Becoming an Optimist: How to be More Positive
Do you ever wish you were a little more optimistic? There are plenty of reasons to want to be more positive. It improves your psychological wellbeing, makes you less prone to depression, and generally makes life feel less like hard work. The good news is optimism isn’t just a personality trait, but is also a skill you can learn. Here are some tips for pessimists looking to turn things around.
Count Your Blessings
An important part of being optimistic is recognising everything that’s good about your life. Be grateful for what you have – your health, your family, your friends or any other positive aspects of your life. Acknowledging these things helps you see all the potential there is for great things to happen in the future.
See the Silver Lining
It’s easy to focus on the negatives in life, but try to put the bulk of your attention on the positives. It’s inevitable that sometimes unfortunate things will happen or events won’t go as planned, but dwelling on what went wrong won’t do you any good. There’s usually a bright side – you just need to look for it.
The above habits don’t come easily to everyone. Some of us have a predisposition to be pessimistic, but you can change this with practice! Start by taking 20 minutes a day to consciously think positively, visualising good things and focusing on positive words. Over time, general positive thinking will become more automatic.
Challenge Your Own Opinions
We all have negative thoughts sometimes, but optimists find a way to deal with them in a positive manner. If a negative event gets you down and you feel it will affect you negatively going forward, take the time to ask yourself a few questions. Will its effects be permanent? Will it impact every aspect of your life? Is there something you can do to solve the problem or get past it? Thinking about the answers to these question will usually provide you with some comfort and make you feel less pessimistic.
Meditation helps a lot of people get into a more optimistic state of mind. In fact, research suggests that people who meditate regularly have more positive emotions than those who don’t. This is because it helps you to give yourself regular breaks from any bad thoughts and feelings, and this temporary detachment allows you to go back and look at things with a fresh perspective. Often, that’s all it takes for you to feel a little more positive.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Spending a lot of time with negative people makes you more prone to negativity yourself. Similarly, being surrounded by optimists can really rub off on you. Happiness and positivity are contagious, so spend plenty of time with the optimists in your life. You’ll be surprised how much of an effect these positive interactions will have on your own disposition.
Life is full of highs and lows, but a positive attitude can really help the ups feel more frequent and significant than the downs. While it won’t stop bad things from ever happening, it will stop you from constantly expecting them and will help you deal with them in a more constructive way.