Optimism needs to be cultivated and nurtured. It’s a mindset that you can create. Some people are more optimistic than others. However, did you know that you can learn to become more optimistic? If you are committed to boosting your optimism, you will be surprised at the opportunities it provides.
If you tend to first thing negatively try to turn your thoughts around by actively pursuing positive thoughts. If a negative thought comes to your mind, turn it around in a positive way. This will seem daunting at first, but quickly your mind will become trained to focus on the positive.
Pro Tip: I challenge those that I work with to come to me with three solutions to a problem. The solutions may not be feasible, but this exercise has already boosted productivity by viewing challenges as positive opportunities.
Turn Off News
You don’t have to be uninformed, but news is delivered with a lot of sensationalism, and sadly, most people respond more to negativity. Media outlets serve the needs of their consumers – that’s why the news focus is so negative. Instead, get your news from local sources and avoid opinion news and infotainment. While this tactic may not boost your optimism, it won’t detract from any positivity that you’ve built.
Pro tip: I’ve removed the news apps from my devices and instead I seek out news on my schedule, rather than receiving continuous updates. I still manage to be informed, while not having a negative distraction.
No, not like you would think of keeping score. Instead keep a gratitude journal. Each evening write down three things that you’re grateful for today. You can do it quickly by using simple bullets to describe your gratitude.
Pro Tip: I keep an online journal, using DayOne, that I can access through my phone. No excuses for not capturing this. On the tough days, I realize that I still have positive outcomes. This gives me a nice, end-of-day, boost of optimism and sets the stage for increased productivity.
Accept That You Can’t Control Everything
One thing that causes people to lose their hopefulness is loss of control. You can’t control everything, but you can control how you react to it. Focusing on potential opportunities in each situation will help you boost your optimism. See my tip above regarding focusing on solutions rather than problems.
You cannot ignore negativity completely because it is part of life, and many situations. It is sad when people die, money is lost, or a tornado blows down a house. It’s normal to feel sad, negative, and upset over these things. Take time to deal with the negativity as needed. However, be careful and don’t let negativity take over your life. Instead, start to look forward to more positive events and times. As you work through the challenges, your will begin to see a boost in your optimism.
The Positive Crowd
There’s an old saying that birds of a feather flock together. Surround yourself with people who share in your increased optimism. Limit your association with those who are negative and like to complain as they are a threat to boosting your optimism.
Use Positive Affirmations
An affirmation is simply a statement of your intention for anything. Each day get up and say something positive such as “I love leading meetings at work and know that I can curb the negativity of Gerald by expertly deflecting to positive topics.”
Practice, Practice, Practice
Optimism is the ability to see the good in whatever is happening now. Even if you sometimes feel down, you can still practice optimism. Think clearly while working through the issue, and you will remain open to opportunity. There is nothing wrong with being optimistic. After all, challenging situations can be turned into energizing opportunities, especially when you learn to be grateful for the small stuff.