A Pessimist Sees The Difficulty In Every Opportunity

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“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

Being optimistic avails us to a lot of benefits, such as happiness, health, and likeability. It’s for these reasons that it’s highly encouraged. However, some people say that optimists have the disadvantage of being far drawn from reality, thus making it hard for them to deal with real bad stuff.

A misconception goes that since optimists always expect the best outcome, then perhaps they don’t cope well with adversity. But such notion reflects an inaccurate description on optimism. Martin Seligman, one of the pioneers of positive psychology defines it as reacting to problems with a sense of confidence and high personal ability. While pessimists tend to view problems as internal, unchangeable, and pervasive, optimists view them the other way around. As a result, they don’t get bogged down by stress, anxiety, and depression when the going gets tough.

Evidently, optimists are not excused from negative emotions, such as disappointment and frustration. But given their positive perception on setbacks, they are able to recover from these emotions more quickly. In a study by Litt and Colleagues, pessimists were shown to feel personally responsible for failures beyond their control. Optimists on the other hand are better able to cope with disappointments by focusing on the positive aspects of a dreary situation.

Good news is, optimism can be learned, according to a study at the University of Pennsylvania. Changing one’s thoughts and reactions one step at a time ultimately leads to better coping mechanisms, healthier lifestyle, and happier relationships-including with oneself.

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