All About Pessimism

The glass is half-empty and storm-clouds loom overhead (never with a silver lining). Pessimists get a lot of flak for negativity, and their health may take a beating, too. But they make better leaders and are more resistant to false advertising. Having realistic expectations may actually be a recipe for happiness. Try a daily dose of cynicism, but don't let excessive worry take over your life.

Recent Posts on Pessimism

9 Warning Signs of Burnout

Burnout has been described as the biggest occupational hazard of the twenty-first century. Educating busy professionals and workplaces about its warning signs is a big first step in reducing its impact.

Why John Hughes Still Matters

Filmmaker John Hughes died unexpectedly in 2009 at the age of 59, yet his movies remain staples of teenage angst and adolescent transition still relevant today. Kids of the 80s (now in their 40s) identified with these characters, and the movies resonate as nostalgic outlets for them.

New Discoveries About Depression

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on March 20, 2015 in Curious?
The ultimate guide to understanding depression based on the best, cutting edge science and a description from David Foster Wallace - a genius, one of the best authors of the modern era, who also killed himself to stop the unrelenting pain. What does it really feel like to be in the throes of a major depressive episode?

Don't Believe Everything You Think

Every human mind generates fear much of the time, unless we "retrain" the mind. Without conscious management on our parts, fear can permeate our thoughts -- and poison our relationships with our children. That’s why fear has to be consciously confronted. Here is how.

6 Ways to Infuse Therapy with a Sense of Hope

Bringing a genuine sense of hope and optimism into the therapy process is paramount in our alliance with clients. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which clinicians can infuse the therapy process with the notion that there is truly a light at the end of the tunnel—and it’s not an oncoming train!

Overcoming Negative Self-Thinking

The task of changing schema is to unlearn the self-defeating old habit and replace it with a new, healthier one.

4 Exercise Tips for People Who Hate to Exercise

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on March 16, 2015 in Minding the Body
Hate exercise? You can learn to enjoy it more with these simple but effective strategies.

Grief, Loneliness, and Losing a Spouse

By Romeo Vitelli Ph.D. on March 16, 2015 in Media Spotlight
Sooner or later, every married couple will face the prospect of their relationship coming to an end, whether due to death or divorce. For those people dealing with the loss of a spouse, overcoming loneliness represents the greatest challenge in moving on with life afterward. A new study looks at how grief and loneliness are linked to depression in older adults.

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

Psychologists may play an instrumental role in reducing inappropriate use of deadly force by law enforcement personnel.

Happy Pie

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on March 04, 2015 in One Among Many
Some say that 50% of happiness is due to genes, 10% to circumstance, and the rest to what you do. I want to believe that but can’t.

Worthy Proverbs and Silly Ones

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 03, 2015 in How To Do Life
We’re affected by proverbs, aphorisms, and slogans…and not always for the good.

Overcome Hopelessness Thinking and Stop Feeling Depressed

By Bill Knaus Ed.D. on February 28, 2015 in Science and Sensibility
Can you think your way out of feeling depressed?

Do Generations Exist?

By Steven Mintz Ph.D. on February 26, 2015 in The Prime of Life
Is it misleading to speak about a self-absorbed “Me Generation” or jaded, cynical GenXers, overeducated and underemployed?

Your Inner Monkey: Learning From Your Way-Way-Back Past

How far back do you look when you want to learn from the past? Your monkey ancestors actually can teach you much about why you do what you do now.

8 Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat. Here are eight negative attitudes of chronically unhappy people...

The Mind of the Authoritarian

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 22, 2015 in A Sideways View
It was around 70 years ago that the famous book entitled THE AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY was published. What was the central theory and how is it considered today

Mastering the Art of Relationship Yoga

You probably didn’t log on to this website to read about yoga, but trust me, there’s a connection between the subject at hand, and the theme of this blog, and that, in fact, is the point of this post, and the point of Yoga: Connection.

Health Insurance—Insuring Insecurity

Corruption breeds cynicism—welcome to health insurance

He Who Loves Will Be Conditioned to Show it

Love is not a disposition but it can occur below conscious awareness.

Why So Cynical About Valentine’s Day?

As the Valentine's Day hype machine roars on, so does the Valentine's Day cynicism. Here's why you should resist both.

Are Your Boundaries Making You Miserable?

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on February 12, 2015 in Evolution of the Self
Sure, you need boundaries. And undeniably, you have the right to assert them—whether to safeguard your privacy, self-respect, or basic sense of decency. So it’s crucial to develop the ability and self-confidence to say no, or to tell others to stop doing what they’re doing. But what also needs to be emphasized is that some of your boundaries may be holding you hostage. . .

The Catch-Phrase Technique

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 11, 2015 in A Sideways View
People often won't tell you what really motivates them. Many can't tell you because they do not have insight into their motives. Over the years, psychologist have tried to invent simple and efficient techniques that assess what people really think. One such is the catch-phrase technique.

Why Residential Rehab Matters in Heroin Addiction

A sweeping 11-year study out of Australia adds fresh understanding to our knowledge of heroin dependence and, in the process, challenges a widely held misconception—that residential rehab doesn’t really do much to help the heroin addict. Instead, the research shows residential rehabilitation may well set the best course to long-term improvement.

Dismiss Pollyanna

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 08, 2015 in How To Do Life
Beware of people who cheer you on with Pollyannish optimism.

Too Stressed for Success?

By Joann P. Galst Ph.D. on February 01, 2015 in Fertility Factor
Stress and Infertility - We know infertility creates stress; we don't know for certain that stress creates infertility. Nevertheless, here are some tips to help you persevere on your path to parenthood.

7 Tips for Staying Positive

By Erin Olivo Ph.D. on January 29, 2015 in Wise Mind Living
Every day has something positive in it. Some days you just have to look a little harder.

Hypochondriacs—Might They Live Longer?

Surely, we all know (or know of) a hypochondriac. And a cyberchondriac—a colloquial term for hypochondriacs perpetually scouring the Internet for diseases that might fit their worrisome symptoms—have also become increasingly prominent. But might there be some practical benefits to being hypervigilant about atypical or anomalous bodily sensations?

When Not Talking About Past Trauma is Wise

By Carrie Barron M.D. on January 27, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Though self expression is often healing, sometimes it is better not to tell your tale of woe. For some people repeating the story re-ignites the trauma. Learning to re-direct the thoughts can be more therapeutic. Here are some suggestions.

How Coping with Chronic Illness Impacts Loneliness

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on January 26, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
While it has been well established that chronic loneliness has a significant impact on our physical health and longevity, two new studies are providing fascinating information about how chronic illness impacts loneliness, as well as about how our coping mechanisms influence both our psychological and our physical health.

Does Your Doctor Know You?

Medicine, History and You. You have your history, and your doctors have theirs. How does this all come together to give you better care.