Is the glass half empty or half full? This is a common question, generally used rhetorically to point out that a situation could be optimistic (half full) or pessimistic (half empty), or as a overall litmus test to indicate a person’s view of life.
At any time of day, wherever you are in the world, you can tune into media sources and be informed of the latest troubling events of our planet. It can be a challenge to maintain a glass half full mentality in a world of negativity. The norm of today’s culture is to complain and gripe about daily inconveniences–the traffic was horrible, the weather is miserable, or the lines were long. It can be easier to give in and look at the negative aspects of daily life instead of focusing on a positive view.
Research has revealed that pessimists often suffer from stress-related physical problems such as migraines, high blood pressure, tummy disorders and a weakened immune system. A pessimism outlook may lead to fears, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.
In Healthy Pleasures, Robert Ornstein and David Sobel define optimism as the tendency to seek out, remember, and expect pleasurable experiences. It’s an active priority of the person, not merely a reflex, that prompts a person to look on the bright side. It’s not a surprise that researchers have found that optimists live longer and experience better overall health.
If your outlook tends to include a doom and gloom attitude, what can you do today today to change that pattern? –sn