We know that optimism can be learned, but what are some immediate actions we can take to become more optimistic. Right now, you might feel that you are too far gone to have any positivity, but there are ways to be an optimist in any situation. Read on to find some easy daily habits you can follow to become an optimist.
Forming optimistic habits
Before you start forming your new optimistic habits, it is important to understand your current habits. What things do you do on a daily basis that leads you to think negatively, or have a negative outlook on certain situations, and life in general. Perhaps you are complaining about things too much, maybe you are telling yourself “I’m not worth it”, or perhaps you are unknowingly self-sabotaging. Whatever your thoughts or actions are in feeling negativity or pessimistic, it is important to recognize them first. Once you can recognize them, it will be easier to adjust them to more helpful habits.
Optimistic habit # 1 – Self-talk in the mirror
You might have heard this before, and it might sound silly, or you might feel that it is conceited to do, but talking positively to yourself in the mirror first thing when you wake up can really get the positive juices flowing for the day. Smile at yourself, tell yourself your affirmations, have a good look at your fabulous body and features that are uniquely yours. You will not only start your day off positively but you will boost your self-confidence for the day as well.
One of the most optimistic people I know uses positive affirmations, and he may not even realize it. He does it in a subtle way that he enjoys, and it is really funny to watch, but I know it boosts his positivity. Sometimes I will catch him glimpsing at the mirror and telling himself: “Who’s a sexy panda? I’m a sexy panda!” And then he would give a hop in his step and be happy the rest of the day. So trust me, I often see self-talk work wonders.
Optimistic habit # 2 – Look for opportunities in seemingly bad situations
You’re in a “not so good” place, or something has happened that makes you feel the world is ending. It’s OK. Take a breath, re-evaluate the situation, and look for opportunities to learn and grow from the seemingly bad situation.
For instance, if your car broke down and you feel that obviously it just had to happen to you, because hey, the world is against you. Step back, rethink it. What can you learn from this situation, is it really as bad as you are making it out to be? Are there ways around it, can you grow from this experience? Is there a funny instance that you can take from it to tell your friends and family?
This happened to my husband and I a while ago. We were on the highway, and our car overheated, and it was getting dark. We’ve never actually experienced this before, and we weren’t all that sure how to deal with it. Surprisingly, my husband was the one that was freaking out and looking at it negatively. What I tried to do was to look for opportunities. How could this situation turn into a positive thing? Well, we learned a thing or two about cars and how to avoid and manage something like this in the future. This was also when we finally made the life choice to go without a car, and boy has it been great (we have saved so much money, and spend so much more quality time together on our walks etc.).
In that moment in time we were distressed and it was a very stressful situation to be in, but once we had moved past the temporary stress and panic we found an opportunity to learn from the experience.
Optimistic habit # 3 – Start your day with a good deed
When you do something good for someone else, you automatically feel good yourself. If you can start your day by doing a good deed, you will feel great for the rest of the day. And more opportunities to do good will present themselves to you. The more good you do in a day, the better you will feel. This will also help you to start thinking positively about the surrounding circumstances. You will constantly be looking for ways to do good so that you can feel good yourself.
You don’t necessarily have to do something good for someone else. You can also do something good for your environment, for wildlife and other creatures, or even for yourself. Yes, you can do good deeds for yourself, too! Think about it, when was the last time you gave yourself permission to do something you enjoy? Doing a good deed for yourself is also needed sometimes to keep you physically and mentally healthy.
So go on, spread some love to yourself, others and your environment.
Optimistic habit # 4 – Change how you speak or interact with people
You might think that there is nothing wrong in the way you speak or interact with others, but I urge you to take some time to truly reflect on how you speak and what you say. What kind of words do you use, what’s your body language like when you interact with people? Do you use one word answers, do you have a dismissive tone, do you slouch or avoid eye contact, do you try to multi-task while talking to someone? All these can actually have a negative impact on your daily interactions with people, and yes, it can affect your own thoughts and sense of pessimism.
Try changing your language, tone and body language and see the difference it can make towards a positive outlook. Instead of just saying “Hi/Hey”, to someone, try “Good morning” instead. Positive words and phrases like “good” or “Have a great day” subconsciously makes you feel good too. When talking to people, give them your full attention, and make sure to have eye contact. This will show the other person that you are really engaged and interested in the conversation. This will make the other person feel good, and in turn will transfer that good feeling into the conversation and onto you.
Optimistic habit # 5 – Spend time with positive people
The people you surround yourself with has a significant impact on your outlook on life. If you spend your time with people that drain your energy, or that complain all the time, or that just don’t seem to have any positivity, you too will feel, experience and do those things.
It is therefore very important to surround yourself with like-minded, positive people. You can feed off of their positive energy and in turn you will be charged with positivity and radiate that outwards too. So basically you all feed off of each other’s optimism.
Optimism/pessimism really is contagious, so be careful with the type of people you associate with and spend most of your time with.
Optimistic habit # 6 – Choose to be happy by default
Ultimately optimism is an attitude and an outlook on the world. This means that you need to change the way you look at the world rather than the world itself. What you might find is that when you change your perception of the world, then your perception moulds your reality.
Through changing your perspective you are making the decision to change. Instead of being a victim of circumstance you are allowing yourself the power to make a difference in your own life, the lives of the people around you and eventually the world. I sincerely believe that every single person was put on this planet for a reason and we have an impact on the world around us, whether positive or negative depends on our actions.
Therefor, it is important that you celebrate yourself as a gift to the world. By reading this article, I believe that you feel that you have room to grow to become optimistic and to become more positive. To me that indicates that you have the intention to be a force for good, so celebrate your beauty, whether physical or spiritual.
Optimistic habit # 7 – Be silly and have fun
Being a grown up is over-rated. Sometimes you need to let loose in small ways. Whether you sing in the shower, dance in the streets or play pranks in the office it is important that you have harmless fun.
But be aware of the impact of your actions and make sure that you do not have fun at the expense of others.
Simply having fun, and being silly puts you in a good mood which contributes to having an optimistic attitude. Having fun allows you to relax a little and hopefully you won’t sweat the small stuff.
Putting optimism to the test
As I mentioned earlier, optimism is an attitude. It doesn’t mean that you will always be happy and that you need to wholly suppress any negative thoughts that you may have. Rather, be aware of negative experiences in your life and ask yourself how you can grow from it.
Why not try it for yourself; try it even for a day and see if you feel a difference.
I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this, and if you have applied any of these tips, please let me know your experiences in the comments below. Keep a lookout for some more tips and advice in future posts.
Have a positively, positive day! 😁