Optimism is both a philosophy and an attitude - Deepstash

Optimism is both a philosophy and an attitude

It’s a philosophy in how we interpret the events that happen in our everyday life. 

It’s an attitude in how we carry ourselves forward. 

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A sense of optimism

What you need to maneuver through a world of uncertainty is a sense of optimism—an attitude characterized by hope and confidence in a positive future.

Optimistic attitudes are linked to a number of benefits, including better coping skills, lower stress and anxiety levels, better physical health, healthier relationships, and higher motivation and resilience when pursuing your goals.

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Don't confuse optimism with the toxic positivity of modern-day society. 

  • Positivity is saying that things are good even when they're not. Truth is, toxic positivity is delusional and destructive because it blinds you from the reality of what is.
  • Optimism is about being hopeful about the future, even when the present seems woefully negative. It’s about working through your negative emotions—instead of ignoring them—to better understand what they’re trying to tell you.

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MARTIN SELIGMAN

“Life inflicts the same setbacks and tragedies on the optimist as on the pessimist, but the optimist weathers them better. The basis of optimism does not lie in positive phrases or images of victory, but in the way you think about causes.”

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An optimist is someone who consciously chooses to adopt an attitude that he or she can make the best of any given situation, no matter how tragic the situation is.

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The range of optimists
  • On the one end of the spectrum, you find the pure optimist. He is confident everything is great, and all negativity is a character flaw.
  • Next to him, the extreme optimist accepts that bad things sometimes happen to other people.
  • Then comes the optimist who can be sceptical of other people's optimism.
  • After him, you find the optimist who is confident in himself and equally pessimistic about others.

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Toxic positivity: viewing bad emotions as a failure

Some view positivity as essential to coping with the crisis. They take the chance to slow down and reevaluate, feel grateful to still have a job while balancing school and family life.

But, this unrelenting optimism, known as toxic positivity, views negative emotions as a failure or weakness. Failing to acknowledge hardships can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.

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Elements of well-being

Well-being can be broken into five elements:

  • Positive emotion
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Accomplishment

If you improve these, you will be closer to happiness.

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