There have been a number of scientific studies which suggest that an optimistic attitude could be the key to a happier lifestyle with positive effects that extend to your immune system, brain and a boost to your life expectancy. There seems to be a large amount of benefits associated with seeing the glass half full.
Below are six ways to become more optimistic:
Let things go
Instead of automatically reacting to situations with anger whether it’s during the rush hour on the tube or when getting stuck in traffic, consider taking a breath and letting it go. If we allow minor irritations to consume us it can spoil our mood for the rest of the day or impact our relationships. Instead learn to roll with the punches and let your negative feelings go, mindfulness and exercise are both great techniques that you can use to release your frustrations in a healthy way so they don’t linger longer than necessary.
Be aware of what media you consume
There are plenty of ways that we’re exposed to information, from upsetting tabloid news stories, social media rants and reality TV shows. Learn to be mindful with the information you spend your time reading or watching. You could set a filter on what you consume by avoiding the news before you go to sleep or limiting the amount of reality TV shows or soaps you watch, if they are having a negative impact, and replace them with beautiful photos, inspirational stories and motivational films that uplift you instead.
Look for the silver lining
Do you see the glass half full or half empty? An optimist tries to look for the silver lining in situations instead of getting caught up in the drama. The next time something gets you down, look for the good in the situation. Maybe you really wanted a particular job and didn’t get it and something even better came along a few weeks later or you had to take a detour to get somewhere and discovered some beautiful new scenery as a result. Maybe a certain situation taught you a lesson. When you look for the good in situations you can find it easier to adapt and bounce back.
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Be aware of your self-talk
The way we talk to ourselves can sometimes be overlooked. What language are you using? When you start to become aware of the words that you use towards yourself, you’re able to explore the thoughts that you’re carrying in more depth. Do you talk about yourself or situations with a positive outlook or do you immediately focus on the negative? Making a conscious decision to talk to ourselves and others with more compassion and kindness can help us to remain more optimistic.
Try to avoid negative people
There is a phrase that ‘you are who you hang out with’; if you surround yourself with those who are constantly pessimistic you may find that it drains your mood or leaves you feeling equally negative with your outlooks. Fleeting pessimism is human nature but if you find that your life is filled with ‘Debbie downers’, consider limiting the time you spend around them and sharing your optimism to direct your conversations to a positive conclusion instead.
Make gratitude your attitude
Instead of directing your focus to all of the terrible or challenging events that may have occurred during your day, celebrate your blessings instead. You could create a daily gratitude journal where you make a note of 3 things that you feel grateful for no matter how small they seem. If you have moments where you feel things have been getting you down, you can revisit the list and instantly transform your mood to a more positive one.
Optimism is more than your thoughts; it’s a way of life. The happier we feel the less likely we are to feel stressed or depressed which can help us to create a more positive reality.