Learned Optimism

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Is it possible for us to learn how to be optimistic?  Join us in a discussion with Sara Soyeju about how learning to be optimistic may have a positive impact on your mental health. 

If you want to learn more about how learned optimism can make your brain happy, then this episode is for you!

Here are two reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover what learned optimism is.
  2. Learn how you can shift your thinking and have a more optimistic view on life.


  • Connect with Sara Soyeju:
  • www.ediblepsych.com
  • Sara.soyeju@ediblepsych.com
  • Instagram & Facebook @ediblepsychology
  • Work Mentioned:
  • (Learned Optimism and Explanatory style) Seligman, Martin E. P. Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life. New York: Vintage Books, 2006
  • Seligman, Martin E. P. 2013. Flourish. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  • Seligman, Martin E. P.  (2018).  The hope circuit : a psychologist’s journey from helplessness to optimism.  North Sydney, NSW :  Penguin Random House Australia

Episode Highlights

What is Learned Optimism?

  • Pessimists and Optimists explain good and bad events in different explanatory styles.
  • There are three key ideas that pessimists will focus on when describing a bad event.
    • Personal: A pessimist will say the cause of the event was specific to them.
    • Permanent: They think it will always be like this now.
    • Pervasive: The bad event spreads to all aspects of their life.
  • An Optimist will flip the event around and see the event in a different light.
  • Learned optimism is when a pessimistic person does specific behaviors to change the way they explain events in their lives.

How Can You Become More Optimistic?

  • It takes practice and you need to be intentional.
  • Start by switching the way you explain bad things in your life.
  • If something seems personal, permanent, and pervasive, take a moment to reflect and intentionally shift your thinking on the event. 

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

“Those that naturally have a tendency of being pessimistic, can actually do specific behaviors, changing the way that they explain events in their lives, in order for them to start having an optimistic dial of thinking”.

“When we start to notice that they (events) are personal, permanent, and pervasive and they are really weighing on our thoughts and minds, then we need to really look at that”. 

“It will not always be like this”.

“Transition the way that we explain things in our lives, definitely the bad things in our lives, in a way that it doesn’t influence us to go down that spiral of thinking”. 

“It’s kind of a tool in a toolkit. Not necessarily a cure all”.

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