Losing something we already have is twice as much pain than gaining the same. This skewed feelings towards loss is known as loss aversion.
Expectations always dampen the feelings of happiness, always setting us up in advance for a dose of disappointment.
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The tendency to over-expect the probability of good things happening while negating the likelihood of anything bad happening is a common human trait.
Studies consistently show that a large majority of the population (about 80% according to most estimates) display an overly optimistic outlook.
Pessimism, or having a bias towards a negative outcome, has a fan base too, as it seems that pessimists are immune to disappointment.
Their view of life already considers the worst possible outcome as the default one, and anything better than that can only improve it.
Both optimism and pessimism are judgemental biases that try to bend reality inside our minds and can lead to worse outcomes and suboptimal levels of happiness.
Being on either side can lead to poor decisions in career, finance and just about anything involving risk and uncertainty.
To make good decisions, one has to have accurate, reliable information, free from any bias or prejudice.
Realists tend to have the best cost-benefit ratio of handling uncertainty while maintaining a healthy level of well-being and happiness.
While anticipating and taking preventive action towards an infectious disease, or taking the necessary steps to get better, the coping strategy of a defensive pessimist far surpasses an optimist.
The pessimist is able to steer through the problem by anticipating future pitfalls and taking the required action, while an optimist might ignore or overlook the same.
An optimistic outlook appears to be a kep part of healthy lifestyles. Those who find glasses as half full tend to be happier, healthier, and wealthier people.
A recent study came out suggesting that longevity and optimism is interconnected with each other. Therefore pushing forward that while promoting healthy and resilient ageing by eating healthily and exercising, we must also then promote taking good care of our mental well-being and cultivating psychosocial assets.