Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life

Curing the negatives does not produce the positives.

el fracaso es huérfano y el éxito tiene muchos padres.

Esos experimentos prueban también que los optimistas van mejor en los estudios, en el trabajo y en el deporte.

Fifth, you learn to recognize and question the depression-sowing assumptions governing so much of what you do:

First, you learn to recognize the automatic thoughts flitting through your consciousness at the times you feel worst.

Fourth, you learn how to distract yourself from depressing thoughts.

La depresión se presenta bajo tres aspectos, en tres formas. La primera es la que denominamos depresión normal, y es la que casi todos conocemos mejor. Surge el dolor y el sentimiento de pérdida que forman parte inevitablemente del hecho de pertenecer a especies sapientes, a criaturas que piensan en el futuro.

La vida causa los mismos contratiempos y las mismas tragedias tanto a optimistas como a pesimistas, pero los primeros saben afrontarlos mejor.

La vida causa los mismos contratiempos y las mismas tragedias tanto a optimistas como a pesimistas, pero los primeros saben afrontarlos mejor. Según hemos visto, el optimista se rehace de su derrota y, si bien con algunas pérdidas, se recompone para volver a luchar. El pesimista, en cambio, se desmorona, se rinde y cae en la depresión. Merced a su capacidad de reacción, el optimista alcanza mejores resultados en lo que hace, sea el trabajo, la escuela o el deporte. El optimista goza de mejor salud y puede vivir más.

Pessimistic prophecies are self-fulfilling.

Review YOU SHOULD NOW be well on your way to using disputation, the prime technique for learned optimism, in your daily life. You first saw the ABC link—that specific beliefs lead to dejection and passivity. Emotions and actions do not usually follow adversity directly. Rather they issue directly from your beliefs about adversity. This means that if you change your mental response to adversity, you can cope with setbacks much better. The main tool for changing your interpretations of adversity is disputation. Practice disputing your automatic interpretations all the time from now on. Anytime you find yourself down or anxious or angry, ask what you are saying to yourself. Sometimes the beliefs will turn out to be accurate; when this is so, concentrate on the ways you can alter the situation and prevent adversity from becoming disaster. But usually your negative beliefs are distortions. Challenge them. Don’t let them run your emotional life. Unlike dieting, learned optimism is easy to maintain once you start. Once you get into the habit of disputing negative beliefs, your daily life will run much better, and you will feel much happier.

Second, you learn to dispute the automatic thoughts by marshaling contrary evidence.

The genius of evolution lies in the dynamic tension between optimism and pessimism continually correcting each other.

The optimist believes that bad events have specific causes, while good events will enhance everything he does; the pessimist believes that bad events have universal causes and that good events are caused by specific factors. When

The skills of becoming happy turn out to be almost entirely different from the skills of not being sad, not being anxious, or not being angry.

Third, you learn to make different explanations, called reattributions, and use them to dispute your automatic thoughts.

While you can't control your experiences, you can control your explanations.

YOU SHOULD NOW be well on your way to using disputation, the prime technique for learned optimism, in your daily life. You first saw the ABC link—that specific beliefs lead to dejection and passivity. Emotions and actions do not usually follow adversity directly. Rather they issue directly from your beliefs about adversity. This means that if you change your mental response to adversity, you can cope with setbacks much better. The main tool for changing your interpretations of adversity is disputation. Practice disputing your automatic interpretations all the time from now on. Anytime you find yourself down or anxious or angry, ask what you are saying to yourself. Sometimes the beliefs will turn out to be accurate; when this is so, concentrate on the ways you can alter the situation and prevent adversity from becoming disaster. But usually your negative beliefs are distortions. Challenge them. Don’t let them run your emotional life. Unlike dieting, learned optimism is easy to maintain once you start. Once you get into the habit of disputing negative beliefs, your daily life will run much better, and you will feel much happier.