How To Be Optimistic & Live A Better Life
Optimism is not only a state of mind but a lifestyle choice. Now, the problem is how to be optimistic?
More often than not, you can choose to be happy and make the best of a situation. It may seem impractical to think the best of everything, but being optimistic helps you to be a much happier person and can reduce stress.
10 Tips To Becoming Optimistic
1. Realize That Pessimism is Wasted Energy
Pessimism is the opposite of optimism. Pessimists will always assume the worst and even when it doesn’t turn out to be as bad as they previously thought, they may think, “Well, something is bound to go badly today anyway.”
Having this sort of attitude is not only unhealthy, but it is also wasted energy. When you think positively, you give yourself the advantage to see the bright side of things. If you’re going to waste any energy at all, it may as well be for something that will make you happier.
2. Find the Silver Lining in Everything
This tip takes a lot of practice. It’s easy to see the good in good things that happen in our lives, but it is much more difficult to force yourself to see the good in bad situations.
For example, if your friend canceled plans you had made that you were excited about, try and think about how much fun you will have to watch your favorite movie at home with your loved one instead.
It’s unrealistic for people to always have a positive outlook on bad things, but when you can, this outlook will ensure that you have less stress and worry in the long run.
3. Have a Gratitude Journal
Writing even one thing you are grateful for puts the blessings of your life into perspective. Everything may seem to be going wrong, but you still have clean water to drink, fresh air to breathe, and clothes to keep you warm.
Being humble and realizing how many things in your life are going right will naturally lend itself to being more thankful and grateful for everything in your life and is a good stepping stone for practicing everyday optimism. Even if you don’t keep a journal, be sure to practice thinking one at least three things a day you are thankful for and this will direct you to naturally positive thinking.
4. Avoid Negativity
It’s not always possible to avoid negativity, but there are things you can cut out of your life that will benefit you. Try not to watch the news for a week and you may be surprised to feel less of a weight on your shoulders. Try and not to speak to the workplace gossip for a little while and you will find that gossip doesn’t carry much weight with you anymore.
Put some effort into instantly jumping to negative thinking when something goes wrong. It is nearly impossible to be positive when there is so much negativity around you, so try and cut out what you can that will dampen your outlook on life.
5. Don’t Stew on the Past
This is a common thing for humans in general to do. We think about what we could have done better, we think about better times, and we think about a bad event that clings to our memory.
Do yourself a favor and let the past live in the past. Things happen and there’s no way we can go back to change it, so it is wasted energy to think about all those things that you can’t visit again. It’s alright to let go of the past, and in fact, your present will look more positive with the past out of the picture.
6. Consider Adopting a Mantra
Much like having a gratitude journey, it may sound silly, but it works much better than you think. A mantra is a small phrase you repeat to yourself during the day, especially when something isn’t going well.
A mantra maybe something like, “I am living life and I am thankful.” You will want to adopt a mantra that suits you and gives you a positive outlook.
Repeating this mantra every once in a while will re-center yourself and your thoughts to be more positive. You don’t have to say your mantra out loud, though saying it aloud makes it sound more real.
7. Take a Deep Breath When Things go Wrong
If you don’t adopt a mantra, then at least remember to take a deep breath when things are not going according to plan. It is an evitable part of life that things will not go the way you expect, and the happiest you will be is if you go with the current instead of against it.
Instead of ranting and raving about how your coworker never finishes a task, focus on how you and your work affect your life. Taking a deep breath not only gives you a second to stop back but deep breathing also scientifically has positive effects on your health! Give yourself permission to let the frustrating situation go with a deep breath and then and move on.
8. Observe Your Feelings When you Practice Optimism
There is a reason why so many people try to practice optimism: practicing being positive makes you happier!
When you practice optimism, think about how your stress doesn’t control you, how much freer you feel, and how much time you have to think about other things instead of being negative and pessimistic.
Being optimistic makes you good and allows you to live your life in a more positive way and gives your life more meaning and happiness.
9. Recognize That Every Day is a New Start
Today is a new day and this is true of all the days that will come. Positive people start each day with the mindset of improving and assuming they will have a great day rather than assuming the day will naturally bring some bad luck.
Having bad things happen is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean that each new day’s possible bad outcomes should dominate every waking moment.
Optimistic people wake up with the thought of each new day as an adventure rather than a potential slog that you have to get through.
10. Learn to Cherish Even the Bad Moments
This is one of the hardest things to do in optimism and that’s to recognize that bad events are going to happen, no matter what you do. Learn to embrace the bad moments and look deep into them as learning experiences rather than inconveniences.
Ask yourself what you can learn from the bad moments and see it as an opportunity to practice your optimism and positive thinking.
This particular tip will take years of practice because we are conditioned to hate it when bad things come our way. This requires a total overhaul of your thought process, but once you do, you will find that you will be a much happier person.
Optimism Takes Practice
No one is a perfect optimist: no one is able to see the good in every single situation every day and that’s okay! As long as you are trying to be positive and think about the good instead of wasting time thinking about the bad, you will be on your way to living a much happier life.
According to the dictionary, the definition of optimism is, “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.” Being pessimistic is the opposite of this, but there is a fine line between pessimism and being logical. Being optimistic gives you the chance to see the silver lining in everything you do. You'll be glad to see how much of a better outlook on life you’ll have when you understand these following tips about learning to be optimistic.
How about you, how do you set your mind to becoming optimistic instead of worrying too much? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 27, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.
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