You’ve definitely heard a friend telling you to “look on the bright side.” Even if they meant well, it’s easier said than done, right?
The truth is, being optimistic may have less to do with always remaining positive and more to do with how we manage problems, stress and worries. Being a pessimist, on the other hand, is another story. Find out more about their differences as well as the health benefits of optimism and ways on how to be more optimistic below.
Optimism and Pessimism
An optimist and a pessimist both differ in outlook on life. Being optimistic means that you have trust in your ability to succeed and are confident about the future. Pessimists foresee repercussions, while optimists anticipate positive outcomes. Both optimists and pessimists feel that their interpretation of a situation is valid.
Being optimistic in life is best, but having unreasonably high hopes can leave you disappointed at times. Negative effects on mental health can also result from toxic positivity, which is the inability to accept any negative emotions.
According to studies, what matters most is the degree of optimism or pessimism. For example, unchecked optimism can be overly idealistic and problematic: an optimistic person could create unrealistic ambitions that they cannot attend due to circumstances. The pessimist then contributes to bringing a realistic perspective to the situation.
Benefits of Being an Optimistic
There are many compelling reasons to start nurturing good thoughts and reducing self-talk:
Positive thinking helps to manage stress
Positive thinkers are better at handling difficult situations than pessimists. They will create a plan of action and get help and advice from others rather than concentrating on their frustrations or things they cannot control.
On the other hand, pessimists are more inclined to assume that the issue is beyond their control and that they cannot do anything to change it.
Optimistic people have strengthened immunity
Studies have revealed that your mind and body are capable of profoundly influencing one another. Your thoughts and mentality can have a strong impact on your immunity.
Researchers found out that negative emotion-related brain activity reduced the immunological response to a flu vaccine; people with more positive outlooks on a particular aspect of their lives, such as how well they were performing in school, demonstrated a higher immunological response than those with a more pessimistic mindset.
Positive thinkers have better well-being
Aside from improved mental toughness to stress and immunity, positive thinking also has a great impact on your overall health, which includes a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, lower depression rate and an extended lifespan.
Positive thinking means resilience
Resilience is our capacity to handle challenges, and resilient people can endure hardships with fortitude and resolution. They possess the capacity to persevere and ultimately conquer such difficulties rather than breaking down under pressure.
Optimism means focusing on things like having to be confident in your strengths and capabilities, having a positive attitude when facing any challenges and making the best of tough times.
8 Ways to Be More Optimistic
Even if you might be more prone to having a pessimistic outlook on things, there are techniques you can do to have a more optimistic outlook. Regular application of these techniques can help you develop the habit of keeping a more upbeat attitude in life.
On the days we grumble about moving, we need to rewire our thoughts! This is how:
1. Be observant of your thoughts. Notice the different ideas you have every day. Make an attempt to shift your thinking to a more optimistic frame if you find that many of them are negative.
2. Keep a gratitude journal. Expressing thankfulness will often help you learn to improve your outlook and has a number of positive effects. Research shows that people who practise gratitude feel more energetic and happy.
3. Use encouraging language when talking to yourself. It can have a big impact on your mindset. Switching to more positive self-talk might improve your emotions and the way you handle stress.
4. Do something for yourself every day. Taking good care of your physical and emotional health is crucial. Learn the habit of taking a step back in a stressful situation and treat yourself to something special if you want to keep your optimistic outlook. Think about how you can relax, decompress and spend some “you” time.
5. Laugh and have fun. Humor can boost endorphin levels, reduce stress and let the tension out. Long-term production of neuropeptides from laughing and the good thoughts that come with it can help combat stress and other serious ailments. Moreover, it can improve your ability to handle stress and generally uplift your mood.
6. Remember the big picture. Yes, you can sometimes feel tempted to take the defensive position when issues emerge with someone. It is important to look at the bigger picture, take a step back and look at things in the long run. Keep in mind that other people may be having a terrible day or they’re just simply stressed out.
7. Create meaningful connections by expressing gratitude. Optimistic people have wonderful interpersonal, familial and professional connections, but maintaining these relationships requires effort! So, try to let them know how much you value and appreciate them. Give thanks and see how your relationships improve!
8. Meditate and use a mantra. Ward off pessimistic thoughts by experimenting with a few different mantras until you find one that works for you. The phrases "I can do this," "I am strong," I'm doing this for myself," and even "I can keep going" are wonderful ones to try. Moreover, use the Eye Massager while meditating to help calm your mind and relax your body.
You can be healthier in many ways when you have a positive mindset. If being optimistic isn’t something that comes naturally to you, look for opportunities to practise–or even seek a professional who can help you.
You’ll discover that it’s worth the effort to build more of a can-do attitude in your life when you take all the good things by thinking positively.
Practise daily positive thinking
Sometimes, bad things happen, and it’s okay–you don’t need to be harsh on yourself! You won’t suddenly become an optimist overnight if you’re used to dwelling on negativity, but over time, you’ll become more accepting of who you are and what’s happening around you, good or bad.
It’s important to look for opportunities to make improvements and positively think about how you view life. Make sure to express gratitude and self-affirmations and learn how to identify and change your negative thoughts. This will become a life-changing habit with consistent practice.
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