Why I'm not a realist

Doesn’t the world look so much better through rose coloured glasses? (Or in this case, a rose coloured lightroom filter?)

Realist: A person who believes in seeing things the way they really are, as opposed to how they would like them to be.

Optimist: a person who tends to be hopeful and confident about the future or the success of something.

I’m not a realist because while studying psychology at university, I learned all about the harmful affects of realism. Or in other words, the heath-boosting and success-inducing effects of optimism.

Studies show that positive illusions (favourable beliefs that are often exaggerated and inconsistent with reality) can actually slow down and even reverse both mental and physical illness.

One study by Taylor (2005) researched the effect of positive illusions on disease progression in men with HIV. Taylor found that the men who held onto optimistic beliefs despite a terminal diagnosis tended to live an average of nine months longer than those who accepted their terminal diagnosis.

He also found that of the men who had not yet developed symptoms of AIDS from their HIV, those who had positive beliefs regarding the future were less likely to develop the symptoms of AIDS within the next year than those without positive beliefs. He concluded that positive illusions can have a positive affect on physical health and slow the progression of some types of disease.

AND he found that even unrealistically optimistic beliefs had a protective factor for mental health.

Unrealistically optimistic beliefs. Being “unrealistic” is good for your health. Dude.

That’s why I’m determined to be totally unrealistic.

The mind is freaking POWERFUL. Don’t dull it down with realistic ideas.