Do Thoughts Determine Your Quality of Life?

Modern culture doesnít invite optimism. Advertisements hawk victimization: Your life isnít good because youíre missing something. The news often reminds us about everything that is going wrong. Itís hard to stay an optimist, to stay effective, if youíre allowing negative influences to affect you.

“Optimism is an essential condition for doing something difficult,Ē says Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of By acting, you enter into relationship with the reality around you. Thatís why optimists are healthier and happieróa result proven by myriad studies. People with an optimistic attitude get sick less often. When they are sick, they heal faster. They feel more connected to their lives, and that makes them happier. Martin Seligman, founder of the positive psychology movement, came to this conclusion in several studies. Optimists feel they have answers to the circumstances in which they find themselves. That simple realization strengthens their immune systems. Pessimists undermine their immune systems with feelings of despair and powerlessness.

But Seligman has shown that you can learn to be an optimist. In his book, Seligman writes that he can turn someone who has had 30 years of practice thinking pessimistically into an optimist. His lesson plan — a combination of creative brainstorming techniques and exercises in assertiveness, relaxation and decision-making — has been used with freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania, where Seligman teaches psychology, and the results are clear: better health, fewer visits to the doctor, better grades, fewer suicides, better eating habits, more exercise, better self-care and so on.

Optimists naturally embrace two elements more readily than pessimists. Optimists are grateful, and they have a sense of humor. There is a correlation between laughter and the levels of certain hormones in the body that regulate our perception of pain.

There will always be problems. What you can change is the way you approach those problems; choose gratitude for the chance to learn a new lesson, gratitude for the opportunity to find a path that may provide new fulfillment, and gratitude for everything that makes your life good.

Want to know more about being an intelligent optimist? Click here for a free digital issue of The Intelligent Optimist magazineóon us!




Karen H.
Karen H4 years ago

I don't have problems. I have challenges, & I feel the Universe doesn't give me a challenge without providing a solution--I just have to be open to recognizing it. I feel that I am in control of my life--not circumstances around me. I can control my reaction to whatever life throws at me.
Whenever anyone says, "How are you?" I respond, "Great!"
It'll be interesting to see how many negative responses I get to my comments. Please do your best to be positive; it can change your life.

Ernie Miller
william Miller4 years ago

might even make you live longer.

Joy S.
Joy s4 years ago

A positive attitude is a necessity in life to endure.

Sabrina I.
Past Member 4 years ago

of course!

Mary B.
Mary B4 years ago

Only those who can see the Invisable can do the Impossible.And those who think something is impossible should never interrupt someone who's doing it.

heather g.
heather g4 years ago

Thanks - I enjoyed reading that article.

Yes my way of thinking links directly to the aims of your magazine : viz.... " The Intelligent Optimist is a community centered around a magazine, a website and online events and courses. We focus on the people, passion and possibilities changing our world for the better."

Marija M.
Marija M4 years ago

Of course.
Thank you for posting.

Lydia Weissmuller Price

This is how I try to approach hard situations: Romans 12:12 "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Lin M
Lin M4 years ago


Marie W.
Marie W4 years ago

Sometimes- wouldn't conflicting thoughts cancel?