Sunday, October 28, 2012

Leila Mulla: Playing the part of an optimist

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Optimists like Leila Mulla explain that optimism is actually a learned skill and there are a variety of ways to acquire it. Various life experiences have taught optimists skills that enable them to better cope with daily stressors and hassles. For example, an optimist suffering from the blues will recognize it as a passing cloud. Optimists who are dissatisfied in their work or relationships believe that better times lie ahead. They can acknowledge when a situation stinks without concluding that the universe is permanently conspiring against them. Thus, it comes as no surprise that people who look at life in a positive manner are less likely to be depressed or anxious.

But what if a person is not a “born optimist?”

Psychologists explain that by acting like an optimist such as Leila Mulla, even cynics can enhance their sense of optimism. Here are some tips:

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Setting goals
There are no big or small goals for optimists. What is crucial is the internal motivation. Optimists tend to pick a goal they can personally invest in.

Being persistent
It is the persistence—not the cheeriness—that paves an optimist’s path to a better life. Optimists believe they will eventually succeed, so they keep pursuing their goals.

Tackling problems head-on
Optimists and pessimists cope differently when adversity strikes. The optimist goes into active problem-solving mode, while the pessimist avoids, ignores, or disengages from challenges.

Psychologists say it takes just about four to six weeks to really change a habit. Thus, positive thoughts and behavior will eventually catch up with the cynic.

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