It's Surprisingly Easy to Become an Optimistic Person

Posted on November 23, 2016

Photo: flickr

It does not matter how bright your future will be, there are many practical reasons to be optimistic. The positive perspective on the future will be useful for your current state which allows you to enjoy life more. In addition, friends around you will appreciate your optimistic attitude and if you do experience any health issues, being optimistic will aid in better recovery.

In a 2011 study, it revealed making yourself more optimistic is possible and surprisingly easy. Researchers compared two groups of people, with one group engaging in a five-minute thought exercise of positive thinking about their future selves and the other group just plainly thinking about their typical daily activities. Participants in the positive thinking group showed significant increase in their optimism both after the first day, and after two full weeks. However, it is to note that other studies equipped with different intervention methods, population, outcome measures do differ in the levels of success in changing optimism.

A meta-analysis; a method of combining results from individually published studies for a new statistical analysis, were conducted and a total of 29 optimism intervention studies were identified. Combination of 3319 participants from all studies were placed in a group who received optimism training and a group that did not. Results revealed that intervention did have a positive impact on people’s optimism.

Studies with the intervention of having participants to engage in five-minute thought exercise of positive thinking turned out to be a better intervention method than the others, for instance, a positive psychology technique. It was also noticed that intervention done person-to-person received significant results versus intervention conducted online.

There is still a lot more to learn in optimism training, such as, what might allow people to be more successful afterwards and how long does such effect last for these individuals. There is hope to develop brighter outlook for typically pessimistic people and that possibly will be a step forward to imagining a future self, someone who is more optimistic.

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Category(s):Positive Psychology

Source material from Scientific American


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