Stuck seeing the glass half empty? Truth be told, a lot of us are. Being a pessimist is far too easy because focusing on the negatives seems less difficult than finding the positives. However, being a Negative Nancy can have some serious consequences. Research has found that pessimists are more stressed, less happy, and less healthy than their optimistic counterparts.
A 2015 study found that optimists were more likely to eat healthily, keep a healthy BMI, exercise regularly, and not smoke. It was also found that they had healthier blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. Another article stated that optimists also tend to have more satisfying relationships and are less likely to come down with the flu or catch the common cold.
While some might think optimism is a personality trait that you’re either born with or not, in reality, anyone can learn to become an optimist. If you would like to start looking on the bright side and reap the health benefits of positivity, try adapting these 7 daily habits that will help you become an optimist in no time:
Notice Negative Thoughts
Becoming aware of your negative thoughts and how often they occur will help you realize when and why you are negative. Maybe you’re more negative during stressful situations or when you’re feeling emotional. Being mindful of your pessimistic thoughts will help you pinpoint what’s causing you to feel negative.
Identify the Purpose of Negativity
After realizing your triggers for negativity, determine the purpose of those thoughts. Do they serve as a defense mechanism to keep you from getting your hopes up? Does pessimism help you accept or plan for any possible changes? Next, ask yourself if negative thoughts are actually fulfilling their purpose. You’ll likely discover that pessimism doesn’t make unwanted changes or disappointments any easier for you to cope with.
Being grateful goes a long way. Make a list of the things in your life that you are grateful for each day. You’ll realize that the people or things you’re grateful for will always outweigh your feelings of negativity. Learn to be grateful for the small things in life, like a cup of hot coffee in the morning, your favorite song playing on the radio on your way to work, or your co-worker that can always get you to smile. Learn to also be grateful for the obstacles and hardships in your life – after all, these are what make you stronger and wiser.
Turn that frown upside down! Facial expressions do more than just communicate your mood to others – they influence your mood as well. Smiling can help reduce stress and boost your mood by causing your brain to produce some serotonin. Forcing yourself to smile even when you’re feeling pessimistic will help you feel more positive and look on the brighter side of things.
Impersonate an Optimist
When you feel like there is no way to find the silver lining in an unfavorable predicament, ask yourself, “What would an optimist say?” Chances are, you know someone in your life that is constantly smiling and staying positive. Imagine how that optimist would handle the situation you’re facing, and do what they would do.
Give Positive Feedback
Notice a co-worker doing something helpful? Thank them with some positive feedback. Notice that a co-worker messed up? Still give them some positive feedback. Focus on what aspects they did do properly instead of how they messed up. The same should be done for yourself – even when you mess up, give yourself some credit for what you did do right and how you’ll use the lessons from your mistakes.
Start Your Day Stress-Free
Waking up on the right side of bed will naturally put you in a happier, more optimistic mood. Try getting up a little bit earlier to workout before heading to the office or read a chapter of an uplifting book. Listen to a motivational podcast on your way to work to help shape a positive mindset. Starting the morning off the right way will help you stay positive all day long.
It’s never too late to become an optimist. You’ll be less stressed, less grouchy, and a whole lot healthier. Start adapting these daily habits of an optimist for a brighter tomorrow.
How do you keep yourself positive during a stressful situation? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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