Optionally optimistic

Have you ever attempted to manage your outlook on life? Have you ever thought of the benefits and consequences that come along with how you do so? Well, it is actually possible to manage that view and how optimistic or not it is. Optimism can lead to major life benefits, as long as you are not too optimistic.

Optimism is an excellent quality to have and can be an incredible help in life. It helps people get through tough times, makes the joyous times feel more exhilarating, helps maintain your relationships and interactions with people and helps with focus and productivity at work or school. Having the right amount of optimism can create a better society and community; it can benefit students’ learning in Jenison schools.

The bomb.com benefits

Optimism can create bodily benefits. It can lower one’s blood pressure and it can increase one’s life span. Harvard’s Men’s Health Watch found that in a 1960s study, “the most pessimistic individuals had a 42% higher rate of death than the most optimistic.” Optimism can also provide a mini-workout. Although it is unlikely, you can burn calories by laughing, if you laugh long enough.

Harvard’s Men’s Health Watch wrote that Tennessee researchers found that “genuine, voiced laughter boosts energy consumption and heart rate by 10% to 20%. That means a 10- to 15-minute belly laugh might burn anywhere from 10 to 40 calories.” 

Optimism can help you to better overcome obstacles in life. How well someone gets over a failure depends on how they interpret outcomes. Looking at failures as only temporary and having an external cause, as well as not putting all of the blame on yourself, is an optimist’s outlook on life.

This helps people get over obstacles in life quicker and easier. It allows people to hold on to hope and continue to persevere even through the tough times. Those who have this outlook tend to be better at forgiving others, letting the past stay in the past, and giving others second chances. When the going gets tough, something everyone needs is psychological capital, which can help lead to success and this optimistic outlook.

Psychological capital, [is] a mixture of efficacy (self-confidence), resilience (you believe you can bounce back from setbacks), hope (you believe you can achieve your goals) and optimism (you expect good things to happen in the future). As a concept, psychological capital reflects our capacity to overcome obstacles and push ourselves to pursue our ambitions,” explains Ingrid Wickelgren, an editor of the Science American Mind.

Do not go overboard optimistic

Although optimism has major benefits, being too optimistic can come with consequences. People should not be optimistic to the point where they have lost their safety net. Always thinking “everything will work out” despite that it is positive, can actually have the opposite effect. No one can just lay back and not try, and think all will go well for them. This can lead to not taking care of yourself, not taking responsibility for your actions, and overall not putting in as much effort in life.  Having high expectations for a long term goal is good. However, as you make your way closer to the set day, it is actually good to lower some of those expectations so that if it does not work out, you are not left as disappointed.

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.”

— Nicholas M. Butler, American philosopher and educator


Altering attitude

Optimism can increase productivity and progress at work/school, but do not fake the positivity. Regulating emotions with coworkers/classmates, can help create positive relationships. There are ways to control how optimistic you are. Even though you might not be in the best mood, there are ways to alter how you feel. There are two ways it works, surface acting, and deep acting.

Rick Nauert, an Associate News Editor with a PhD, explains, “Surface acting involves faking positive emotions when interacting with others in the work environment … Deep acting involves trying to change how one feels internally.” Deep acting is the better of the two options, so as not to fake how one feels.

So, the right amount of optimism can lead to greater achievements in life, but being too optimistic can lead to great disappointment. 

Overall, optimism is an excellent life tool, as long as you find balance and do not overdo it. Being an optimist is a choice, and it is up to you if you choose to be one or not. 

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