Mental Health and Optimism
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Michael F. Scheier
“I think it’s now safe to say that optimism is clearly associated with better psychological health, as seen through lower levels of depressed mood, anxiety, and general distress, when facing difficult life circumstances, including situations involving recovery from illness and disease.”
"Strategies promoting optimism, resilience, and approach coping styles can decrease the mental health burden of the pandemic on medical residents."
(Coping strategies, optimism, and resilience factors associated with mental health outcomes among medical residents exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 in Qatar)
Coping strategies, optimism, and resilience factors associated with mental health outcomes among medical residents exposed to coronavirus disease 2019 in Qatar)
One of our fields of interest in this study is to shed the light on optimism factors among the medical residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, as optimism is considered one of the coping mechanisms (World Health Organization, 2009).
A clear set of coping skills, including how to think optimistically and how to approach problems and adversities, has been shown to help the health care workers. Gaining the skill of optimism can assist in confronting stress or setback, can help to overcome failure in particular events, and strengthens self-efficacy and resilience. This will increase the health care workers’ overall sense of well-being, helping them to be more beneficial to their society (Seligman, 2004).
In this study, it has been found that optimism score was higher in senior than in junior medical residents. This finding may be explained by the difference of number of year experience between them.
A Swedish study among pediatric oncologists in 2009 showed that links were found between their level of optimism and experience, and their optimistic attitude was helpful for their resilience (Stenmarker et al., 2009). An Indian study among nurses performed during COVID-19 pandemic indicated that psychological preparedness, self-efficacy, resilience, and optimism were higher among the nursing faculty and administrators than the students, and it was explained by that the lack in these areas for the younger student might improve with age and work experience (Gandhi et al., 2020).
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