Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Note Taking & Optimism OR: How To Become an Optimist OR: Prevent Depression — Be An Optimist

Would you rather be an optimist? Or, a pessimist?
This article is based upon experience. What works and what does not. When certain treatments work and when certain treatements do not. What works for one, may not work for another. What works for many, should work for another. The treatments and programs described here, have worked for many.
As homeopathy treats mental and emotional symptoms, people often turn to homeopathy for help with mental and emotional symptoms. This is a difficult process. It is hard, even for a professional homeopath to discern, what is a matter of ideas & philosophies; versus; what is pathology. Although often, the links between physical & emotional pathology are clear.
This article does not address the use of homeopathy for treating emotional symptoms. (An article on the subject of treating emotional symptoms with homeopathy is planned.) This article addresses treating the ideas that can foster ill health. Ideas drummed into your brain repeatedly. Programming that you may or may not be aware of.
Were you constantly told you will fail? Can't succeed? Nothing you did was good? Every event was a disaster? You are unlucky? This list goes on. It's called defeatism. Psychologists – Dr. Martin Seligman, Learned Optimism: how to change your mind and your life – refer to this as learned hopelessness. I call it taught hopelessness.
Luckily, you can learn a new way. That is what this article is about. Learning how to be an optimist. Which, has many health benefits.
Thoughts cause actions. Stress is based upon thought. Really now, would you be stressed out, if you didn't think it was worth worrying about? As the mind controls the nervous system, that controls the body, bad thinking can badly effect the body & the body's functioning.
We have heart attacks over bad news. Right? … High blood pressure; Even cancer - as VA studies seem to indicate.
Some psychologists have noted that people who have suffered trauma, especially repeated trauma, especially repeated trauma at a young age (child abuse in other words); can not simply "Get Over It!". Such people have had this trauma burnt into their neural pathways. What is necessary "to get over it", is to replace thinking of those incidents, with thinking of pleasant occurrences. You must overlay one thought with another thought.
You must find the triggers that cause you to think of those negative thoughts, memories and; when those triggers occur, you must think new thoughts, that are pleasant, positive and, not disturbing.
Many people are depressed. In the U.S. depression, is pandemic. There are many possible causes of depression. Genetics. Repeated abuse, especially child abuse. Mineral & nutrient deficiencies. Adverse situations & life circumstances. Philosophies.
Pessimisim and depression go together. There are many possible causes of pessimism. Genetics. Upbringing. Taught habits & behaviors. Philosophies.
Dealing with genetics requires competent medical care. This is beyond the scope of this web site. If you are severely depressed, suicidal, seek competent, professional, medical help.
But, many people are just prisoners of their own minds. Trapped in bad thought habits. Bad thought habits either taught to them as part of their upbringing or learned as a reaction to their upbringing. Luckily, that which has been learned, can be unlearned.
This web site talks about proven exercises that help you form new habits that promote optimism. This is not about boosterism. This is about science. An ordinary person, with persistance, can usually expect to acquire a new habit within 3-6 months. (The Highly Sensitive Peron's Survival Guide, Ted Zeff, PhD) This applies to acquiring the habit of thinking and talking optimistically. (Learned Optimism, Martin Seligman, PhD)
acquiring the habit of optimism
Decades of research by Dr. Martin Seligman has shown a link between pessimism & depression; optimism & success; optimism & happiness. Dr. Seligman has identified that optimists explain adverse events one way. While, pessimists explain adverse events another way.
Optimists explain adverse events as:

  • Local — Only affecting this situation.
  • Temporary — This too shall pass.
  • External — Not my fault.
Pessimists explain adverse events as:

  • Global — Affecting all situations everywhere.
  • Permament — There can be no change.
  • Internal — All my fault.
Let's look at a simple example. A person misses a bus or train in his or her morning commute. How do we explain this event?

  • The trains are unreliable and never leave on time! I can't get anywhere on time! I can never do anything because I can't be on time! I can never get to a meeting on time! I can never get to a store before it closes! I can never make it to an interview on time! I can never be on time for work!
  • There is nothing anyone can do to get the trains to run on time. This is the way it is. There is no way of being on time with these trains.
  • I always miss their train. I never give myself enough time to get to the train on time. It is my fault for not going to bed earlier, to get up on time.

  • I am late for work, today. (Not every day.)
  • The trouble will clear up and the trains will run on time again. (Not always.)
  • The trains are late. (Not me.)
How a pessimist can become an optimist
Research has shown, that pessimists can become optimists when they start to explain adverse events, difficult situations, the way optimists do. Moreover, this trait can usually be acquired with 3-6 months of practice. Thereafter, you must keep up the habit of explaining adverse situations, the way optimists do.
The more optimistically a pessimist explains adverse situations, the way an optimist does, the more optimistic s/he will become.
The more habituated to talking and thinking like an optimist you are, the more you will be an optimist. The brighter the world will seem.
With time & work, a pessimist can become an optimist.
Optimism & Success!
Successful people are optimistic. Optimistic people are successful. And… We know how people can be optimistic.
This is not just a theory. This too has been proven by Dr. Seligman in his studies. The most optimistic team wins. The most optimistically talking team wins.
Optimism & $ale$
Dr. Seligman also studied sales, optimism and the use of talking optimistically. Sales is a tough job. Even for a good sales person, it is hard to be optimistic after so many rejections in a day. Even for someone with the profile of a good sales person, staying positive all day selling can be tough. But, talking optimistically can help one stay positive in the face of all that rejection.
Pick a Winner
Studying people is hard. Not everyone wants to talk about themselves. Dr. Seligman came up with a good idea. He studied sports. There are all sorts of statistics about atheletes. When they win. How often they win. They and their coaches are interviewed before and after competitions. Yes, the most optimistic atheletes win. The more optimistic, the more they win. The more optimistic the coach, the more winning the team.

Want to be on the winning team?
Be optimistic!

Want to pick a winner?
Pick the most optimistic speaking team!

Optimism & Preventing Suicide
Many people are depressed. Severely depressed people may commit suicide. Talking optimistically often turns around depression to optimism. Practicing optimistic talking, may help depressed people with suicidal thoughts, especially the mildly depressed. Although this may be a good adjunct to licensed medical care; if you are having suicidal thoughts, seek competent, licensed medical care.
Note taking
Physically writing notes, note taking, helps one remember. This has been studied. [1 2 3] Students who take notes, good notes, remember more material.
The advantage of using a Thank You Journal has been studied. A thank you journal is quite helpful in staying positive & upbeat. Logging your 'thank you's helps you think positively.
Explaining events optimistically, verbally, or in meditation, is good. Using a journal may be even more inspiring.
Try keeping a journal, explaining the adverse events in your life; as local & temporary. We have to be careful with explaining events externally. We must accept responsibility for our actions. But, not impose upon ourselves that which is not our responsibility.
Keep a journal. See how your attitude changes!

This article is currently under constant revision. Last revision date: April 9, 2015

DISCLAIMER: This web site and software is not meant to replace competent medical care.

This site is for educational & informational purposes. If you feel suicidal, unable to sleep, are unable to work or function on your job, seek competent, licensed, professional, medical care.

1 comment:

  1. Homeopathy is very effective and non-intrusive therapy for mental illnesses. Try online homeopathic treatment.