I once had a school assignment from my alternative medicine class that changed my life.
Sounds dramatic, but hear me out.
Our assignment was to keep a gratitude journal for the whole semester.
We had to write down three different things each day, and they had to start with the sentence, “I’m grateful for…”
We were challenged to find three unique things every day rather than just the generics.
As the semester continued and my gratitude list grew, I began to notice something.
I was less stressed, less worried, and more hopeful.
In short, I was happier!
I learned an important lesson that semester: Optimism may come naturally to some people, but like all attitudes and behaviors it can be learned.
Optimists see the good in situations and expect things to turn out for the better. They see events in their life as controllable and usually suffer less from the negative effects of stress. They generally have better health and most importantly they NEVER GIVE UP.
Just as negative thoughts and stress can have harmful physiological consequences on the body, optimistic thinking has positive outcomes! Positive thoughts increase certain hormones and chemicals that lead to a stronger immunity, healing, and health.
How To Be More Optimistic
1. Realize you may need to make a lifestyle change
Eat more fruits and vegetables, start exercising, and quit harmful habits. Treat yourself with respect and you’ll find you’ll have more gratitude and self love.
2. Practice gratitude
Look for the awesome things happening in your life and write them down. Miracles happen every day, you just may need to look for them! You can literally change your brain by being more grateful. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.
3. Seek out optimistic people
Our friends and family members have profound effects on how we think and act. Try to find people who will build you up to surround yourself with and work to build strong relationships.
4. Fake it till you make it
iIf you’re not feeling very cheerful, pretend! Smile! Studies have shown that simply smiling produces endorphins which improve your mood and sense of well-being.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” -Winston Churchill