The Secret to Optimism

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This world is filled with negativity.

There’s no doubt that having a more positive attitude is an advantage, but as humans, we are hardwired to favour negative thoughts and emotions more than the positive ones.

This can be traced thousands of years ago, when ancestors had to deal with real threats from time to time.

But gone are those days.

In a modern, more secure world most worries don’t actually come to life. Being more pessimistic therefore simply hurts our physical and mental health.

If you are guilty of being a negative thinker, don’t feel bad. It can be undone. 

Harnessing your optimistic side is possible when you take these little, simple steps.

Stop comparing.

One of the ultimate rules to optimism and happiness is this – never compare yourself with others.

Don’t measure your progress or performance based on what you see on other people.

Everyone is unique with different strengths and weaknesses, so comparing does not make sense.

You will never see the good side of life if you keep on looking outside and wishing you have what you don’t or your life was theirs.

By appreciating what you have, and acknowledging that everyone is different, you can have a more positive outlook in life.

Live in the now.

When you live in the moment and just do your best, you feel good. You feel happy.

If you don’t pay attention to good things as they happen, they could just be passing moments of pleasure that you can never taste.

When you live in the moment, you don’t worry about the future or get distraught by the past.

You stick to the beauty and wonder of the present moment.

Do what you’re supposed to do and complete what you need to complete.

Stop ruminating or planning on things too much. Take it one step at a time.

Choose to see the positive in every situation.

Take note of the word “choose”.

You can never control what’s going to happen in the future, there will be bad times as there are good times.

You can choose to see the good in every situation – see happiness rather than sadness, hope than discouragement, progress than failures.

You can choose to move forward or get stuck in the bad situation.

Stop trying to be happy.

To be happy, we should stop trying to be happy.

What we must do instead is to be engaged.

When you are fully into something, you get rid of something else – rumination – a pessimist’ trait that steals happiness.

When you are ruminating, everything feels and seems bad.

You become a bad-thinking person. And you focus on the bad rather than the good. You focus on the problem, not the solution.

Stop blaming yourself.

Pessimist have many things in common. And one of them is the habit of blaming themselves for all the bad things that happen.

For example, if they didn’t get a promotion, they think it’s because they are stupid.

Self-blaming is a destructive behaviour that can prevent you from moving forward.

Optimists see problems as passing and as having little to do with them.

Pessimistic, self-blaming people can learn to come up with alternative explanations for setbacks and move forward to problem solving.

Making a long-term mind set switch takes continuous effort.

Make friends with an optimist.

You are who your friends are, so goes a popular saying.

The thing is that you get to adopt the qualities, traits and habits of the people you’re always with.

So if you are surrounded by negative people all the time, you become like them in the long run.

Choose to be with cheery individuals – those with positive and enthusiastic personalities.

These people can greatly help improve your self-esteem and make you more optimistic.

Write down the good things.

One effective way to train your mind to be more optimistic is to make a gratitude journal.

Write down at least five good things that happen to you every day for a certain period of time, and notice those higher levels of happiness.

Being optimistic can be tough if you have been a pessimistic for so long. But it is not impossible.

With these tips, you can be able to harness your optimistic side.

As always I welcome your comments. If you think someone you know could benefit from these words – please pass them on.

Richard Scott
Clinical hypnotherapist

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