We Both Need Optimism and Pessimism

Symbolized optimism and pessimism with two colors.

When it comes to stress, one of the best-known topics is optimism. Having positive thinking and always trying to be optimistic is mentioned as a vital part of stress. People compare optimism and pessimism to show that why we must have optimism to get through stressful events. And usually, the conclusion ends with how to learn and practice to be optimistic. 

There is a reason for that conclusion, but in this post, we would like to check out the missing part of the story. Then we must get rid of pessimism and never be pessimistic?

What is optimism and pessimism

Emphasized word 'what' to focus finding out what is optimism and pessimism.

Positive thinking, which is associated with optimism, is an essential component of good dealing with stress. People with optimism believe in positive outcomes and see their problems as short-term, manageable, and limited to a single situation. Confronting with stressful situations, they have a lower chance of getting anxiety and sadness. In dealing with pressures, one’s expectations about how things will turn out are essential.

Pessimists see their difficulties as unmanageable, long-term, and widespread throughout many aspects of life. Pessimists overly discouraging chances they might get. As a result, confronting our stress primarily as a pessimist could increase our anxiety or depression.

The things to know before trying to get rid of pessimism in your life.

  • Is optimism always the most perfect state without a doubt? Being optimistic isn’t always a ‘good thing.’ Optimists handled simple, temporary, and controllable stresses better than pessimists but not very well with complicated, chronic, and uncontrollable stressors. 
  • Quite many optimists become way too optimistic when it comes to the real dangers they face. For instance, there is a doctor who treats patients. The doctor has to be entirely realistic and should be alert about being too optimistic.
  • If someone goes to the casino with a thousand dollars, being optimistic can become a dangerous thing. Get full of hopes that they can make money at the casino and think they can stop themselves whenever they want. Therefore, it is better to be pessimistic in the casino. Thinks as there will be no chance of making money and have to protect what already got. Generally, optimism can put us into unnecessary risks, particularly finances.
  • The topic related to optimism and health, there is some evidence of a connection between them. Most people think optimism will bring a healthy body. And there is the fact that heart disease has a positive result in optimism and improved health outcomes. However, the connection also has an opposite meaning that people in good health are more apt to be optimistic. In the case of cancer and HIV-virus that could develop into AIDS-, show the weak connection between optimism and health outcomes. Thus, the link has been demonstrated for only some particular diseases or stressors. The optimism may not be as magical related to health as we thought.

What to do

Optimism and pessimism are not good or bad. We need to use it in correct situations with the right amount. Optimism is essential in life. There are vital facts that optimism can help with well managing stressful events. But, we must be optimistic based on reality and an adequate amount. We should not be optimistic anywhere and in any circumstances. Sometimes, we need to be pessimistic too. Thus you don’t have to feel strange or uncomfortable with yourself about being pessimistic sometimes. We always need to find a balance for a healthy life.  

Another Phrens Blog Post Related to This Topic- Is Anxiety Always a Bad Thing?


Photo by Elena Mozhvilo, Rhys Kentish, Jilbert Ebrahimi, Nadin Mario on Unsplash

  • Passer, M & Smith, R. (2015). Psychology: The science of mind and behaviour. (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

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