The concept of learned optimism is considered a branch of psychology referred to as positive psychology that Martin Seligman introduced. It involves viewing the events happening around an individual positively.
According to Seligman, positivity can be achieved by replacing one’s negative thoughts and self-talk with positive ones enabling the mind to learn to be optimistic. When the mind is optimistic, it reduces the negative influence of undesirable events. Seligman explains that learning optimism is essential for developing a healthy mental state.
When one is pessimistic, the brain constantly releases the cortisol hormone responsible for stress. Increased stress levels may kill brain neurons in the hippocampus. As a result, the victim may develop an unstable mental health state characterized by loss of memory and emotional instability.
There has been a close connection between learned optimism and the ability to cope with stress. Optimistic people tend to anticipate positive results from most of their situations. They generally view life positively; thus, the brain releases less cortisol hormone.
Reduced levels of this hormone lead to lower stress levels. Stress is often caused by frustrations and internal pressures for failing to meet certain expectations. This causes a lack of motivation and low morale, influencing the victim’s behavior and competence.
Embracing learned optimism leads to higher motivation enabling an individual to have the morale to overcome the difficult situations they are experiencing. Therefore, learned optimism enables people to cope with stress by effectively focusing on positive outcomes.