英语学习:Optimism强身健体延年益寿

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“不如意事十常八九”,这句话的意义可以是︰人生是不如意的,做人没什么意思;亦可以是不如意事是常见的,没需要过分介怀。 “不如意事十常八九”也等于人生总有如意的时候。

不同的看法,是因为态度不同。前者是pessimistic,解tending to see the worst aspect of things or believe that the worst will happen,倾向从最坏的方面看,即悲观的。后者是optimistic,解hopeful and confident about the future,对前景抱希望和信心,即乐观的。凡事pessimistic的人是pessimist(悲观主义者),相反就是optimist(乐观主义者)。

心态定处事

University of Pennsylvania心理学教授Martin Seligman研究optimists和pessimists二十多年,他曾任American Psychological Association的主席。他在著作Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life中,分析两种看事物态度的分别。

The defining characteristic(决定性的特质) of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine(暗中颠复、暗中破坏) everything they do, and are their own fault.

悲观的人倾向相信不如意事是长期的,遗害不断。

The optimists, who are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune(厄运、不幸的事) in the opposite way. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback(挫折), that its causes are confined to this one case.

Hard knocks解difficult or painful experiences or circumstances,种种痛苦的经验、挫折和锤炼。 Hard knocks、misfortune和setback在上面一段的意思差不多。乐观者会把这些不如意事看作暂时的、只此一次的。对挫折的看法不同,处理方法也自然不同,结果也不一样。

The optimists believe defeat is not their fault: Circumstances(情势、环境、情况), bad luck, or other people brought it about. Such people are unfazed(处变不惊的) by defeat. Confronted by a bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder.

Pessimists give up more easily and get depressed(情绪低落的) more often. Optimists do much better in school and college, at work and on the playing field. They regularly exceed the predictions of aptitude tests…. Their health is usually good . They age well, much freer than most of us from the usual physical ills of middle age. Evidence suggests they may even live longer.

Optimist更长寿这可能性最近已有研究证实了。男女都是一样,optimist活到85岁以上的机会比最悲观的人高出五至七成,在Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences发表的研究报告指出这个乐观和平均寿命的关系,但科学家不知道原因。

悲观变乐天

另有研究发现,”optimists had a 35 percent lower risk of experiencing the most severe complications related to heart disease in comparison to pessimists”,乐观者心脏较健康。

我们一般认为optimism或pessimism是天生的性格,但专家却说经过自我心理调校,悲观者都可以变乐观,享受optimism的种种好处。

首先要”notice your negativity”,要察觉自己的悲观看法,尝试找出乐观的原因,起初不易,但慢慢就会做得到,想想为什么凡事会向坏方面看,有人觉得pessimism可让我们较易接受失望和挫败,但这想法是错误的。

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