Optimism Vs Pessimism

I don't have to tell you that optimists fare better than pessimists in any situation. There have been so many studies conducted over the years espousing the benefits of looking on the bright side of things that you cannot deny that it is better to be an optimist than a pessimist.

While worry is partly genetic, pessimism has little to do with your genes. (In fact, the new science of epigenetics has discovered that genes are not actually set in stone, they are more like dimmer switches and can be turned up or down by environmental factors.) Optimism is more of a personality trait and can vary, even in twins. 

The perspective you currently take is most likely due to your response to things that have happened to you. While you can't change your past, you can change your beliefs.

A study at Concordia University found that optimists have lower baseline levels of stress hormones compared to pessimists, and they are more able to regulate hormone levels in stressful situations.

Optimists are less likely to experience depression and anxiety. Optimists are also more likely to live longer than pessimists.

Cynicism, a trait often found in emergency service workers such as the police, often goes hand-in-hand with pessimism. Those with higher levels of cynicism, known as hostile cynicism, increase their risk of dementia by three times. Yikes, I was a cynical cop.

I could go on and on about this stuff but you get the picture. The good news is that you can train yourself to be happy. If it is more of a personality trait then it can be changed. Even if pessimism was genetic research tells us that you can change it by changing your environment. You also do so by changing your perception.

Sir Winston Churchill said "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty." 

Early research at the Positive Psychology Centre at the University of Pennsylvania indicates that you can change your thoughts which can change your perception which can change you from being a pessimist to an optimist.

What are you waiting for, become an optimist. Think only positive thoughts, look at the bright side of things, see only opportunity, and learn from your mistakes.