In a previous article http://www.capstickssaxton.com/…/197-3-more-ways-to-build-resilience I pointed out that optimistic people tend to be more resilient than pessimistic types. However the good news for pessimists is that optimism can be learned.
Martin Seligman, author of “Learned Optimism: How to change your mind and your life” reaches the conclusion that the tendency towards optimism is learned (rather than dispositional) and can therefore be trained. He has arrived at this conclusion following his studies of learned helplessness.
The ability to learn to be optimistic is important because it means that people can learn to be more resilient and to develop ways of looking at their life that facilitate rather than inhibit their performance under stress. Remembering that our emotions flow from our thoughts, the methods that have to be mastered involve taking control of our thoughts and developing our positive thinking patterns. This is how you move your mind from the shade into the sunshine.
Seligman has designed training which helps people to learn and develop the positive thinking skills of learned optimism. The ABC model developed by Albert Ellis and used by Cognitive Behavioural Therapists is the starting point for Seligman’s training method. The ABC model works like this: Continue reading