The following outlines three components of exercising intentional optimism.
Example: Imagine someone had a car crash.
How long will the problem last?
Pessimistic: “It’s going to take SUCH a long time for my broken ribs to heal.”
Optimistic: “It’s going to take months for my broken ribs to heal, it’s a long time, but it’s not forever.”
How widespread is the problem?
Pessimistic: “I can’t do anything until I’m better, my whole life is on hold.”
Optimistic: “I definitely can’t do sports for awhile, but I will catch up on some reading.”
Is there anything I can do about the problem?
Pessimistic: “This was a freak accident that happened to me. I have to hope for a miracle.”
Optimistic: “I better learn to drive more carefully next time. For now, I’m going to focus on taking care of myself.”