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

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.

Hey Doc, Were You a History Major?

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

Don’t Let Your Anger “Mature” Into Bitterness

All bitterness starts out as hurt. And your emotional pain may well relate to viewing whomever, or whatever, provoked this hurt as having malicious intent: as committing a grave injustice toward you, as gratuitously wronging you and causing you grief. For righteous anger is what we’re all likely to experience whenever we conclude that another has seriously abused us.

Seeing the Bigger Picture: Life Maybe Better Than You Think

By Allison Carmen on January 11, 2015 in The Gift of Maybe
Some of us tend to hyper-focus on the things that are bothering us. If we can find a way to stop looking just for the faults, we may also find what is wonderful and glorious. This is beyond being an optimist instead of a pessimist. It is seeing life in its entirety and realizing Maybe our lives are better than we think!

The ABCs of Freedom from Anxiety

By Bill Knaus Ed.D. on January 10, 2015 in Science and Sensibility
Get to the core of your bedeviling anxieties. Change the core. Set yourself free.

Optimism Is Good For Your Heart

By Christopher Bergland on January 10, 2015 in The Athlete's Way
A new study from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has found that people who are optimistic have significantly better cardiovascular health.

7 Tips for Applying to a Psychology PhD Program

By Todd B Kashdan Ph.D. on January 07, 2015 in Curious?
the unwritten, behind the scenes wisdom for getting into graduate school. share these tips with anyone you know applying to a PhD program in (clinical) psychology.

15 Things You Can Let Go Of in 2015

Ditch the resolutions and let go of these 15 things in the New Year for more happiness, health, and resilience.

8 Ways You Can Tell That It's the Right Time to Quit

By Peg Streep on January 06, 2015 in Tech Support
There's no decision more gut-wrenching than deciding to give up on something that was once very important to you. An inside look at why it's hard to quit, and what you need to know before you do.

Can We Pay People to Quit Drugs?

A number of empirical studies have shown that direct cash payment can alter human behavior, and more specifically drug use behavior. However, this treatment is not effective for everyone. Finding out for whom cash would work in changing behavior may require combining artificial intelligence techniques with neuroscience and clinical intuition.

Wrangling with Betrayal

There are various ways we may feel betrayed. As our sense of reality is undermined, our ability to trust our instincts, and thus ourselves, is lost. Healing from betrayal means learning to trust our experience and choices again--and allowing ourselves to experience various stages of grieving that accompany loss.

15 Inspirational Quotes for the New Year

By Jamie Long Psy.D. on December 30, 2014 in Finding Cloud9
A compilation of favorite inspirational New Year's quotes to help you get in the spirit to welcome 2015!