Being a pessimist could be killing you
There’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that people with an optimistic view on life live longer than those with a pessimistic view.
If you’re an eternal curmudgeon, such a statistic is unlikely to make you much happier than you already are!
As well as living longer, optimists tend to be more resilient, persisting and therefore achieving more. The downside to this is that they’re more likely to get things wrong, assuming that situations are much better than they really are and ploughing on regardless.
Some might call this delusional thinking – and surely this can’t be a good thing. So how do you walk the fine line between misery and Pollyanna?
The international bestselling book “The Mind Gym”, put together by a team of psychologists, talks about the “best kind of optimism”:
“The attentive optimist is the sort who treads a careful path between taking too much responsibility and too little. For example, after a positive event they will take some credit but only what they consider is their due…with negative past events the attentive optimist will accept appropriate responsibility and then see what good can be taken from the situation.”
So in summary, it’s about training your brain to see the good in life, but being critical enough in your thinking to learn lessons and not become a spin doctor for bad news.