It’s very easy to make yourself feel your most cynical self. Watch the news for thirty minutes. You’ll find something. Read YouTube or social media comments. You’ll find something. Think of all of your troubles, or mistakes made in the past and things you had to learn from through hardship. You’ll feel bad about yourself in record time.
All of this is way too easy. We often find it much easier to slip into negativity than its opposite. But that doesn’t mean you should, or that is the way you should allow yourself to be. You can train yourself to become more optimistic should you wish it. If you do this, then you might find yourself an access of energy and power, and of course, the ability to see life through a different and much better lens. Despite all the hardship and issues you might have gone through – it is very possible to get through to the other side. But first, you have to believe you can.
This might be a subversive process. You might not be too familiar with feeling this way. But with this gentle encouragement, and the following advice, this will come to you much more easily:
Count Your Blessings
Many of us have small issues and inconveniences that simply feel frustrating to think of, let alone deal with. We might dread having to deal with that commuting traffic tomorrow. For some reason, our pets might seem to be more aggressive with us lately, leading us to believe a small medical issue is getting them tense. We might not find our keys for twenty minutes this morning, because they had slipped down the back of the table we keep them on.
All of this can put you in a foul mood as you start your day, and that could just be in the first hour after waking! However, it is possible to subvert this process, at least just a little. All you need to do is take a minute and count your blessings. You likely have many more than you think of.
It could be that you’re getting new glasses this week. That’s great, because you’ll be able to see more clearly compared to your old prescription. Your birthday might be coming up, and you’re planning to go out to dinner with your family. Your family itself might be healthy and your kids might be doing alright at school. Despite the morning traffic, you have time to listen to that audiobook you purchased last night. There’s always something good on the horizon, just as there’s always something that might frustrate you. But if you only focus on the negative, you miss the balanced view of life. Thinking of things you appreciate and staying grateful has infinitely more pull than its opposite, so it’s important to ensure you give that the gravity it deserves. Counting your blessings is never weakness, but it can be a strength.
Optimize Your Life
When you’re optimistic or are trying to be, you might find little methods of making your day easier. For example, organizing and folding your laundry before doing it can absolutely reduce the time it takes to finish that chore. It could be that automating certain matters of your life, such as having weekly meal prep done on a Sunday, or signing up for a meal delivery service could do it. You might be tired of picking up your medication from the pharmacy, wasting precious minutes from your week, as you think ‘if only I repeated my prescription online, this would be less hassle.’ You can do that.
When you optimize your life, you start to look at it in terms of less stress and more in terms of what you could be saving. A little extra time each week could help anyone become that little bit more positive, as now they’re not having to rush blindly from one responsibility to the next.
Focus On Play
We often think that play is only reserved for children. In some ways, it is. We shudder to think of what a grown-up adult indoor ball-pit and play arena might look like. Perhaps it would be hilarious. But this very odd image needn’t deter you from play, nor the emotional and health benefits of dealing with that. Focusing on play is an important part of our lives. We need to feel as though we have room to creatively express, remain silly, or simply enjoy something we like. From the wise words of Willy Wonka ‘A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men.’
Consider what your play might look like. Simply playing with your kids is a fantastic idea. Goodness knows the havoc you might cause with a set of water pistols and a summer backyard as your arena. But it could also be that you finally purchase a canvas and go to town with some paints, no matter your skill level. Perhaps breaking out an instrument you haven’t touched in years and seeing what you remember could be the key. Freeform writing, or partaking in a sport, or simply purchasing a LEGO set and constructing it (a great idea if you ask us,) can help you feel all of this quite significantly. When you focus on play, you become just a little less serious and a little more open.
Think of how many children’s films where the child protagonists parent or someone similar has grown up, and has lost the magic of imagination and childhood. The new Winnie the Pooh movie had it. The LEGO movie certainly had it. Many other movies, especially dealing with Christmas time have it. So don’t let yourself be this kind of adult. Resurface in play now and then, and you’re likely going to find a freedom you might not have considered before.
Consider Your Social Surroundings
We all know those who can sap your soul. Perhaps your mother-in-law picks out everything she doesn’t like with your clothes, your home, your new hair, how you raise your children, and on and on and on. Allow yourself some space and don’t be so hard on yourself. Whatever social fallout or disconnect there might be will always, always be followed by a period of peace. And from there you can watch your general optimism skyrocket. Make sure you spend time with people who built you up and make you feel good and kill the ones who don’t with kindness because they need it.
With these tips, we hope you’re better able to become more and more optimistic.