We all have either an internal or an external locus of control. This cognitive mechanism provides us with confidence that we can change the elements of our lives.
Having the locus of control on the outside makes it subject to every twist and turn of our lives, making us feel helpless.
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This is a concept that suggests that we can always change our attitude and behaviour, be aware of our thoughts and stop our negative self-talk.
Learned Optimism is a positive psychology concept, and is the opposite of Learned Helplessness, which states delves into people who believe they are incapable of changing their circumstances after repeated exposure to stressful and negative events.
Pessimism is defined as the anticipation of good or bad things to happen in the future, while optimism is generally considered the opposite. Optimism can be defined as the individual difference variable reflecting the extent of which we hold positive expectancies for the upcoming event.
The ways in which we think affects our health, well-being and success, even though the situations are the same.
Interestingly, life provides the same problems, tragedies and setbacks on both an optimist and a pessimist, but the optimist is able to weather them better and live a happy, successful life. It is possible to learn and teach optimism and change one’s perception of life.
People tend to see things differently, and this affects their perception. Our selective attention can see things in contrasting ways and also form different opinions based on what information is processed.
The three cognitive distortions (3P’s) that need to be changed:
Albert Ellis’ ABC technique refers to: Adversity, Beliefs and Consequences.
Meditation - mindfulness, focusing on the moment - is an excellent anti-anxiety, anti-anger tool..But accepting suffering and finding contentment in that means you can't move into doing something good in the future.
One important idea is hope. Positive human future doesn't come about by accident - it needs hopeful people who plan for it and make it happen.
Unexpected negative events keep happening, but we choose hope and positivity over despair and cling to the positive things that help us survive the crisis.
Reality cannot be seen with positivity goggles at all times, and being constantly positive blinds us from the actual facts, rendering us unprepared for potential hazards.
While we may have many good reasons to be pessimistic, we don't have to resign ourselves to it forever.
Optimism can be learned. Research reveals that optimists earn more money, have better relationships and live longer.