How To Become More Optimistic?
by Mila Kalajdzieva
Optimism is a driving force for many people. When it comes to creating a solid view of the world, we generally fall into two categories: optimistic and pessimistic. Although this isn’t an end-all-be-all, your perceptions have a crucial role in your life experience. And who wants to have negative thoughts about everything all the time? For this reason, we’re bringing you some tips to help you become more optimistic.
If you’re sick and tired of always expecting the worst outcome of a situation, you’re probably hoping for an escape. Fortunately, your getaway may not be so unreachable. Studies show that our world perceptions are only 25% inheritable, while the rest is due to other factors. So what does this mean?
Well, since your pessimism is not entirely down to genetics, you can slowly develop a more optimistic approach to life. Here are some ways you can learn to see the glass as half-full.
Understand that optimism is not constant happiness
Undoubtedly, one essential step in learning to become more optimistic is understanding that you don’t always need to be happy to be an optimist. On the contrary, constant happiness is impossible because our lives are unpredictable, and it would mean that we are actively suppressing our negative emotions. Instead, optimism implies that even when you’re feeling low, you can shift your perspective (even if it’s just a bit), regain composure, and avoid letting a lousy situation knock you off your horse.
Write in a gratitude journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the proven ways of combatting negative thoughts before they get the best of you. Luckily, this is as easy as just thinking about things you’re grateful for and writing them down. This can be something simple like the taste of coffee in the morning or the smile a stranger gave you on the street. Don’t overthink it because there are things to be grateful for everywhere around us. Frankly, the genuine love your pet or parent shows you is indisputably a cause for happiness.
Follow sites with positive news
News can quickly get overwhelming. If your primary source of information is a TV station that announces every accident, murder, or crisis, you’re not going to be able to shake off your negative feelings. With that said, try to focus your attention on positive news sources which post stories that are not sensational and fearmongering. By following news sites that report about people achieving great things, an environment thriving, or dogs proving loyalty once again, you’ll soon realize how much the media you consume can impact you.
Give yourself some credit
Have you gotten a promotion at work recently? Or aced a test? Or simply had a good day? Congratulations, that’s all on you! The sooner you acknowledge that the good things happening to you are because of your effort and hard work, the sooner you can appreciate yourself more. Give yourself some credit for the positive situations in your life, and you’ll quickly realize that you possess numerous strengths to get you where you want to be in life.
Challenge your thought patterns
Sometimes, it might take a lot of effort to think positively, as your brain is hardwired to be pessimistic. In situations like these, try challenging your thought patterns. For example, if you usually scold yourself for forgetting your keys and feel bad afterward, try to change your perception. Instead, you can laugh at your predicament and avoid garnering negative emotions. However, don’t expect any significant changes in thinking to happen straight away, as these things might take a while to become ingrained in your brain. So, be patient and trust the process.
Practice positive affirmations
Positive affirmations can be a godsend in situations where too many bad things are happening. The idea is to make positive statements and repeat them until they are part of your thought pattern. Surprisingly, positive affirmations work in the same way as negative self-talk. The only difference is that the former benefits you, while the latter hinders your enjoyment of life. However, for your affirmations to help you, you should ensure they are realistic enough to come true. Sadly, affirmations about unicorns probably won’t get you anywhere.
Hopefully, our tips will help you in your journey towards becoming more optimistic. Remember that your thought patterns are not set in stone, and with a bit of effort and patience, you can completely alter the course of your thoughts and, by extension, your life.