ABC of Optimism » Mind Tools Blog

ABC of Optimism

September 9, 2014

©GettyImages/Alberto Masnovo

Is your glass half empty or half full?

Your outlook on life can have a significant influence on your happiness, career, and health. Studies show that optimists are generally healthier, more successful, and enjoy stronger relationships than their pessimistic counterparts.

For years, researchers believed that, because optimism and pessimism are personality traits that are largely determined by our genes, they could not be changed.

However, we now know that environmental factors can make our genes dial up and down, much like a dimmer switch. In the words of Professor Tim Spector, “We are regaining control, if you like, of our genes.”

Our article on The ABC Technique looks at how “learned optimism” can help the most hardened pessimist to look on the bright side. Read it here.

You can also learn more about making positive psychology work for you in our articles on Using Affirmations, The PERMA Model, and Snyder’s Hope Theory.

Question: Have you ever had a problem that turned into an unexpected opportunity? Join the discussion below.

3 thoughts on “ABC of Optimism

  1. Thoughtz wrote:

    This article is great! I love the part that says your outlook on life can have a significant influence on your happiness, career, and health. Your mindset dictates everything!

    1. Ruth Hill wrote:

      Thanks Thoughtz! Not so much “we are what we eat,” but more “we are what we think,” hey? I couldn’t agree more.


  2. Bree wrote:

    I try to always ‘look on the bright side of life’ and believe that ‘when one door closes, another better one will open up’. I just may not see that next door yet!

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