optimistism? pessimism? realism?

[via weheartit; edited by bywayofney]

When it comes to thinking about the future and all the unknowns that it brings, I have found that if I fall under one perspective category, I see things rosy more often than I see them cloudy. Truth of the matter though is that I tend to be a realist. Just tell it how it is, see it for what it is, plan it for what it will be, dream about it within the parameters of your own resources. That last part isn't always the most fun way of doing things but the worry of the let down from being too excited about something that isn't realistic, is what gives a girl like me anxiety. (And, since my degree from UCLA is in Psychology, it makes me a total dork when it comes to articles, books, and studies about the brain. Hence the following:)

Reading through Psychology Today I found out that although "every situation is unique" research can also shed light on "when to brace for impact and when to stay upbeat."

In education, research shows you should expect the worst because you lower your expectations you are more likely to reduce the disappointment of the grade to be revealed and thus less likely to become upset over the results. This approach can help you in any "moment-of-truth" situations like awaiting health options as well. (This according to a University of Florida study.) 

In career, research out of NYU suggests you expect the best, realistically. They state that if you are a confident while looking for a job or once you have it, believing you are deserving of the job, raise, etc, you will me more successful than a pessimistic employee. Can do attitude wins out! 

In romance, research from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that if you expect the best, and view your partner through "rose-colored glasses", long term love with thrive off the way that perception leads you to approach conflicts in your relationship. So, it isn't about conflicts not being present but more about how to perceive and approach those conflicts. 

In family situations, Iowa State research shows that you should expect the best. The low expectations that you have of your family, especially as to parent to your child, is usually a predictor of a "self-fulfilling prophecy." If you believe, for example, that your teenage daughter will drink just because her friends are, you are more likely to raise a children who embodies a "party animal persona" as an adult. 

In sports, or situations that are competitive in nature, you are best off to expect the worst and then the best. If you expect the worst you are more likely to prepare better than someone who thinks they can "win" without preparation. However once you are in game mode, just before and during the competition, having confidence strongly leads to winning. 

In health, they suggest that you expect the worst. Only becuase if you expect the worst you are more likely to take the precautions of getting screened or getting a flu shot, for example. However, it is strongly known and should be noted that having an optimistic outlook of life and your health creates less stress which is known to cause health problems itself. So, do your homework, get your physicals, exercise, eat healthy, blah blah blah, and don't worry that every time you get a headache you have a brain tumor.

(OK, so maybe it was a dorky post, but was that not interesting?!?)


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