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Stories, Games and Articles for EL, Issue -- Optimism
December 09, 2008

Optimism Activity - An Activity To Practice Optimism or Positive Thinking

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Optimism Activity - An Activity To Practice Optimism or Positive Thinking

Optimism or Positive Thinking is the overarching mental state wherein people believe that things will more likely go well for them than go badly.

Positive Thinking or personal optimism correlates strongly with self-esteem, with psychological well-being and with physical and mental health.

Martin Seligman, in researching this area, criticises academics for focusing too much on causes for pessimism and not enough on optimism. He states that in the last three decades of the 20th century journals published 46,000 psychological papers on depression and only 400 on joy.

Optimism has been shown to be correlated with better immune systems in healthy people who have been subjected to stress.

Ideologically convinced optimists may defend failures in their hoped-for outcomes by discussing "misplaced optimism" rather than abandoning optimism altogether.

Positive Thinking or Hope can become a force for social change when it combines optimism and pessimism in healthy proportions.

John Braithwaite, an academic at the Australian National University, suggests that in modern society we undervalue hope because we wrongly think of it as a choice between hopefulness and na´vetÚ as opposed to scepticism and realism.

An activity to practice Optimism or Positive-Thinking

Divide the group into groups of five. Give each group a newspaper cutting of a current event which reports a disaster or a crime etc. The task for the groups is to list the postive effects of the event that has been assigned to them.

They should have atleast as many points as the number of members in the group.The contributions can range from the personal, to professional, to economic, societal etc.

The task gives participants an opportunity to practice positive thinking. It also enables people to be thankful rather than resort to negative thinking and grumbling.

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Thank you

Thank you all for the enthusiastic response to the last issue. I hope you like this issue as much as I liked writing it.
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