Glass Half Empty or Full? Science Weighs In on a Better Measure

Glass Half Empty or Full? Science Weighs In on a Better Measure
Glass of water with half full water on the table, concept of positive and negative thinking

( – Perspective can make a big difference in how we navigate our days. We learn always to see the glass as half full, but even optimism has its limits. In some cases, it can be just as limiting as taking a pessimistic approach. Forget the glass and consider using a new form of measure, described in the full article, instead.

Limitations of Measuring by the Glass

Most of us have learned the hard way how limiting a negative perspective can be. When we view the glass as half empty, we expect a negative outcome, and we might not even start an endeavor at all if we believe we can only fail. It’s important to identify when we slip into negative thinking to avoid short-changing ourselves.

Many of us have learned the solution to this self-sabotaging attitude is to take the opposite stance: Try to view the glass as half full. While seeking out the positive can help keep us looking ahead, it can sometimes also cloud our judgment just as bad as excessive pessimism.

In some cases, optimism can be a form of denial, which may lead to inaction. In others, it fosters unrealistic expectations, which can open us up to disappointment and disillusionment when reality comes crashing down.

Finding a More Balanced Approach

When we reject both pessimism and optimism, we have a cup that’s neither half empty nor half full; the cup just is. Harvard Health explains that a balanced view allows us to see both the positive and negative, which pushes us toward the most realistic approach.

Uncertainty can tempt us to pick a perspective, which may thrust us down unexpected rabbit holes. Instead of allowing ourselves to sway in one direction, we can ensure the most balanced response by weighing all the facts equally and keeping our minds present and in the moment.

Mindfulness might help. This approach teaches us to let our thoughts pass without judgment or need for immediate action. Mindfulness shows us how to keep ourselves in the moment, understanding that it’s okay not to have every answer right now.

Optimism and pessimism both have their place, but favoring one over the other can get us into trouble. A balanced, mindful view may help us keep our choices based on reality — and it can help us stay sane when uncertainty strikes and our fears or denials try to take hold. The glass might not be half full, but defining the glass’s state might not be as important as enjoying what remains of the water.

~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension

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