We all know life is full of ups and downs, and being able to stay optimistic will help you get through a lot of tough times. But many are ignorant of what optimism really means.
It’s actually not about seeing rainbows or colorful butterflies all around you, it’s about learning from situations around us, finding the positive no matter how small and seeing new opportunities all the time no matter how difficult.
Optimism is often seen as an instinct that a person is born with and grows with, but in fact it is only an acquired skill that anyone can develop and enjoy its positive effects.
So what is this skill? What is its importance? Are there ways to help you acquire it?
This is what we are going to talk about in this article, so keep reading!
What is the skill of optimism?
The skill of optimism expresses a person’s ability to have hope and confidence in the outcome of a situation, no matter how difficult it may seem. An optimist can extract positive aspects from all kinds of situations. He always tends to believe that this difficult situation will produce positive results more than he believes that the result will be negative.
When you are an optimist, the way you deal with things around you will be different:
_ You will accept the fact that you cannot control every situation around you, and that you are instead able to control the way you think and deal with these situations.
_ When you have a problem, you will likely focus on how to solve it, rather than trying to control the feelings and emotions that arise from it.
_ You will view your obstacles as the result of specific circumstances and factors and not because the whole world is against you.
What is the importance of optimism?
Optimists believe in the fact that any situation around us can change, giving them the ability to move forward. Not only that, there are many important links between optimism and good health. Various studies conducted over the years have shown that optimistic behavior can lead to:
_ Increase commitment to other healthy behaviors such as exercise and balanced food.
_ Avoid unhealthy habits and harmful behaviors such as smoking.
_ Increase sleep quality. Enhance the ability to deal with stress and obstacles in life.
_ Expand your network, since people generally prefer to spend time with optimists rather than pessimists.
How do you become an optimist?
Even if you are the most pessimistic person on earth, you can still change this, and gain optimism skills, which help you to overcome difficulties and obstacles more easily.
Here are 6 simple, practical steps that will put you on the right path to optimism and positivity:
1. Write down every day what you are grateful for. Have you ever had a negative thought, and then that thought led you to something else? Did you find yourself, moments later, immersed in a whirlpool of dark dark thoughts that surround you from all sides, without giving you the opportunity to escape from them and get rid of them?
No doubt you did, this is the case for everyone, but the solution to this dilemma is very simple!
All you have to do is add a little positivity to your life. Just as negative thoughts lead you to negative thoughts, positive thoughts will help you see things better.
One of the simplest ways to do this is by writing down at least one thing that you are grateful for. This could be anything from the house you live in, to your loyal friend on the other side of the phone, or even the sun rays shining through your room curtains every morning!
Even in the most difficult times, we can often find something even simple and be grateful for having it. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves of what we have rather than wasting time bemoaning what we don’t have or being upset about the things we can’t change.
For those who have gone through life-changing circumstances, such as a traumatic accident or difficult health conditions, it’s important to focus on the things you can still do now, rather than thinking about what you’ve lost.
The more time you spend feeling grateful, the less time you will spend on negative thinking.
2- See your life as a choice
It is so easy to get so used to negative thinking that we forget that there are other options! Yes…life is full of choices, optimism is one of them.
Just as you have the freedom to choose between spending a weekend evening with your friends, or by yourself, you also have the choice to think negatively or positively! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
It may be difficult for you to accept the idea that you are able to change your thoughts, especially in difficult circumstances, but once you make the decision, and take the first step, optimism will become easy, and it will not be long before it becomes a habit, a skill that is the same as all other skills around us.
Here is the following example for a better understanding: Suppose you are on your way to shopping from the mall, but your car suddenly breaks down. You can look at this in two ways:
You will feel upset and angry because what you planned will not work, and you will feel that your whole day has been ruined by these holidays. You have every right to feel this way, but these feelings will not change anything except that they will increase the levels of secretion of anxiety and stress hormones in your body, and affect your health.
An optimistic reaction to this situation does not mean that you will feel happy and dance for joy. Of course not! You will definitely feel upset, but rather than keep thinking about what happened and its impact on the rest of your day. Your optimism skills will push you to think of a solution to a problem.
For starters, you may feel grateful that you:
_ You know people you can call to help you. You have enough money to fix it.
_ Then you’ll start to look at the bigger picture of it. You may look for another way to complete your trip, such as taking a taxi, or ordering supplies through a shopping app to have it delivered to your home.
Same situation, different reaction! The choice is yours and you decide how your life will go.
