Optimism can make a huge difference

This one is a little bit longer – about 5 pages – but I think the length is not just “filler” and that it covers a very useful concept. ymmv

” ‘Which story do you prefer?’ This question turns out to matter a great deal if you are trying to figure out who grows after trauma and who gets swallowed up by it, a question that each movie addresses and that psychologists have been grappling with for years. Think back to the last time you experienced a loss, setback, or hardship. Did you respond by venting, ruminating, and dwelling on the disappointment, or did you look for a faint flash of meaning through all of the darkness — a silver lining of some sort? How quickly did you bounce back — how resilient are you?

Far from being delusional or faith-based, having a positive outlook in difficult circumstances is not only an important predictor of resilience — how quickly people recover from adversity — but it is the most important predictor of it. People who are resilient tend to be more positive and optimistic compared to less-resilient folks; they are better able to regulate their emotions; and they are able to maintain their optimism through the most trying circumstances.

For many years, psychologists, following Freud, thought that people simply needed to express their anger and anxiety — blow off some steam — to be happier. But this is wrong…. another study found that facing down adversity by venting — hitting a punching bag or being vengeful toward someone who makes you angry — actually leads to people feeling far worse, not better. Actually, doing nothing at all in response to anger was more effective than expressing the anger in these destructive ways.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/03/the-benefits-of-optimism-are-real/273306/

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