by Sarah JF Braley | September 03, 2020

In your world, is the glass half empty or half full? In a new article from Psychology Today, Anthony Silard, Ph.D., discusses optimism vs. pessimism as we contemplate the end of the pandemic (someday).

The bottom line is that we should stick to realism as much as we can, with optimism as the fallback. Unfortunately, of course, we can't predict when the current circumstances will end. But, "those who are unrealistically pessimistic and live in a state of foreboding about impending doom experience over three times more distress - even when they are pleasantly surprised that it's not as bad as they thought - than those who are unrealistically optimistic and have their sights on better times that are inflated beyond what actually transpires," Silard writes.

It is possible to add optimism to your outlook, says Silard: "In practical terms, consider the long-term effects on your well-being of spending untold hours, day after day, filled with positivity and hope about a brighter future vs. passing these hours filled with dread about your life going to pot (with a slight uplift when it turns out better than you expected). We all have a choice to make every single day of our lives: Focus on becoming better, or become bitter."

P.S. Research shows that optimists tend to live longer, happier and healthier lives than pessimists, Silard points out.