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  • Writer's pictureAmba Brown

The power of positive psychology

When we’re going through a hard time, our outlook can be the vehicle to a better place.

This concept of learned optimism relies on the idea that we can teach ourselves to overcome negative thoughts; psychology research shows that those who participate in a learned optimism program experience less depression, anxiety and improved health and wellness.

Ready to give it a try?

Basics of optimism

The first steps toward developing a sense of learned optimism are to start viewing bad events within the following guidelines:

  • A setback or failure is only temporary.

  • It is specific to only one situation and not our whole lives.

  • It isn’t personal: Setbacks are largely caused by circumstances and can be overcome.

For example, a bad grade is only a temporary condition limited to that one assignment. You can bounce back by asking for help with the material, improving your study skills and dedicating more time to classwork going forward.

The bad grade doesn’t define you as a person, and it doesn’t set the tone for the entire semester. The same rules apply to other difficult situations.

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