Do pessimists live longer on average? Perhaps. That is, if they can steer clear of fatalistic pessimism that shades into despair and oppression.Is optimism possible in the face of all this misery? And perhaps more importantly, even if there is reason to be optimistic about the future, is it socially responsible to focus on a bright future when the present is so bleak?How often do we panic and abandon reason? The antidote is to always maintain perspective; never to drown in the darkness of the moment.Our lives and well-being seem to be manipulated by a variety of influences. But in truth, our mindset and choice of reaction is more powerful than all these external forces combined.
If we fall into the trap of pessimism, then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But if we can muster the strength to think positively and remain optimistic, we can weather anything.
(see link at end)…Older people who have low expectations for a satisfying future may be more likely to live longer, healthier lives than those who see brighter days ahead, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
“Our findings revealed that being overly optimistic in predicting a better future was associated with a greater risk of disability and death within the following decade,” said lead author Frieder R. Lang, PhD, of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany. “Pessimism about the future may encourage people to live more carefully, taking health and safety precautions.” The study was published online in the journal Psychology and Aging®.
Lang and colleagues examined data collected from 1993 to 2003 for the national German Socio-Economic Panel, an annual survey of private households consisting of approximately 40,000 people 18 to 96 years old. The researchers divided the data according to age groups: 18 to 39 years old, 40 to 64 years old and 65 years old and above. Through mostly in-person interviews, respondents were asked to rate how satisfied they were with their lives and how satisfied they thought they would be in five years….
…Because a darker outlook on the future is often more realistic, older adults’ predictions of their future satisfaction may be more accurate, according to the study. In contrast, the youngest group had the sunniest outlook while the middle-aged adults made the most accurate predictions, but became more pessimistic over time.
“Unexpectedly, we also found that stable and good health and income were associated with expecting a greater decline compared with those in poor health or with low incomes,” Lang said. “Moreover, we found that higher income was related to a greater risk of disability.” Read More:http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2013/02/pessimism-future.aspx
(see link at end)…Germans take a strange pride in their ability to celebrate the bummer — and it all goes back a long, long way. Charred linings found in the fluffiest white clouds can be found not only in present-day personal conversations but in nearly every art form throughout Teutonic history. Such cheerful pieces of German literature as Goethe’s 1774 Sturm und Drang hit “Die Leiden des jungen Werthers” (“The Sorrows of Young Werther”), which allegedly spurred a rash of suicides after its appearance, or Nietzsche’s 19th-century nihilism are hardly exceptions.
German opera is no different, with most long-winded productions ending in a finale of flames of doom — or a beached whale like in a recent Stuttgart production of Wagner’s “Siegfried.” And it goes on: In Berlin, the just-ended blockbuster art exhibition at the New National Gallery was called “Melancholie.” One of the top German films last season was “Requiem.” Sigh. Even Berlin graffiti is full of it: One message scrawled on a wall in the hip neighborhood of Friedrichshain reads: Ist eh alles scheisse — or “Everything is shit anyway.”
Although it’s clear that German history hasn’t always been a happy affair, why all the brooding and nay saying? As a native once explained, always looking at the dark side of life may indicate depth, critical thinking and a certain “intelligent” caution –- things that have always been very dear to the security-loving German heart and the logic-loving German head.
Deep down inside, however, it seems as if even the most pessimistic Germans yearn for a certain Leichtigkeit (lightness) that their apparently genetic neuroses, cultural heritage, perhaps even inherent fears of erring, make difficult for them to achieve in their everyday lives. Read More:http://www.spiegel.de/international/the-dark-side-optimists-are-idiots-a-416230.html