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3 Stress Resistant Personality Characteristics: Part 3 - Optimism

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3 Stress Resistant Personality Characteristics: Part 3 - Optimism

Optimism- (APA) n. hopefulness: the attitude that good things will happen and that people’s wishes or aims will ultimately be fulfilled. 


Optimists are people who anticipate positive outcomes, whether serendipitously or through perseverance and effort, and who are confident of attaining desired goals. 


Most individuals lie somewhere on the spectrum between the two polar opposites of pure optimism and pure pessimism, but tend to demonstrate sometimes strong, relatively stable or situational tendencies in one direction or the other. 


“Optimism is associated with greater psychological adjustment and is negatively related to stress and burnout (Crosno, Rinaldo, Black, & Kelley, 2009). 


People who are more optimistic tend to not dwell on problems or stressors and target the problem with coping strategies to keep them moving towards their goals (Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994).


Optimistic people have an unrelenting pursuit to reach their goals and believe they will be attained despite obstacles (Brissette, Scheier, & Carver, 2009).


So how can we be more optimistic?


Dr. Davis wrote 4 tips to be more optimistic in Psychology Today (2021): 


1. Choose your own version of optimism.

There’s no need to be optimistic all the time in every scenario (this is impossible). Instead, you can try slowly incorporating new optimistic ideas into your worldview in a way that feels authentic to you.

2. Start questioning pessimistic thoughts.

We sometimes tell ourselves that our pessimistic thoughts are realistic thoughts. But remember, thoughts are not facts. If you find yourself mired in negativity, try to pause and question your thoughts.

3. Surround yourself with other optimists.

Being around others who are optimistic can help you learn new tricks and discover how others find the positives even in negative situations. Simply being around an optimist can make us more optimistic.

4. Don’t force optimism.

Becoming more optimistic is like any new habit, it requires motivation and practice to become second nature. It can feel a little unnatural at first. So try it when you feel comfortable, but don't worry about pushing yourself too far out of your comfort zone at first.

Dr. Seligman wrote the national bestseller Learned Optimism, How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. Reading this book based off of the research is a great place to start cultivating optimism. 

Optimism provides a sense of hope during difficult times where it is hard to find any. It helps us turn self-defeating thoughts and feelings into opportunities for self-growth. 

Together with hardiness and mental toughness, optimism can help to buffer against stressful situations and keep us on track with our healthy routines. By strengthening these three personality characteristics our self-confidence will increase and we can overcome any obstacle with ease, creating a sustainable happiness over the long-term.

-Caleb Campbell, M.S.-

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist

#optimism #stressresistance #hopefulness #gotimetraining

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