Optimism is worth working on….

Optimism has many benefits. In times of challenge the optimistic voice can help keep a team together by harnessing hope. The optimist is always a great trier and doesn’t give up easily. Solutions and possibilities are fostered by the optimists and they tend to last the pace longer.

Some people have a natural pre-disposition to optimism while others need to work more on it. It’s a optimism that’s wed to reality that is productive and not the foolhardy type. The more resilient people on the planet seem to have bucket loads of it. We certainly need the optimist in our families, workplaces and communities.

Optimism has also been shown to benefit health outcomes. Harvard University School of Public Health reviewed data from more than 200 previous studies and this showed that a positive psychological outlook appeared to reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events. These studies suggested that optimism, life satisfaction and happiness are linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of an individual’s age, socioeconomic status, body weight and smoking history.
In another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers at Duke University Medical Centre tracked the psychological and physical health of heart disease patients over a 15–year period. These researchers found that those patients who were optimistic (as determined by questionnaires) about their diagnosis, treatment and recovery were more likely to be alive after 15 years than individuals with lower expectations. The research showed that the level of optimism displayed by patients did not have to be extreme to have an effect.

Children found to have an extremely pessimistic bias are more vulnerable to mental health difficulties as they grow older. However, they can be taught how to be more optimistic and this vulnerability decreases. Learning to question more, consult more, contemplate all possible outcomes and explanations can help dismantle a negative bias (with practice).

Someone once asked me what should the pessimist do about their pessimism? Pessimism is not all bad. The pessimist is always ready for all eventualities and is never caught on the hop! But when we face crisis we always need an optimist on our committee! Pessimists need to engage more with optimists and allow themselves to consider the theories and ideas of the optimists. This can prove challenging but if they allowed the optimist more time than the customary two minutes they might hear something refreshing and new.
© Shane Martin


Three public seminars with psychologist Shane Martin will take place over the coming weeks at venues in ANTRIM, NAVAN and DUBLIN. Places are limited. It’s important to book your place as soon as possible because there are no plans for any further seminars for the foreseeable future.

Total fee €65  


ANTRIM Saturday 7th March 2020 (09.00- 1.00 p.m.)  Dunsilly Hotel, 20 Dunsilly Rd, Antrim BT41 2JH CLICK HERE TO BOOK FOR ANTRIM SEMINAR

NAVAN Saturday 14th March 2020 (09.00 -1.00 p.m.) Ardboyne Hotel, Dublin Road, Navan CLICK HERE TO BOOK NAVAN SEMINAR

DUBLIN Saturday 28th March 2020 (09.00 -1.00 p.m.) Project Room, Malahide Castle, Malahide, Co. Dublin K36 YP65   CLICK HERE TO BOOK FOR DUBLIN SEMINAR

For all details about the seminar including timetable and content  – see below

The LIVE LIFE WELL seminars provide people with an opportunity to create a space for themselves to get away from their daily stresses and strains. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their lives and learn what science has uncovered about becoming healthier, happier and more resilient. The focus will be on simple yet powerful practices to enhance the quality of your life.

The LIVE LIFE WELL seminars contain the best material that Shane teaches condensed into a single day. The no-nonsense practical ideas from his best selling book ‘Your Precious Life-How to Live it Well’ will be delivered in his customary animated and humourous style.

The seminar will not intrude on anyone’s privacy. There will be some discussion but no one will feel under pressure to talk. It is important to know that the seminar is for the general public and why people attend remains their own business. Often people working within the health profession attend for professional reasons. Sometimes an interest in psychology draws people to these events. However, most people attend because they want to take time-out from a busy life schedule to learn simple evidence-based strategies linked to a better quality of life.

The seminar costs €65


The timetable for the morning is as follows:

09.00 Registration

09.30-11.00 MINDING OURSELVES How to Avoid Unnecessary Stress:

We cannot avoid being stressed. Indeed, we need to experience stress in order to achieve our goals. However, many people annoy themselves needlessly about things that don’t matter. What causes this kind of stress? What can we do to alleviate it? How can we cope better with the unavoidable stresses of life? Shane will offer evidence-based explanations and remedies.

11.00 -11.15 TEA/COFFEE BREAK

11.55-1.00 LIVING LIFE WELL: How to Enhance the Quality of Lives:

Essentially, Shane introduces you to evidence-based strategies linked to greater health and happiness. This is an opportunity to step outside the circle, remove yourself from the ‘noise’ of life and consider the most important things and how we can achieve them.The hope is that the material will uplift and inspire change in your life but even more importantly inspire you to incorporate it into your home, workplace and community.