Being an optimist is the best and I honestly think that if everyone decided to be an optimist, the world would be a much better place. Contrary to popular belief, I believe optimism is a choice, because optimistic folks' lives aren't necessarily easier or blessed – although of course I'm sure some people's are – we just decide to focus on the amazing things in life, rather than all the crap. It's the same story with cynics; anyone could be a cynic if they tried hard enough and any one of us could let life batter us down, rather than stay in a positive mindset.
Looking at life as a glass half full not only makes you feel better mentally, but optimism can also be good for your health. In addition to this, optimists are great folks to spend time with. Amy Rees Anderson, an entrepreneur and Angel Investor, discussed how optimists attract others towards them in an article for Forbes. She explained, "Without question, optimistic people are a lot more fun to be around. They are genuinely happier, healthier, more attractive people. The have an energetic sparkle that draws everyone to want to be around them."
So if you want to be a vibrant, vivacious person, whom others love spending time with, while also improving your mental and physical well being, here's how to become a glass half full gal.
1. Think Of Optimism As A Tool
If you're a very pessimistic person and optimism does not appeal to you in the slightest, you might be asking yourself, "What's in it for me?" Well aside from the fact that optimistic folks tend to be healthier, you can also use optimism as a tool. Now I'm not saying you should fake being a more positive person, but rather, when you fully embrace the optimistic way of life, it can be a very handy tool to have in your toolkit.
Anderson discussed the benefits of optimism in business, "The ideal find for either an employer or an investor is coming across that unique person who has both an incurable optimism and the integrity to share all the facts of things as they exist." She later explained why they make great people to work with, "They can be trusted, relied upon, and to top it off, they are pleasant and fun to be around. With all of that it is no wonder success is sure to follow them." So if you wish to succeed in your field or entice investors to your business, it may be time you transformed into an optimist.
2. Adopt Your Own Mechanisms To Deal With Stress
Melissa Blakeman, M.D., the regional medical director at Johns Hopkins University, spoke with CNN about the traits of optimists. According to CNN, "Life can throw us a series of stressful events, but positive people know how to cope with that anxiety in a healthy way. In fact, certain stress-relieving behaviors can actually promote positive emotions. Studies have shown that both exercise and meditation have been linked with happier moods." Discover the best de-stress techniques that work for you, so you're not tempted to sway from your optimistic demeanour when things get tough.
3. Be Grateful
Writer and cancer survivor Miya Goodrich, discussed how gratitude makes you happy in her article for Tiny Buddha. She said, "Instead of focusing on what isn’t working in your life, give some love and attention to the things that are. Take a mental inventory each morning of all the things to be grateful for. You will soon notice the negative way of thinking will begin to shift and you’ll be able to experience the happiness that is waiting for you." If you're looking for ways to get the ball rolling, author, speaker, and teacher Gala Darling explains ways to practice gratitude over on her website.
4. Think Of “Negative” Experiences As Challenges Not Setbacks
This is a biggie and from a personal standpoint, this really works for me. When something happens that you didn't particularly want to happen, you hadn't planned, or you feel very negatively about – turn the situation around. Mentally flip it on its head and accept that although this new scenario wasn't part of your plan, or you didn't initially think it could make you happy, it definitely has the potential to. Try to imagine what you could learn from the new experience, where this new path might lead you, or ways this situation could benefit your life. Do this for every negative thought or obstacle you face and you'll end up as a glass half full gal in no time.
5. Use Jealousy As Rocket Fuel
Does being a jealous person get in the way of you being an optimist? David Mezzapelle, author of Contagious Optimism , discusses the habits of optimists with The Huffington Post. Mezzapelle says, "When we envy others we are only hurting ourselves. The universe does not owe you because someone else is better off than you. Channel that energy into building your personal and professional brand. Consider other people’s success the catalyst to help you achieve."
6. Don’t Give Up Hope
Nowadays, with the latest news at our fingertips 24/7, it's really easy to focus on all of the terrible things that are happening in the world and give up hope on humanity. It's equally easy to hone in on all of the negative things you've experienced in your life so far and feel no hope for your future self. Mezzapelle reminds us to let go of the past and says, "Just because you've experienced adversity in your life does not mean that what starts badly will end badly. Do not make bad experiences a self-fulfilling prophecy of what lies ahead. On the contrary, know that those milestones are behind you and the road to the future is clear." Life is full of hard times and great times – nobody knows what their path holds – so all we can do is hope for the best.
7. Ask Yourself: “What Would Tigger Do?”
Do you remember Tigger, the happy-go-lucky pal of Pooh Bear? Amy Rees Anderson explains why Tigger is awesome, "Seriously, Tigger is cheerful and happy and fun. He is a party unto himself. Whereas Eeyore is depressed, grouchy, and just plain whiny, and there is nothing enjoyable in being around a whiny person. We are drawn to those people who display the Tigger factor because optimistic people make everything happier." So instead of being an Eeyore, channel the bubbly, bouncy Tigger. When faced with adversity, ask yourself, "How would Tigger face this situation? What would Tigger do?"
Being a positive person has some rad effects on your health and happiness, plus it appears that being an optimist makes you a super fun, people magnet. As an optimist would say: what's not to love?