Optimism is a term which means being positive about the outcomes going to be happening in our future. Many theorists in psychology consider optimism as a personality trait. Research in psychology relates optimism with positive mental and physical health outcomes. Researchers show that optimistic people are less likely to have depression and other mental health problems. They have low chances of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and other medical diseases. They use effective coping strategies to deal with stressful life circumstances. They have better adaptability and high quality of life. They adopt the healthy lifestyle and protect themselves from engaging in harmful behaviors such as smoking and other risky outcomes (Conversano et. al. 2010).
If optimism is supposed to be such a useful factor in life, then the question arises here is: How to develop optimism in your personality. Here I’m giving you some tips which you will use and enjoy the positive outcomes in life.
Think Positive: This is something easy to say then do it. How can you make it easy to do? You just need to get over your past (particularly those negative memories which could have been hurtful to you). Focus on your present life circumstances and you will find a way to make your future better than today.
Every day takes some time for yourself in which you do something creative or helpful. It can be a listening music, doing the relaxation exercise, helping someone, enjoying cycling/exercise or anything which you consider pleasurable.
Keep eye on what’s going on in your life. There might be stressful times in your life but the effective tool here is, you understand your life stressors and find ways to come out of them. Don’t make you stuck on one point. Always push yourself to move ahead and work out problems.
Take some time to show gratitude. Think of the blessings you have in life, positive qualities you possess, and achievements you got in career/family/professional/social/community life.
Take care of your self-talk: We all communicate to ourselves in form of thoughts, images, or words. If your thoughts are positive, you will experience positive emotions, and then your behaviors and life outcomes will be positive because there is a link between thoughts-emotions-behaviors. An easy way to do this is: write down positive affirmations for yourself and refer them every day.
Keep yourself in a company of positive people because you are a reflection of the people with whom you spend most of the time. You always have a choice to include and exclude people in your life. Positive people will leave a positive impact and the negative ones will affect you adversely. Therefore, plan ahead of the time what consequences do you want in your life. Make friends who are likable, easy to get along, and match with your positive self.
Develop problem-solving skills: Problems and stress is a part of everyone’s life. What optimistic people do is plan ahead of the time before the problems take over them. There are always ups and downs in life. If you understand this fact, you will be able to take responsibility for your life and hence own your problems. You will find yourself in a better position to deal with problems and find solutions.
Set your goals and priorities in life: this is the secret how optimistic people get more success in life. How they look positively towards their future is through goal planning. They have a very clear idea where they want to go in life. They give themselves easy steps towards success. Such as, they make to-do-list of every day so, every day they spend becomes useful in some way. They also have long-term planning for their career, family, social, and professional life and “to-do-list” helps them every day to cover one step of stairs to success.
If you start developing above mentioned skills and practice each in real life circumstances, definitely you are making your way easy to optimism. And, now you know how optimism is going to make your life outcomes so positive and healthy just as you want.
Conversano, C., Rotondo, A., Lensi, E., Vista, O.D., Arpone, F., & Reda, M.A. (2010). Optimism and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Well-Being. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health, 6, pp: 25–29.
Mehwish Mursaleen (Ph.D., Clinical Psychology)
Clinical Psychologist & Online Psychotherapist
(Consult-a-psychologist.com & iCliniq.com)