It is estimated that Americans feel happy approximately 54% of the time, neutral 25% of the time and unhappy 21% of the time. After review of the “happiness” research, Dr. Martin Seligman in his book Authentic Happiness concluded that happy people:
- are healthier. (Medicine For What Ails You)
- use their intelligence more efficiently. (Happiness Fuel For The Brain)
- are more creative. (No More Excuses)
- are more optimistic.
- have more fulfilling social relationships.
Although happy individuals experience approximately the same number of negative and positive life events as unhappy individuals. Happy people choose to dwell on the happy events more. This may be because human beings are hardwired for optimism. There is a growing body of scientific research that suggests our brains are predisposed to seeing the glass half full, not half empty.
Optimistic— happy individuals:
- believe positive events happen because of them.
- readily remember the positive events in their lives.
- remember fewer of the unhappy times.
- are confident that more positive things will happen in the future, both personally and in the world.
- interpret negative events as anomalies, not indicative of their lives in general and not predictive of their future.
- when confronted with a problem they are confident that the problem can be solved.
- view failure as temporary and as an opportunity for personal transformation.
Benefits of Optimism
- persistence in the face of obstacles
- achievement of life goals
- intrinsically motivated
- regulates emotions positively
- unconventional— our of the box thinking
- courage to take risks— to go where no man or woman has gone before
Would you like to be more optimistic— happy? Then start rewiring your brain. Instead of dwelling on the negative:
- Think about someone who makes you laugh.
- Think about something that excites— some activity that is pleasurable.
- Write down three things that you are grateful for.
- Perform a random act of kindness.
- Pray/meditate daily.
- Exercise daily.
- Journal the most meaningful, positive experience of the day.
Optimism doesn’t blind you to the realities of life, but it does protect you from the potential physical, psychological and spiritual damage of these realities. It’s your umbrella for those dark and rainy days. Assuring you that somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue.
Thanks for listening to my voice! Feel free to like and share it with your friends.
Have a great day! Rita
Be the VOICE heard amidst the deafening sound of sameness!