262- Exercise Optimism

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Based on research done by Sergeant, Susan, & Mongrain, M. (2014) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.

Did you know there are simple and accessible strategies to help you gain a positive or optimistic perspective?

Psychology researchers evaluated the effectiveness of an online positive psychology intervention developed to promote optimism. They randomly assigned 466 adult participants to receive either the intervention or to write about their daily activities.  These participants completed several tasks geared at promoting optimism.  They listed things that made them feel like their life was enjoyable, enriching, and worthwhile.  They then listed three things that could help them see the bright side of a difficult situation.  These activities took place every day for three weeks.  Next, the researchers conducted a follow up 1 and 2 months after the intervention period. Results revealed that those individuals who participated in the intervention reported a greater engagement in life and less negative thinking.  Participants who initially tended to be pessimistic significantly benefitted from the activities, as they displayed less depressive symptoms following the interventions. However, these benefits appeared to fade over time indicating that they need to be repeated every now and then.

Focus on what makes your life worthwhile. Think, what is the bright side today?

References:

Sergeant, S., & Mongrain, M. (2014). An online optimism intervention reduces depression in pessimistic individuals. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 82(2), 263.

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