Thursday, January 4, 2018

Strategies for Optimism

1. Definition of optimism: 1) a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome 2) the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world 3) the belief that goodness pervades reality [dictionary.com]

2. Synonyms of optimism: assurance, buoyancy, brightness, cheerfulness, confidence, enthusiasm, hopefulness, positivity

3. Assurance is a positive declaration. We can increase our level of optimism by speaking in the positive. Rather than stating what will never happen, such as, “I will never win the lottery,” state what will happen, “I will receive ample income for the work I accomplish this year.” Assurance is a trait that benefits both the speaker and the listener.


4. Buoyancy is a force that lifts objects upward. Buoyancy in a person is considered to be a type of happiness with a light mood. Happiness is considered contagious, and when we focus our efforts on being buoyant, not only will we lift our own mood but we will also lift the moods of the people around us. Try it. A simple test is to genuinely smile at a stranger and say, “Hello.” Watch as their spirits lift because of your buoyancy. 


5. Brightness is the quality of giving out or reflecting light. This is interesting, because if we’ve lost our sense of optimism and have no more to give to others, we can choose to be bright by reflecting the light around us. This why it’s essential to carefully choose the people we associate with. If we want to be more optimistic, we need to spend time with people who notice life’s many treasures and point them out with gratitude.


6. Cheerfulness is the state of being noticeably happy. A dog is noticeably happy when his tail wags. Without tails of our own, how do we exhibit a pure state of happiness? Do we dance, bounce, skip, or sing? Make a list of your tendencies, and then mimic those traits if ever you’re feeling glum. Your spirit will rise, and you’ll begin to feel more cheerful. Sounds silly, but it works. Or you could get a puppy and play with him for fifteen minutes. He’ll share his contagious cheerfulness with you.

7. Confidence is believing something will happen the way you expect. If you want to experience the joy of watching daffodils bloom in the spring, plant the bulbs in the fall. You cannot expect flowers to blossom if you only let the weeds flourish. Consciously choose what to plant around you, and then enjoy the confidence of knowing what will grow from your efforts.


8. Enthusiasm is the lively interest and eager enjoyment of an activity. What activity makes you feel the most alive? What hobbies are you eager to get back to fully? Make a list, and then write the activities and hobbies on strips of paper. Place the strips in a jar, and any time you feel pessimism creeping in, pull a strip from the jar and do the named activity. Invest yourself in the process, and allow yourself to fully enjoy it.

9. Hopefulness is the act of aspiring to success. What do you want to accomplish? What do you hope for in life? Take small steps each day in the direction of your dreams. Believe that you can accomplish your goals and break them down into bite-sized actions.

10. Positivity is the practice of finding helpful and encouraging possibilities and solutions in any given situation. Positivity is different than assurance, because positivity can be something solely for you, internal and quiet; assurance is often something spoken aloud, benefiting both you and the listener. If your air conditioner breaks, instead of negatively thinking, “I’ll never be able to afford a decent HVAC system or a nice house” . . . practice positivity and think, “The Freon probably needs to be charged. I’ll call a repairman and have it serviced.” When it comes to the positive and negative thoughts we have on a daily basis, an excellent tool is meditation, which will help us become more aware of the mindless negative phrases we repeat to ourselves. Meditation allows us the opportunity to change the way we speak to ourselves. When we stop supporting negative thoughts and actively replace them with positive ones, we mindfully choose to be optimistic instead of pessimistic, improving the quality of our day.

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1 comment:

  1. Love this post for the new year. I'm constantly aspiring to keep a positive outlook. There's too much negativity in the world. We have to fight for the good side of things if we ever hope to rise above.

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