• Christopher Tanner

10 Easy Tips to Being Optimistic

Just keep smiling and one day life will get tired of upsetting you. ~Unknown

To be an optimist is to have a positive outlook and approach towards life.

Optimism is a choice.  Every morning when you get out of bed, you choose to be in positive mood or not.

It may take some work, but you can build your level of optimism.  It’s really just a matter of recognizing your negative habits and training yourself to look on the bright side.

It’s extremely liberating and empowering when you realize you have control over what you’re telling yourself.  And that most of your suffering is self-imposed.  A feeling of peace comes over you when you say no to negativity and learn to stay positive.

When you’re a pessimist you not only waste time ruminating on how bad things are going to go, but you actively stop yourself from trying to better your situation.  Negativity breeds inaction and pessimism breeds indecision.

If that’s not enough….

A few benefits of being optimistic:

  1. Increased Happiness

  2. More Success

  3. Better Stress Management

  4. Decreased Sickness

  5. Longer Lifespan

There will always be times in which things don’t work out quite how you anticipated. There are going to be times when you’re feeling down.  Just don’t make it your default way of thinking.  The perceived protection of holding onto negativity is more like a prison.


10 Easy Tips to Being Optimistic

1) Notice the tendency to think negatively

Keep a mental record of how you are thinking.

Many of us don’t notice how negative we are until we make it a habit to notice it.

You’ll be surprised how often you’re drawing assumptions and negative conclusions.

You may have to correct yourself often at first, but with practice, it’ll become automatic.

2) Think about what you’re getting by being negative

We often want to let go of destructive habits, but it’s the feeling control, familiarity, or security that holds us back.  In Psychology this is called secondary gain.

Sure you may never be disappointed by looking at everything without hope, but you would handle disappointment or hurt so much better with a positive mind.

The truth is that setbacks are inevitable.  You can’t protect yourself from life’s ups and downs. You’ll still end up being disappointed or unprepared for changes.

This doesn’t mean you have to turn up the dials on negativity.  It means you have to turn them off.

3) Look on the bright side

Most of us are not able to free our mind from thoughts.  We seem to always be thinking about something.

Now optimism doesn’t mean to ignore the problem, but overthinking can inevitably turn negative so we have to make it a habit to replace these negative thoughts with positive ones.

Instead of being down that you didn’t make the grade or get the job, be grateful that you are even in a position to pursue such things.  Realize that these little setbacks prompt you to take action that you wouldn’t have taken otherwise.

You can find a way to look at any situation positively, just as you can negatively.  It just takes awareness and practice.

4) Be realistic

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

Being an optimist doesn’t mean that you’ll be happy during every waking moment.

The negativity of our lives get so much attention, but there are just as many positive.

Even the most optimistic people have bad days, but if you’re always expecting the worst to happen, it will.

5) Stay hopeful

Even the darkest clouds eventually part.

It’s important for you to remain hopeful and believe that the best is yet to come.

Being optimistic is one of the best ways to keep hope alive.  It also allows you to capitalize on any opportunities that come along.

6) Give yourself credit

Some of us can’t even accept compliments from ourselves.

Don’t minimize your accomplishments by saying you got lucky or that it’s nothing special.

Learn to feel comfortable with good events in your life.

Say thank you and let the compliments sink in.

7) Practice gratitude

Focusing on the negative makes you forget about all the good in your life.

The truth is that you have plenty to be thankful for.

There are people living right now that would consider all their problems solved if they could have even your worst days.

Research supports that writing down 5 things you are grateful for before bed every night can have substantial impacts on how happy you are.

8) Keep positive company

You probably know someone that is overtly positive and optimistic.

When you start thinking negative, imagine what their reaction would be?  Would they ruminate and have it ruin their day?  Or would they get it off their chest and move on?

Iron sharpens iron.  Surround yourself with people that will help you to reach your full potential.

If you’re living in a negative home or spending time with negative people, it’s very likely that it’ll either rub off on you or put you in a bad mood.

Think of the last time you had a great time out with friends of family.  It stays with you long after they’re gone.  Positivity is contagious and we need a positive and supportive social circle.

9) Smile

Choosing to walk out your front door every morning with a smile can have an amazing impact on your day.

We carry a lot of stress in our faces.  When you smile, whether it’s real or not, you can trick your brain into thinking your happy.  Your brain actually responds biochemically and makes you feel happier! You’ll also release all the tension from your jaws and appear much more approachable.

Also, feel free to place inspirational quotes or positive affirmations wherever you’d notice them. Set them as your wallpaper on your phone or computer, or post them on social media like I do!

10) Be present now

If you follow my writing you’ve seen that I reference being in the present moment fairly consistently.

No matter what’s happened in the past or what you think may happen in the future, the reality of your life is now.  It’s not the weekend or when you get the job or the girl.  It’s right now.

Connecting with the present moment, free of distraction, is extremely liberating and peaceful.

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How do you stay optimistic?  Please leave a comment.

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