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

It's Not the Glass That's Half Full/Empty; It's the Breast

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on April 25, 2017 in Full Living
We judge others as dispositioned towards negativity or positivity, scarcity or abundance, as a chosen disposition. In truth, that disposition gets set in infancy.

Prove It: Overcome Negative Thinking with Targeted Action

By Joel Minden, PhD on April 03, 2017 in CBT and Me
If it's difficult to restructure unrealistic thoughts, support new beliefs with evidence: change your behavior first.

Stuck in Negative Thinking? It Could Be Your Brain

Do you ever wonder why depressed people get stuck in negative thinking cycles and repetitive rumination? It turns out that this is due to a brain network gone haywire.

Are you a Luck Maker or Breaker?

How lucky are you? And if not, why not?

The Hubris Hypothesis

All other things being equal, we like optimists more than pessimists. However, as shown by research on the hubris hypothesis, optimism can have unexpected negative consequences.

How Exercise Reduces Depression, Anxiety, Cynicism, & Anger

By Matthew MacKinnon MD on February 12, 2017 in Neuraptitude
Exercise may be on par with antidepressants and psychotherapy in the treatment of depression; it even benefits non-pathological mental states as well as reduces mortality.

Balancing Optimism and Pessimism

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on January 27, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
There are optimists and pessimists, and some are a combination of the two. This blog discusses the balancing of both, and why some people are one way or the other.

5 Excuses People With Fear of Failure Make

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on January 24, 2017 in The Squeaky Wheel
Fear of failure will make your mind come up with compelling excuses that will increase your chances of failure. Here's how to catch them and correct them.

3 Ways To Better Cope With Inauguration Panic

Many people are in a state of panic about the upcoming American presidential inauguration on Friday. While there are no simple answers, these 3 strategies may help you cope better.

Pessimism of the Intelligence, Optimism of the Will

Can we combine pessimism of intelligence and optimism of will in confronting the devastation to environmental policy and regulation that many fear from the incoming administration?

Powering Up: Turning on Optimism

Don't live life as if you are "doing time." Let optimism free you from a life of mediocrity.
Lori Russell-Chapin

'Tis the Season to Be Grateful!

By Lori Russell-Chapin Ph.D. on December 14, 2016 in Brain Waves
Feeling blue during the holidays? Try these simple gratitude techniques.

Study: Boosting Your Joie de Vivre May Help You Live Longer

By Christopher Bergland on December 14, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
New research suggests that being optimistic, believing good things will happen, and enjoying life increases well-being and longevity. The best news is that optimism can be learned.

Is Shrinking Optimism Tied to Drop in U.S. Life Expectancy?

By Christopher Bergland on December 08, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
U.S. life expectancy dropped in 2015 for the first time in over two decades, the CDC reports. Could lower optimism and increased pessimism be tied to this drop in life expectancy?

Thinking Errors in Depression

By Neel Burton M.D. on December 02, 2016 in Hide and Seek
7 common thinking errors and how to correct them.

Taking a Deeper Look at the "Negative Person"

By Carrie Barron M.D. on November 24, 2016 in The Creativity Cure
The person who is labeled "negative" may actually be sad.

What Is CBT?

How cognitive behavioral therapy can be used in eating disorder recovery.

Pessimism May Exacerbate Your Risk for No. 1 Cause of Death

By Christopher Bergland on November 17, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Being pessimistic is linked to a greater risk of death from heart disease, according to a new study. What can you do to combat pessimism? I offer a few simple suggestions.

5 Ways to Stop Catastrophizing

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on November 16, 2016 in Friendship 2.0
In anxiety-ridden times, it is easy to begin believing the absolute worst-case scenario. Here's how to stay strong and fight it.

You Have to Face the Darkness to Fully Appreciate the Light

Changing your self-talk from “woulda, shoulda, coulda,” to “yes, I can” can move you far from the place where you allow your beliefs about the past to constrict your future.

Surviving the Current Presidential Election Experience

There are a few ways of coping with a currently tense relationship that has become so because of irreconcilable political differences.

When Adversity Strikes, Optimism Helps Us Get Through

It leads to using effective coping strategies, an attentional bias on the positives & substitutes for social support.

Why Smart Women Are Running Themselves Into the Ground

Burnout is a state of chronic stress characterized by a combination of exhaustion, cynicism and inefficacy, and it’s impacting women more frequently and earlier in their careers.

The Power of Personality

These are the ways to make a real change to the main facets of extroversion.

The Decline of Trust

By Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. on October 18, 2016 in Anxiety Files
In almost all areas of our lives trust has declined—and it has been on the decline for decades.

The Subtle but Very Real Human Costs of Reorganizations

By Victor Lipman on October 06, 2016 in Mind of the Manager
Reorganizations have become almost a form of corporate sport. Beyond the obvious costs for consultants and retraining, they often entail unintended long-term human costs.

The Risks of Joy

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on September 20, 2016 in Shame
The potential experience of joy threatens the emergence of shame and must be avoided at all costs. Heavy defenses against shame thus limit the opportunity to experience joy in life
Values, Frank John Ninivaggi MD

“Burnout”: The Indelicate Reality of Job Exhaustion

By Frank J. Ninivaggi M.D., F.A.P.A. on September 20, 2016 in Envy This!
“Burnout” sounds like a dirty word, but work-life imbalance is becoming an ever-increasing reality in the workforce.

Shift the Sadness of Losing Summer

Our brain brain is good at scanning for negatives, but you can wire yourself to focus on positives.

12 Predictions for 2050

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on August 24, 2016 in How To Do Life
Some reasons to want to be around at mid-century.