Men and women around the world have used positive thinking as a way to achieve health, wealth, and happiness. Called optimists, this way of thinking helps them overcome challenging obstacles while achieving situations they originally thought were impossible to get through.
Being an optimist is great, however, a new study has found that there are benefits of being a pessimist.
There Are Benefits Of Being A Pessimist
As far as pessimists, they see the glass half full, in addition to keeping low expectations and often prepare for the worst. Pessimists also have the tendency to take things personally. As an example, if a pessimist is cut off while trying to switch lanes, they will react in a way as if the other driver was out to get them.
Researchers have found a new type of pessimist, called the defensive pessimist, people who use negative thinking in a way to help reach their goals.
Significant evidence has proved that this new way of thinking can help pessimists succeed, as well as reap unexpected rewards.
Defensive Pessimism, Anxiety, And Self-Esteem
In the study, researchers found that defensive pessimism is a way for people who suffer from anxiety to help manage their symptoms. For example, instead of running away from challenges in life, they use defensive pessimism to head in the right direction and make better decisions.
The research proves that defensive pessimism can help increase confidence in students while attending college. Some students were not only able to raise their self-esteem, but they avoided negative outcomes they thought about.
Ways To Be More Positive
Whether an optimist or a pessimist, life can be filled with challenges that make it difficult to see the positive outcome. Other researchers have analyzed twins and found that people are pessimistic for a reason.
"Twin studies show it's about 25 percent heritable, but that means it's 75 percent social circumstances or under our own control," said Eric S. Kim, a research fellow from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
The best thing people can do for their health is learning how to be more positive.
Other activities that may help people be more positive is by cherishing the happy moments in life, taking pictures of animals or nature, and learning how to meditate.
Martin Seligman, the author of Authentic Happiness, highly recommends keeping a journal nearby. Every night, people should write down at least three positive things that happened during the day, and a reason why.