphasize the positive aspects of stressful situations (Scheier, Weintraub, & Carver, 1986).
Impact of Optimism on Mental Health
- Optimism and depressive symptoms has inverse correlation (Chang & Sanna, 2008).
- Optimism and suicidal ideation has inverse correlation (Hirsch, Conner & Duberstein, 2007).
- Optimism and cardiovascular event has inverse correlation (Steele & Wade, 2004)
Impact of Optimism on Physical Health
- Optimism is correlated with better physical well-being.
- Optimism inversely correlated with excessive somatic complaints (Martínez-Correa , et al., 2006).
- Dispositional optimism predicted less probability of mortality and cardiovascular mortality in particular ( Giltay et al., 2004).
- Menopause, carotid atherosclerosis tended to progress more slowly in optimistic women (Matthews et al. 2004).
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How to increase Optimism
- Modeling positive self-talk is a great way to promote optimism.
- Empathy begins with acknowledging the feelings.
- Focus on effort rather than results.
- Recalling happier times.
- Changing perspective.
Father of Positive psychology Martin Seligman suggest Ellis’s ABC technique in Learned Optimism.
Seligman’s classical A-B-C-D-E model of creating a positive mindset. The A-B-C-D-E is an acronym for:
A – Adversity or paying attention to any adverse incidents, thoughts, and feelings.
B – Beliefs and how they get impacted by pessimistic thoughts.
C – Consequences of negative thoughts and feelings.
D – Dispute or confronting the negative thoughts and attempting to change them.
E – Energizing the self to be more optimistic in the future.
Conversano C, Rotondo A, Lensi E, Della Vista O, Arpone F, Reda MA. (2010). Optimism and its impact on mental and physical well-being. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health. 2010 May 14;6:25-9. doi: 10.2174/1745017901006010025. PMID: 20592964; PMCID: PMC2894461.