Global Council for Tolerance and Peace

Optimism in our daily lives

Dr. Antoine Al Chartouni

Dr. Antoine Chartouni

In order for a person to succeed in their life, they must be optimistic about it. An optimistic always perceives his life positively, and expects good things and happiness. He also succeeds in making their wishes come true, with psychological and social compatibility. Thus, he’s brighter regarding the future and all that surrounds him. Therefore, this positive life affects directly his psychological and physical health, whereas a pessimist expects bad things, desperation and failure. The latter perceives life negatively, which makes its own a living hell.

Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, perceived optimism as a general life rule. Without it, we cannot confront life. Freud considered that a child’s personality is defined during its social formation, according to the way he was raised, to his parents, and according to the way the parents view their child. If their view was positive and acceptant, the child would be positive and would love life, and vice versa. This means that if the parents did not accept the child and perceived him negatively, it will affect his life later on.

Optimism from a psychological perspective

Both optimism and pessimism affect the individual’s behavior and his social relations with his family and friends. They also affect his psychological and physical health.

Many studies have shown that an optimistic person doesn’t have a strong tendency to blame himself, even if he faced failure. So such a person is usually brave, confronts problems with stubbornness, and does not give in to failure. This is one of the perspectives that explains how optimism affects the personality, finding therefore optimistic personalities more successful than pessimistic ones. They are also happier, which we call “positive thinking” and its power in guiding people’s destiny towards success and positivity.

What is the definition of negative thinking and positive thinking?

Negative thinking is pessimism in seeing things, and exaggerating in assessing situations and problems we face every day. Whereas positive thinking is optimism, and looking at everything with a lively perception and expecting good things.

But how can we transform our negative behaviors into positive ones?

– Staying away from critics and cynicism coming from family, relatives or friends.
– Positive social participations and training on social interaction.
– Weak self-confidence has a major role in negative behaviors.
– Not focusing on flaws, but on talents and capacities.
– Not being carried away by sentimental and emotional influences and impulses.
– Calm when dealing with others.
– Not showing our weak points publically.
– Gain friends that have a positive thinking and point of view.

Health and optimism

Optimism is very important in a person’s life, not only on a psychological level, but health wise too, as the following:

Health wise,
– Optimism enforces the body’s immune system, thus defends the body from illnesses that could kill the person.
– Optimism minimizes stress, which leads to reducing many psycho-physical illnesses.
– Many studies regarding psychological health have shown that optimistic people do not suffer from headaches and neck cramps like pessimist people.
– Optimism is a kind of rest for the brain: The energy used by an optimist’s brain is much less than that used by a pessimist’s brain.

On the psychological level,
– Optimism empowers people to confront difficult situations, analyze these troubles objectively, and make the right decisions regarding the matter.
– Optimism makes people more flexible in their social relations, and faster to adapt.
– Optimism gives a sense of happiness, which affects positively the person’s health.
– Optimism helps the person build new relations with other individuals, and usually, an optimist attracts easily other people, whereas a pessimist is often repelled.

Also, pessimism exhausts the pessimist, and puts him in the risk of having heart disease, which could lead to death. Whereas pessimists’ love for life helps them overcome psychological and health problems, where a patient’s optimism can appear clearly through his improvement, regardless of all other psychological or social factors.

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