3- Accept negative thoughts
If you want to overcome any patterns of negative thinking in your mind, it may be helpful to begin with acknowledging and accepting negative thoughts as they enter your mind, as this will prevent them from staying in your head.
The goal of this method is not to prevent negative thoughts from appearing, as that is impossible, but rather to ensure that they do not remain suspended inside you, affecting your general health and preventing you from continuing in your life.
For example, let’s say you have a video interview, and you’ve never had this type of interview before.
It would be normal for you to have thoughts like, “I’ve never done a video interview before, I won’t be able to do it well, and I definitely won’t get the job.”
This way of thinking will greatly affect your preparation for the interview, and your performance during the interview. You may think that there is no need to put in so much effort in preparing for it, that you will fail either way. Not only will these thoughts affect the outcome of the interview, but your self-esteem and confidence as well.
Instead of expecting the worst, it is important to take your negative thoughts realistically, and then take a healthier approach to dealing with them.
How is that?
Going back to the previous job interview example, you can accept negative thoughts and say to yourself:
“Well, I’ve never done this kind of interview before, I may not do well at it, but I will nonetheless do my best to pass it, and even if I don’t, it will be a useful experience, and I will take it as an exercise in my video interviews, which may give me a better chance .”
Thus, you see that optimism is not always about anticipating the best outcomes for the situations that happen around us, but it can also be about reconstructing negative thoughts in a more positive way.
4- Imagine a bright future
Sometimes it can be intimidating to allow yourself to exaggerate positivity for fear of disappointment, disappointment, or things not going the way you want them to.
Many people think that obstacles and calamities become lighter if we are psychologically prepared for them, by imagining and preparing for the worst possibilities.
The truth is that nothing in life is certain, and overthinking the worst can sometimes contribute to creating the results we fear!
For example, if you get news that the company you work for has started taking measures to reduce the number of employees in it, and you start to imagine the worst, thinking that you will be one of those who will be laid off, you will be accused of being lazy.
If you continue to think like this, you may find yourself inclined to reduce your productivity, thinking that you will be laid off anyway, and so, your boss will notice your inaction, and actually decide to get rid of you, even though you were not previously on the list of employees to be laid off. about them!
Always remember that your mind has great energies, and your thoughts create your reality…Your reality today is nothing but the result of your thoughts yesterday. Thinking the worst may be a good thing, but be careful not to overdo it.
It is important to be prepared for all possibilities, good or bad, but always try to imagine a bright and positive future. And pledge yourself to learn the lesson from every negative situation that passes you.
5- Spread positivity around you
When you contribute to making others feel optimistic, it will inevitably reflect on you. This does not mean that your goal should always be to please and make others happy. But feel free to make a little effort from time to time to compliment someone, or tell a loved one how much you appreciate them.
Such small actions will have a huge impact on their feelings, and on yours too.
And while it’s a good idea to make others feel happy, don’t forget to give yourself some kind words as well.
Spend some time at the end of each day thinking about what you did during the day, and praise yourself a little, even if your accomplishments are small. Like preparing a delicious meal, or deciding to go out for a walk.
Make sure you use gentle language when talking to yourself and don’t underestimate the value of what you do, no matter how small. A simple statement like, “I did well today” can have a huge impact in the long run.
6- Spend your time with optimists
Whether we realize it or not, companionship plays an important role in our lives, and it has a clear impact on our thoughts and our view of the world around us.
If you spend a lot of time with pessimistic people who are constantly complaining, you will not be able in any way to be optimistic. On the contrary, you will find yourself drawn to their way of thinking, and you will adopt it little by little, and it will not be long before you find yourself a dark, frustrated person.
Thoughts are generally contagious, whether they are positive or negative, so make sure you spend less time with those who frustrate you, and more hours with positive, optimistic people full of energy to work hard.
You will be surprised at the effect this will have on you. The strange feelings of tiredness, exhaustion, and sadness that you felt every time you went out with your complaining friends will disappear to be replaced by feelings of vigor, energy and optimism.
Optimism, then, is not a talent or an instinct that a person is born with. It is an acquired skill that you can acquire with practice and training and use it in many life situations that you face.
However, be careful not to use it as a way to suppress your feelings and lock them inside you, or as a mask to show others that you are okay when you are not.
In the end, we are all human and we all have different feelings. If you want to smile and laugh, do so. And if I feel the need to cry and grieve, there is no harm in that either. But the important thing is that you can get up again, and continue on the path of life, even if things seem harsh or unfair to you.
Always remember that there is something purpose and wisdom behind everything that happens to us, and no matter how long the difficulties are, other better and more beautiful days must come.