The way we view the world can influence a variety of things — who we interact with, our physical, mental and emotional well being, the decisions we make and more. When we think of optimism vs. pessimism, we usually attribute a more positive view of the former. After all, optimism comes with a lot of benefits, right? Well, yes and no.
Believe it or not, there is a silver lining when it comes to pessimism. Let’s take a closer look at what these two terms mean as well as why, ultimately, optimism is crucial to Recovery.
What Does “Optimistic” Mean?
Being optimistic is defined as expecting the best possible outcome from any given situation. The mental attitude of an optimist is more likely to reflect a belief that any result will be positive or desirable. Optimists tend to exude more confidence when it comes to facing life’s challenges, and they’re very future-oriented. They also tend to have an internal locus of control, meaning they’re in control of their decisions and can see how today’s choices can impact tomorrow’s experiences.
Because optimists believe they can handle whatever life throws at them, they’re more likely to enjoy significant measures of physical, mental and social health. However, this trait can also mean they take on more stress than pessimists because of their tendency to see possibility and opportunity.
What Does “Pessimistic” Mean?
A pessimist is defined as a person who tends to expect only adverse outcomes. Unlike optimists, they have an external locus of control, meaning they believe external factors such as fate or the environment will make things impossible.
Pessimists are more likely to dwell on the past and have a hard time believing they can overcome adversity. This attitude leads to less confidence and the tendency to take the actions of others personally. Also, when problems present themselves in a pessimist’s life, the individual is more likely than an optimist to see the issues as pervasive events.
On a positive note, studies show that pessimists may be more likely to take preventative action against possible health issues due to their tendency to imagine all the things that could go wrong.
The Importance of Staying Optimistic During Recovery
When it comes to Recovery, optimism is the best ally on your journey. Although optimists may take on more stress, they’re also better equipped to deal with that stress. Even if things do not go the way they planned, optimists are still able to see possibility and opportunity in every situation. It’s crucial to stay optimistic during Recovery because:
- Optimism reduces the risk of relapse back to drug or alcohol addiction.
- Optimism boosts energy and immune system functioning.
- Optimistic people are drawn to optimistic people, which helps in building a strong Recovery support network.
- Optimism allows the inevitable hiccups along the road to be less stressful.
- Optimistic individuals are more likely to achieve their goals.
- Optimism allows individuals who have suffered from addiction to see through the veil to the real cause of their suffering.
- Optimism will enable people to find happiness in their sobriety.
Tips for Remaining Optimistic Through Recovery
No matter what has happened in the past, remember that you always have the power to create change for the better. Staying optimistic throughout Recovery is incredibly important because it can help you stay on track to your goals and attract like-minded people. Tips for remaining optimistic through Recovery follow:
- Don’t judge yourself.
- Take ownership of your behavior.
- Become a problem-solver.
- Don’t label yourself.
- Use daily positive affirmations.
- Talk yourself out of guilt.
- Learn from the past.
How 7 Summit Pathways Promotes Optimism in Recovery
Staying optimistic about your Recovery takes focus and the continual support of those around you. That’s why, at 7 Summit Pathways, our treatment model provides patients with tools that promote long-term Recovery. We’re innovative with our treatment modalities and know that continual support throughout the Recovery journey is crucial.
Our individualized and holistic continuum of care plans can address addiction’s hold on your life in a way that’s uplifting, positive and based on medically based treatment methods that work. Contact us today or schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable and compassionate team members.