It’s easy to feel like some people are naturally optimistic or negative and it may be true in certain cases but the happiest people are the ones who make an active choice every day to have a positive mindset and practice optimism despite the challenging circumstances. Changing your outlook on life is a huge step, but it can be done gradually. You will need to start small and build new habits over time to replace your old, harmful ones. Here are 5 ways to practice positivity and optimism every day.
1. Guide Your Energy
Optimism starts to wither when you constantly face a series of heartbreak, disappointment, failures, and negativity. Every challenge you face depletes your inner energy. The best way to prevent this from happening is to have a positive mindset as it attracts positive energy. However, simply thinking happy thoughts isn’t enough to develop and maintain positive energy. An anticipation of good (e.g. success, health, happiness, etc.) and belief that all things will work out favorably in the end are also needed. Acknowledgement of the negative is important as well.
2. Connect with Ourselves
Life is a constant crisscrossing of people and paths. We build many relationships with others but we often neglect the one that we build with ourselves. It is the one relationship that matters the most but unfortunately, it’s easy to forget to connect with ourselves. Taking the time to get to know yourself and practice self-care can reap many benefits – inwardly, with yourself and outwardly, unto other people and the world in general.
3. Slow Down to Move Forward
Slowing down could mean many things. It’s not necessarily about doing less things throughout your day, but instead living the actual moment and paying attention to what you are doing. To move forward, it’s important to get out of “autopilot” mode, appreciate the simple moments, and conserve your inner energy. Slowing down gives you space to take notice of yourself while also extending that attention to others around you.
4. Be Kind to Yourself
Self-compassion is another way to practice positivity and optimism. Some people tend to beat themselves up when they face challenging situations. This is not healthy as it makes you feel worse about yourself. To shift your mindset in a more positive direction, you should give yourself a break and be kind to yourself, just as you would treat your close friend when they are having a tough time.
5. Develop Resiliency
Resiliency refers to reacting strategically and well to stressful situations and bad experiences. When such instances occur, our emotions tend to go into meltdown. Developing resiliency is one way to prevent this so you can focus on being optimistic. A common way to develop resiliency is to have a growth mindset i.e. treating every problem as a learning tool. This will increase your compassion for your struggles and failures and those of others as well.
In conclusion, there are several ways to practice positivity and feel more optimistic when things are looking dreary. Try some of the ideas listed above to see what works best for you. The key here is to be consistent. As you become more optimistic, practicing positivity will become a natural reaction.
Photos: Nathan Dumlao, Samuel Joos, Toa Heftiba, Isaque Pereira, Jon Tyson, Alysha Rosly