What do we gain from having an optimistic attitude? How does this relate to Sikhi? Optimistic attitude may be a first step for attaining a state of Chardikala. Chardikala is a notch above optimism. Let us review the psychological literature on optimism, and see if this can give us more insight into how Chardikala is […]

What do we gain from having an optimistic attitude? How does this relate to Sikhi?

Optimistic attitude may be a first step for attaining a state of Chardikala. Chardikala is a notch above optimism.

Let us review the psychological literature on optimism, and see if this can give us more insight into how Chardikala is a notch above optimism.

How does attention relate to how we find a situation in front of us? According to a psychological model, the model (Gross, J. J.), potentially upsetting or delightful situations are only actually upsetting or delightful if attention is directed to relevant aspects of the situation. In this sense, attention is the gateway for emotion, but it’s important to note that it’s a bidirectional relationship, where emotion in turn shapes attention. For example if we have a potential threat in front of us, attention will facilitate the processing of information related to the threat, and this potentiates a negative emotional response. Life1 (110K)This negative emotional response, in turn, increases attentional focus toward the potential threat, leading to further enhancements in information processing, and hence to increased negative emotional responding.

This made me ask this question to myself – so maybe by focusing on the positive aspects of a situation, moving our attention to the positive aspects, we will see all the situations in either a delightful or neutral way? Let us take an example. If I break my leg during an accident, and people around me stop to help me, will the situation become more neutral or even positive if I focus my attention on the kind and helpful people around me rather than thinking about the pain in my leg? If we relate this to the model mentioned above, this attention focus of mine, will give a more neutral and emotional response, and this will again increase the attentional focus toward the kind and helping people, which will increase my thankful responding. So according to the modal model, if we focus on the positive aspects of a situation, this indeed will be profitable for us, in that it will give rise to more neutral or positive emotions.

The important thing for the Sikh to remember is that while he is entitled to the good things of life, he should recognize that these are the gifts of God and he should, therefore, praise and thank God for them. He should always make himself worthy of these and if need be, he should learn to curtail his wants and help the needy. It is inevitable that while he desires and holds on to worldly things for his own sake, he will be less able to serve others disinterestedly; he must of necessity learn not to be attached to such things and not to regard anything as being wholly and completely his own.

Human beings are unaware of the divine spark in themselves; they are far less conscious of the purpose of their existence. According to Guru Nanak, the purpose of human life is to enable the being to appreciate the face of his relationship with the Eternal Spirit and to facilitate his becoming reunited with Him. When man begins to remember God with love in his heart, his evaluation of worldly pleasures and attachments is inevitably altered. By modeling his life on the perfection of God, and believing in the will of God, he hereby wins God’s grace

An attitude of non-attachment, and a complete trust in the goodness of God and His Fatherly concern with our welfare, will naturally lead to contentment. This does not mean that we are entirely unconcerned about what happens to us or that we are necessarily satisfied with things as they are. God’s will is that mankind should always diligently fight adversity and consistently strive to make better than it is, not only for himself, but for everybody. Contentment is the acceptance of good grace, of those conditions which are beyond our powers to change, and a recognition that until God gives us the means to change them, He does want us to worry too much about them. This attitude of mind is amply borne out in the life of Guru Gobind Singh, who always fought hard, but never grieved over his losses.

The human form is the supreme gift which is bestowed on man by God’s grace, and it is through His grace that man derives the capacity to remember God; through grace, too, man comes to know of his divine origin and makes the effort to merge finally into that Divine source. It is a unique phenomenon of His Creation that God granted to man the supreme experience of knowing His presence.

Does it make any difference how we appraise every situation? Fridja (1988) came with the Law of Apparent Reality: “Emotions are elicited by events appraised as real, and their intensity corresponds to the degree to which this is the case”. Even situations that are artificial (like a film or a play), can arouse emotions as long as the individual sees them as meaningful. Individual differences in interpretations of situations powerfully shape emotional responses. The optimists see good news in neutral or ambiguous situations.

So does it have any impact to have positive and optimistic interpretations of any situation that arise? Research frequently shows that it does! For example it’s found that optimists and their partners show more relationship-satisfaction, and when they were discussing a conflict, they looked at each other as engaging more constructively during the conflict, which again turned to that both partners felt that the conflict was better solved one week later.

One emotion regulation technique that is found useful if done in an optimistic way, is to reappraisal whatever situation one confronts. Individual who reinterpret situations with an optimistic attitude, reinterpret what they find stressful in the situation, and make more active efforts to repair bad moods. These people both experience and express behaviorally more positive emotions and less negative emotion than those who reappraise less frequently. The optimistic people also show fewer depressive symptoms and greater self-esteem, life satisfaction and every other type of well-being the researchers measured.

Who doesn’t want to have greater degrees of positive emotions and less of the negative ones? Who doesn’t want to have good self-esteem and greater life satisfaction? I would guess most people want that. Research clearly shows that reinterpreting situations in an optimistic way probably is a key! It gives us a concrete thing to do. We have to think more positively in every situation, we have to focus our attention on the positive aspects of every situation and we should know how to reinterpret any given situation in a more optimistic way. Of course we will face negative situations, but there must be some positive in all of it? If focusing on the positive in the situation, can divert our attention from the pain in the leg to the helpful and kind people, and thus reduce our pain, is it not worth it?

All these findings tell us about the positive impact about having a positive, optimistic focus in life. Now let us think about – the concept of chardikala, which probably is a notch above optimism. What immense positive impact could this state have upon us? We all probably have a long way to go to the height of chardikala, but maybe the first step is to be more aware of our attitudes and thinking about life? Maybe the next step after being aware, is changing our thoughts and attitudes to become more optimistic, and get inspired of these individuals we have in history who show us what chardikala is? I have no final answer to these questions, this are only thoughts.

Life is as much happiness, dedication, enthusiasm, love and warmth as anxiety, depression and unhappiness!

Source : kaurageous44.blogspot.in