Is your glass half-full or half-empty? Some people tend to be more naturally optimistic than others. But research shows that people who are more optimistic are happier in life, have better health outcomes, and are happier at home and in the workplace.
The great news is that optimism is not fixed—you can build optimism in your life! There are techniques and tools you can incorporate into your life to increase optimism and your overall positive outlook.
Six Areas to Build Optimism
Visualize your best outcome:
This is not the same thing as mindfulness but is an active visualization process to see where you could be in the future. Ask: what if everything worked out? What would your life look like if all your dreams come true? Think about these answers and visualize exactly what it would look like. You can speak it out loud to other people or write it down. Try to experience all the emotions behind it and really get a taste for it. This kind of visualization will boost your outcome and help you move towards those goals and dreams.
Look for like-minded friends:
You’ve probably heard the expression “misery loves company”—and it’s true! If you are always hanging out with people who are pessimistic or not happy with their lives, it’s going to start to rub off on you. So, surround yourself with like-minded people who are also seeking optimism in their life.
Remember you are what you consume:
A lot of the news we hear today is not great—news thrives on disaster, scandal, and negativity. Be careful with how much you consume and what type of news you listen to. It’s important to stay informed, but it’s not necessary to passively listen to the news all the time. It will negatively impact your mood and bring down your optimism about life.
Channel the power of gratitude:
People with high levels of optimism can look around and be grateful for what they have in life. Instead of only focusing on what’s wrong or bad, think about the good things, the exciting things, and the beautiful things. Cultivate a practice of gratitude by writing down why you are grateful.
Know what you can and cannot do:
There are some things we can change and impact and others that we simply have no control over. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t change, focus on things that are within your control. This will boost your optimism because you won’t feel frustrated or helpless with things beyond your control.
Acknowledge and be real:
Optimism is not about having rose-colored glasses, and believing that everything is perfect all the time. It’s important to acknowledge the real problems, emotions, and challenges that you experience. But optimistic people are able to acknowledge bad things but reframe them and get the energy to help them do what they need to do to get through it.
Optimism is something you can develop and grow. You don’t have to live a glass-half-empty life! Instead, your cup can be overflowing with positivity and optimism if you make it a priority. Take these six areas to build optimism and try to incorporate them into your daily life. And, with practice, you’ll see your optimism soar!