The Impact Of Optimism On Mental Well-being And Your Relationship
We have two basic choices regarding our attitude: One, we can focus on what can go wrong and things not working out, or two, on what can go right.
We choose to see the world in either a positive or negative way every day.
We choose to see the relationship with our significant either positively or negatively. Which begs the question, how do you choose to see your relationship? And what are you doing to nurture it and make it better? Anything?
A negative, pessimistic attitude makes things worse, but it also makes things seem worse.
Viewing life positively promotes better mental health and makes us feel physically healthier. People with optimistic mindsets reduce their risk of illness and tend to live longer.
But it’s not just our physical well-being that improves with a positive outlook; our mental well-being improves, too, resulting in happier, healthier relationships.
Suppose you’re having issues in your relationship. In that case, one of the first places to start to make things better is your attitude because being optimistic tends to make you feel better and improves the emotional climate of the relationship.
Stress And Optimism
Former athlete and public health advocate Christopher Bergland suggests that optimistic people tend to have a better physical response to stress than pessimists do.
Cortisol elevates stress. This hormone becomes released when we have negative thoughts and feel anxious
Cortisol is the “fight or flight” hormone that sends us into action when we feel backed into a corner or in danger. But here’s the thing, the circumstances don’t have to be dire for cortisol to be secreted. Our mental state can trigger it.
But when we feel optimistic, we tend to be more relaxed and see life and our relationships in a more positive light.
When we feel more confident and secure, we secrete fewer stress hormones into our bodies. The beneficial result is we feel less anxious and overwhelmed.
Depression And Optimism
WebMD suggests that being positive and optimistic decreases the symptoms of depression. A main symptom of depression is thinking negatively about ourselves and life. We tend to expect the worst, and as a result, we can become isolated and emotionally compromised.
Breaking free from depression isn’t easy, but here are some things you can do to shift your mindset to be more positive.
- Focus on the Good over the Bad: There are positives and negatives in every situation. You can always focus on what’s going wrong, but you can always focus on what can go right! Focus on the positives and release the negatives.
- Stop Blaming Yourself: Depression can lead us into a relentless downward spiral of self-blame. Look, there are things beyond our control. So let’s choose to be kinder to ourselves, even when we make mistakes. What does blaming ourselves accomplish? Nothing. It’s better to learn from the lesson and improve. In the words of Spock, blaming yourself is illogical.
- Stop Expecting & Predicting Disaster: If one small thing goes wrong, you might think everything will go wrong. You’re probably not a prophet, so stop trying to predict the future unless you want to find yourself in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Expect something good to happen, and work for it. Sometimes when things look like they’re falling apart, they’re falling into place.
- Seek the Middle Ground: Life isn’t black or white, and things aren’t either blissful or horrible. Resist the temptation to make things worse than they are. A small win is still a win, and a minor setback is merely an annoyance. Either way, failure is nothing more than helpful feedback in most situations.
Choosing an optimistic frame of mind will brighten your mood and weaken depression’s grip on you so you can escape. You may still need professional support, but deciding to be more positive is a choice you can make now before you finish reading this article.
Optimism And Anxiety
We feel anxious and afraid when we live in a constant state of worry. It makes us miserable.
But just because something could happen doesn’t mean it will. A lot of things could happen that don’t happen.
When we choose an optimistic mindset, we prime ourselves to be solution-focused, and take action to make things better.
When we choose to believe and focus on things working out and how we can achieve a better outcome, we will feel less fearful and anxious.
But, the reverse is also true. When we believe that the situation won’t work out and will only get worse, we feel anxious and fearful. We become miserable, stressed out, and nervous, which increases the likelihood of bad outcomes. Life is dreadful.
But the only thing we have to decide right now is this: What kind of life and relationship do we want to have, and then choose an optimistic mindset and get to work making it happen.