Imagine what an optimist looks like to you. Chances are they’re smiling, energetic, and ready to embrace their day. Even if you’re not feeling like a natural optimist, you can become one. Optimism is a state of mind, and here are 6 effective ways to cultivate optimism in your everyday life.
You might be surprised to hear that optimism is not an innate quality.
Rather, it’s a mindset that you can learn to control.
Optimism and pessimism are ways of looking at yourself and the world through a positive or negative filter. Once you think of them as reflections of your mindset, it becomes much easier to believe you can change.
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Why does optimism Matter?
Research has shown that optimists:
- are happier
- are healthier
- live longer
- have better heart health
- have lower cholesterol
- do better in careers
- have better relationships
Convinced that you want to be an optimist? You CAN change your mindset!
Like any new behavior, you need to practice every day for it to become a habit. Try these six suggestions to cultivate your optimism every day.
6 Ways to Cultivate Optimism
1. Keep a journal
Journaling or keeping a diary allows you to process the events in your life and to get a fresh perspective on them.
A journal encourages self-reflection and captures insights into your thinking and behavior.
You can write down:
- what happened during your day
- what you did well
- things you would change if you could
- ways to improve in the future
- how you felt at the time
2. Laugh – as often as possible
Have you ever noticed how often small children laugh?
Embrace your inner child, and learn to be amused by life.
Consciously notice the funny side of things and write them down. An event may seem like a disaster at the time, but eventually, you may come to see the humor in it.
3. Dream About your future
Allow yourself the opportunity to dream about your future goals.
What job are you doing? Are you running your own business? What have you learned? What has changed? Imagining how your future life looks and feels can be a powerful motivator.
The key is to not get so caught up in the dreaming phase that you never work out a plan to act on those dreams.
4. Keep a kindness list
Every night, take a moment or two to write down acts of kindness you experienced during the day. This should include when you are kind to someone, or when someone is kind to you. Even little things count, like opening a door for someone or letting them go first in the line for coffee.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly they mount up, and your ever-lengthening list will remind you of the joy and positivity to be found in life.
5. Say thank you
Write a letter or email, phone or visit someone who has been genuinely kind to you. Tell them how much you appreciate what they did or said and how it has affected your life.
Too often, we go through life assuming people know we appreciate them.
Don’t assume anything anymore – speak up and let them know how much they matter. Prepare to be overwhelmed by this small gesture!
6. Choose positivity
Make the positive choice to develop and maintain an optimistic outlook.
Do this every morning when you wake up.
Decide that today is going to be a great day.
Life is not perfect, and this isn’t about pretending that it is. Everyone will have some level of suffering in their life. Choosing to be optimistic – to look for the best in each day – will make it easier to bounce back from the bad times and to enjoy the good times.
- Positive Mindset: Change the Way You Look at Life
- Essential Lessons to Learn for a Meaningful Life
- 75 Quotes on the Power of Positive Thinking
- How to Be Happy: 10 Secrets to Living Life on the Sunny Side
- Can a Positive Attitude Make You Ageless?
Final Thoughts on 6 Ways to Cultivate Optimism Each and every Day
Optimist or pessimist – it’s your choice. You must learn to look on the brighter side of life, and yes, this can take effort.
But it’s so worth it!
I hope these 6 tips encourage you on your journey to an optimistic future.
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