If you want to live longer, be healthier and be happy with your life you could do worse than trying to develop an optimistic point of view. It doesn't come naturally or easily to around 30% of the population - this many being inherently pessimistic in outlook.
Frederick Langbridge, in writing his ‘A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts’ described how two people can share the same view but see different things:
"Two men look out through the same bars: One sees the mud and one sees the stars" also known as the glass half-full or half-empty principle.
In other words, you have two choices: you can either look up or you can look down. The optimist will see and describe the beauty of the stars overhead, whilst the pessimist will see the dirt and rock-strewn path underfoot.
In life, you are always given choices. If you take a pessimist's view you risk living a self-defeated life. Decide to take the optimistic point of view and you can create a challenging and fulfilling future for yourself.
OK what's so good about an optimistic point of view? And why should I want to change anyhow?
Optimism is the natural state of positive mood and good morale. It is a route to academic, athletic, military, occupational and political success; to personal popularity; to good health and even to long life and freedom from stress.
Unfortunately the current rates of depression and pessimism have never been higher. They are affecting middle-aged adults as much as younger people. The average age of onset has gone from 30 down to 15. It is no longer just a middle-aged person's disorder but increasingly becoming a teenager's disorder as well.
So what would I expect to see in an optimist?
Optimists tend to expect positive outcomes or results of their actions.
The opposite is true of pessimists in that they tend to expect the worst, that it will last a long time and undermine everything they do. They also believe it to be their own fault.
When optimists are confronted with setbacks, the difference is in the way they explain their misfortune. They tend to believe defeat is just temporary and that its a one-off situation.
They don't affirm negativity with statements like: ‘things will never get better" they just quickly move on to the next thing and display better reactions to new or even difficult situations. If they fall, they dust themselves down and get going again. An optimistic point of view is about seeing opportunities instead of problems.
Most people respond positively to an optimistic point of view.
Optimists are less dependent on others for their own happiness and being happier tend to draw people towards them as they are easier to be around and their view of the world is more desirable than those who spread gloom or negativity.
When the going gets tough, optimists know they are equal to the job.
Optimists generally maintain a higher level of subjective well-being during times of stress. They think positively and are less susceptible to self-pity. Pessimists on the other hand are likely to develop chronic illnesses or bouts of depression.
Optimists are healthier and live longer.
Medical research has demonstrated that simple pleasures and a positive outlook can cause a measurable increase in the body's ability to fight disease.
Optimists’ health is usually good. They age well, being much less prone than most people from the usual physical ills of middle age. And they get to outlive those prone to negative thoughts.
So isn't it better to be an optimist today? And think positively towards a more fulfilled life - you'll benefit in many different ways when you develop an optimistic point of view.
Peter Fisher is an expert Author and Publisher and webmaster for http://www.your-positive-attitude.com where you will find all the resources to help you Change Your Focus and develop a more optimistic point of view