Being Optimistic Every Day (even when you don’t feel it)

If you are feeling that your job (or life) is tough right now, you are not alone; for instance, 92% of Americans are under financial stress even though they are working. Work stress is rampant but, in certain industries, more so, such as healthcare, IT, finance, construction to name a few.

When you feel overloaded by life event, it’s easy to begin seeing the dark side of them, especially if no relief in your situations are coming. It’s the glass half-empty syndrome taking over. This is particularly perilous if you live or work around ‘Negative Nellie’s’ – it’s easy to start thinking like they do and finding things wrong.

Optimism is what’s needed – thinking and focusing on positive aspects versus negative ones (pessimism), with the believe that situations will turn out well. Optimism is a learned skill, like any other skill or habit, you want to develop.

 Having an optimistic attitude of yourself, of life and the world can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing and resilience, even boosting your immune system and lowering your blood pressure. Studies have shown that optimists have better career prospects and live longer happier lives. 

Here are five tips for developing a more optimistic view of the world.

  1. Identify as an optimist

Self-talk is powerful! Start telling people you’re an optimist, and you’ll soon begin to believe it, and forget you were ever even slightly pessimistic. Thoughts lead to beliefs, which you can control.

  • Accentuate the positives

Notice and acknowledge the positive things around you, such as having good food, clean water, a bed to sleep on, a job to go to, family and friends, and being able to read this article for example. A good exercise is to list ten things you’re grateful for every day – they don’t have to be big deal, jot down whatever comes to mind. Gratitude changes the attitude – it makes you appreciative of what you do have, versus what you think you don’t.

  • Stop comparing

No good comes from comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone who is richer, thinner, more successful than you at any one time, and their success or luck isn’t connected to you at all. Don’t be tempted to lock yourself into a small, comfortless cell of jealousy. Instead think that if they can do it, so can you. Think abundance (there’s more than enough for everybody) instead of scarcity (if they’re successful then you can’t be).

  • Shift your focus

Optimism is dynamic and forward-looking. Develop a more optimistic outlook by moving on from the past and instead enjoy the present and actively look forward to the future. Optimists also don’t spend much time dwelling on whatever not-so-good things are in their lives. They acknowledge that bad things happen to everyone and, when bad things do happen, it’s not necessarily their fault. Bad times come, and bad times go, but there is usually more good than you believe – you just have to be more aware of them.

  • Don’t get hung up on one outcome

Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky, and it’s highly likely you will be disappointed. It’s also harder to pick up and move on if things don’t work out. An optimist will be flexible about outcomes and see that there are lots of different possibilities. If this one didn’t work, another maybe even better opportunity will come along.

  • Shut down the naysayers

If you are around people who are negative, such as a coworker who has numerous complaints about their work tasks, a coworker not doing their job, or the boss, then you have two choices: ignore them (not addressing them) or tell them to stop their complaining. They will eventually stop when they don’t have an audience and you will feel better emotionally.

Optimism and pessimism are not hard-wired into people. They are qualities you can change. You can choose to develop a more positive outlook on life and find that you’ll have a happier, healthier, better life! If you want to stop complaining, picture yourself without them, i.e. without a job, without money, without your spouse or kids, etc. It’s a reality-check that can put you on the optimism track quickly.

If you find negativity taking over your life, isn’t it time to do something about it? Reach out to learn more and get started to change your attitude and life today.

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