Learned helplessness vs. learned optimism
Tonight I wanted to briefly explore my favorite topics in psych: mindset. Now, if you ask me, I enjoy a variety of psychotherapy techniques. I took one class my senior year that went into depth of techniques/schooling and at the end of the semester, we were asked to write *a really, really, really* long paper of which we used for a set example given a set case. Yatta yata. I chose humanistic psychology (for simplicity), existential therapy, and mindfulness based cognitive therapy approach.
Now those 3 topics may not mean much to you right not, but follow me on this post. So, when I think of optimism, I like to fit it under all 3 of those "schools". I get that when I cite things, I should actually cite them, but I don't have access to those webpages anymore that have the concrete data - regardless, it's been proven time and time again that your perspective and mindset will change your situation. Of course, this has limitations, and can't work in EVERY situation, but for the bigger picture let's stay generalizing it and apply this to most case scenarios.
Most events or situations that come our way dictate a response, right? Your parents yelled at you so do you obey or yell back? Your tire is flat one morning and you're already late to an appointment, but now with the flat tire you find out it'll take 4 hours to repair and your plans for the day are shot to hell - what now?
Helplessness is taught, actually, it's a behavior/mindset that someone forced on you OR you learned it - all human behavior is like this. We act in a certain way because once upon a time, someone said it was ok. The same is true with optimism, but not really... now listen... optimism, in my opinion, is like taking that leap of faith - maybe the situation will work itself out, maybe it won't. I don't know, and YOU don't know either. But, compare it to helplessness, feeling hopeless, powerless, etc. Which would you choose? Honestly, some people want to be on the helpless side. That's fine! Do you, do your thing!
I challenge you to be optimistic about that one thing you want to be pessimistic about - what is it? I'll start - sometimes (recently) I want to complain about being on my own (or brag about it - idk I'm indifferent, anyways) in reality, this is something to be optimistic about. "I am on my own because I choose to be, but I have amazing/wonderful resources/friends nearby (seriously, all I have to do is send a text!) who would come help me whenever I needed or asked. OR, a relevant one, "world issues/climate/the current state of the world we live in upsets me, but I know that with love and kindness, we will be ok (also the world always spins and each day is a new day and a start to a better day, so long as you choose to think about it that way).
We all have stressors. That's a fact and it's expected. Our stressors look different. We don't have to compare our stressors, but we should acknowledge the differences. How we react to stress (with optimism or helplessness) determines what happens next.
What are 3 things you're grateful for? Mine: my family, my health, and my optimistic brain.