If you have Facebook, Twitter, or any social media account, chances are you have met the perpetual optimist. The person who always seems to have something positive to say, no matter how bad the situation is. They will post something online like:
“Just got robbed, they broke my door down and stole everything I own. But I wasn’t home, and I have renter’s insurance. Hunt the good stuff!”
You probably have one of two reactions to this type of material. You either A. Think the person is faking their optimism. Or B. Want to know how to be an optimist yourself.
While being an optimist all of the time isn’t easy, it is something that you can learn to do. Even the most pessimistic person can learn the benefits of optimism. Here are 5 proven ways to turn your frown upside down.
1. Psychology Today recommends that you start by noticing the times when you are negative. Often, we don’t even realize how negative we are being. Track your emotional responses to the things that happen to you and see where they score on a scale from positive to negative. Once you have identified your negative thoughts that you have, brainstorm ways that you can turn the negative into a positive. It may take practice, so be patient with yourself.
2. Practice attitude adjustments. Prevention Magazine tells us to find quick distractions that can demand our full attention. Instead of letting the negative thoughts sit and fester in your brain let them go and get involved with something positive that is going to get your mood moving in the right direction. You can try meditating, yoga, or even a quick walk around the office.
3. Success Magazine wants you to know that one of the best ways for you to find the optimistic person inside of you is to give to others. Reaching out to people and doing them a favor, spending time with people, or volunteering is all great ways that can help build your appreciation for the things that are great inside of your own life. Giving can also be rewarding on a spiritual level, which makes it a valuable opportunity to build optimism.
4. When learning to be an optimist you have to let the past go. In fact, Lifehack thinks it is the first thing you need to do to be more optimistic. If you are a prisoner of your past mistakes or hardships, you will always look at the world like it is about to hit you with some horrific news. With that kind of mentality, it will be hard to see anything positive that happens in your life. Carrying around negative baggage will do nothing for you. It only serves to make you a negative person.
5. Get training! Seek out optimism interventions and training. Scientific American recently reported a few studies that showed people who participated in optimism training had a better outlook on like than those who didn’t. There is still a lot to learn about how optimism training works, and how long the effects will last. But even if you need occasional tune ups it may be worth it to get some guidance from a professional who can help you look on the brighter side of life.
If you aren’t sure where to start, start with the first step and work your way through to number 5
Once you have completed all five of these steps, you are sure to be a plentiful optimist. It can be hard to admit that you are in the habit of viewing things negatively, holding on to the past, and not helping others out.
Once you can embrace these things and retrain yourself to hunt the good stuff, let go of the bad, and help those around you; your life will be overflowing with positive experiences, and it will be hard to see the negative in that.