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

Thanksgrieving: How Inevitable Decline Can Make Us Grateful

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 26, 2015 Ambigamy
A grateful song I wrote for those times when it's hard to feel grateful.

In Praise of Seriousness

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on November 24, 2015 How To Do Life
Upbeat is overrated.

Letting Go of Fear of Failure-Part IV

By Jim Taylor Ph.D. on November 17, 2015 The Power of Prime
Fear of failure is about the perceptions that you hold about failure and, for the vast majority of people, those perceptions are entirely disconnected from the reality of their lives. You perceive that bad things will happen if you fail, but the reality is that nothing particularly bad, aside from some disappointment, will likely result from a failure.

20 Other Possible Reasons They Said No

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on November 10, 2015 Ambigamy
A rejection is not necessarily all about you. Here are some examples of other things it could be about.

7 Ways to Deal With Negative Thoughts

With practice, you can replace negative thinking patterns with thoughts that actually help you. And that can make a huge difference in your day-to-day happiness.

Making Patients Feel Worse Without Really Trying

Doctors can do the right thing and still make their patients feel worse instead of better. It depends on whether they pay attention to what the information they use and pass on means not just to them but to the people they're talking to.

Why Are Optimists Smiling? Are They Blind to Reality?

Understanding a Person's Outlook on Life Through Early Recollections

Trumping Frustration Is Not the Same as Trumping Fear

Mr. Trump, inflaming people's frustration will "play in Peoria," but what are you going to do about people's fears?

How to Stop Irritating Thoughts in Seconds

By Steve Sisgold on August 19, 2015 Life in a Body
To stop negative thinking on demand, I find it wise to step back and remember that you always have a choice when it comes to your thinking

Touch and Go Relationships – Do they have to be Superficial?

How can we rise above when new intimate relationships don’t pan out, and multiple failures take their toll on optimistic expectations.

Finding a New Job After 40

Employment statistics show that the length of time spent being unemployed has tripled for workers over the age of fifty-five. Whether due to outdated job skills or age-related bias, older job seekers often find themselves being forced to drop out of the work force completely or taking jobs paying far less than what they once earned.

A Debate: Is Our World Getting Better?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 17, 2015 How To Do Life
Looking at the big picture can help us approach our lives more wisely.

A Debate: Should You Be Optimistic About Work?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 15, 2015 How To Do Life
Looking at the big picture can help you make better career decisions.

Is a Cannabinoid as Sweet by Any Other Name?

Oblivion, annihilation, amnesia: for many, they are the highest pleasure.

4 Reasons We Should All Give Up Cynicism

Cynicism feels protective. A little cynicism, however, goes a long way. Too much mistrust and cynics find themselves losing more than they gain. If you default to cynicism in your thinking and interactions, make an effort to tap into your more optimistic side.

3 Ways Pessimism About Future Possibilities Fuels Depression

A new study reports that having a pessimistic attitude about "possible futures" isn't simply the result of depression. Pessimism about possible futures may be a leading cause of depression.

A Cynical Attitude Could Cost You

A new study reveals that cynical people earn less money. Three statements can help you determine your level of cynicism.

How Brian Williams Can Earn Back Trust

Can Brian Williams earn back trust? Yes, he can if he follows the 4 H's and 4 R's.

5 Neuroscience Based Ways to Clear Your Mind

This blog post offers five easy ways to clear your mind of unwanted thoughts based on the latest neuroscience.

Feedback Phobia: Why Do So Many Appraisal Processes Fail?

Why do so many people hate their work appraisal process which is often based on managers giving their reports feedback to help them improve?

Should We Blame Depression for the Germanwings Crash?

In the aftermath of the Germanwings Flight 9525 tragedy, the media quickly pointed to the co-pilot's "severe depression" as a possible cause of the crash. Was this really the cause? Or does this tell us more about our society's continued stigmatization of mental illness than of what really happened?

The Coming Climate Disruptions: Are You Hopeful?

Hope is such a muddled word: “We must have hope!” “There is light at the end of the tunnel!” Why do climate books and speeches have to end on a note of hope? Re-thinking hope in the face of overwhelming climate changes.

Nausea Unto Death?


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.

New Discoveries About Depression

By Todd B. Kashdan Ph.D. on March 20, 2015 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

Hate exercise? You can learn to enjoy it more with these simple but effective strategies.