You can become optimistic. Here are the “exercises” the experts recommend – WWN

You can become optimistic.  Here are the “exercises” the experts recommend – WWN

Of Anna Fregonara

The tendency to have a greater sensitivity to everything negative is a mechanism that can break. According to studies, those who see the glass as half full have better relationships, sleep more peacefully and live longer than those who are pessimistic.

The end of a holiday, like the one just spent, be it a trip or a few days away from home, is perceived as a small loss of something beautiful and people have a natural aversion to deprivation. However, when colleagues ask you how it went, try to start the conversation with something positive. This technique, which positive psychology researcher Michelle Gielan calls power leads, is a simple way to start train yourself to be more optimistic and enjoy the benefits to the fullest. Research indicates, in fact, that those who are capable of look at the glass half full they have better relationships, they earn morethey are more successful with colleagues, they have a more peaceful sleep and they have one longer lifespan on average 11-15% compared to pessimists, with a greater chance of reaching 85 years of age and beyond, we read on Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Modifiable pessimism

Despite the pessimism is one of the personality traits more heritable – twin studies suggest it could be as high as 40% – even one of more editable.

THE muscles of optimism they can be trained with specific exercises performed consistently, as emerges from the scientific literature. One of the most studied exercises consists inimagine your dream life in 10 years and write it downonce a week, for 6-8 minutes, for 1 or 2 months, focusing each time on a single area such as family, work, loved ones, health and so on.
This exercise helps to place the facts, including our reactions, in a different light, more advantageous for us and for our future, begins Patrizia Steca, professor of Psychology at the Bicocca University of Milan. Develop the awareness of how we internally react or judge a situation a way to become more positive. Many studies have highlighted that human beings have, for evolutionary reasons, a greater sensitivity to everything negative. Like all tendencies, this too can be more pronounced in some people than others and take the form of a sort of automatic reaction whereby in every situation we try to identify what is wrong or what could go wrong. But it is a mechanism that can be broken by concentrating on identifying what works or what allows us to hypothesize that things will go well.

Gratitude journal

Fill in the so-called gratitude journal a another pro-optimism exercise. It consists ofwrite down every day for months or years at least three things that make us feel grateful. It helps to put down on paper, therefore to objectify, facts for which we can feel lucky. Seeing them day after day allows you to realize that they are not few and that they continue for long periods, like this he trains brain to notice the positive things instead of focusing on the negative ones. Thinking in comparative terms is also very helpful. We are more accustomed to looking at those who are richer, more beautiful, more successful; Let’s try to see who is the unluckiest, says Steca. It is also important to surround yourself with optimists who strengthen your positive vision. Being cheerful generally guarantees more extensive, solid and long-lasting interpersonal relationships, which are particularly valuable especially if we find ourselves facing difficulties. Let’s remember that the social support The main protective factor in dealing with chronic and complex pathologies.

Reversing the language

One last training easy concerns the
, the main tool we have to communicate our vision of things which also influences the reactions that others have towards us. Today there are online writing assistants with a function that turns the saddest emails into positive texts. Very often we have to convey uncomfortable requests, admissions of difficulties. Avoid catastrophic and alarmist connotations it helps to foster a more favorable and welcoming relational climate. So instead of saying “I have no idea how to…” let’s try to communicate to the boss “I’m trying to understand how to…”, concludes the psychologist Steca.

Always seeing the glass half full is good for the heart

L’Optimism is good for the heart. associated, we read above Jama Networkto one reduction in the risk of cardiovascular mortality

or for heart disease 45% ischemic
at the end of an observation period of almost 14 years of a sample of almost 230 thousand subjects.
The favorable effect is independent of factors such as sex, depression, education, socioeconomic status and level of physical activity practiced. So everyone can benefit from living better with a positive mentality, explains Roberto Pedretti, director of the Cardiovascular Department at Irccs MultiMedica in Sesto San Giovanni (Milan) and member of the board of directors of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology. The mechanisms through which optimism may affect its impact on cardiovascular health deserve further research. It is noted for an association between optimism/pessimism and important pathophysiological processes in the evolution of chronic-degenerative pathologies.

Different forms of optimism

They have been studied in the literature different shapes
of optimism. Only the unrealistic one can be dangerous, since it can lead to risky behavior in the belief that one is safe (or more safe than others) from possible negative repercussions, explains psychologist Steca. The best known isdispositional optimism: more positive than negative events are expected in the future, both absolutely and in relative terms (more positive things will happen to me than other people). Then there’s that attributional which, instead, looks to the past and is configured as a sort of “style of explanation” of the events that have occurred: we attribute the successes to ourselves and the failures and negative events to external factors, often fortuitous and causal. When we constantly expect the worst because we hope to protect ourselves from disappointments we talk instead of defensive pessimism.

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January 28, 2024 (modified January 28, 2024 | 08:36)

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