• AnJenette Afridi. MA

Learned Optimism vs Learned Helplessness

Learned optimism is a term that contrasts with learned helplessness. Both terms are from Positive Psychology, founded by Martin Seligman, PhD. who said: "Changing the destructive things you say to yourself when you experience the setbacks that life deals all of us is the central skill of optimism". Learned helplessness is a thought pattern where we feel unable to change a negative circumstance. When we experience learned helplessness, we usually feel frustrated and give up. When we experience learned optimism, while we may not always be able to change the outcome of the challenging situation, we can change how we respond to it. Adopting the optimistic mindset may reduce the effects of stress on our mind, body, and spirit. “Life inflicts the same setbacks and tragedies on the optimist as on the pessimist, but the optimist weathers them better.” | Martin Seligman, PhD


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