With all the doom and gloom that gets reported in the news on a daily basis it can be difficult to try and be optimistic about day to day life let alone the future. Being optimistic can have many benefits, including improved mood, better physical health, and increased motivation. Here are some tips that can help you become more optimistic:
Practice gratitude: Make a conscious effort to focus on the positive things in your life and express gratitude for them. You can start by writing down three things you are grateful for every day.
Reframe negative thoughts: Try to reframe negative thoughts into more positive ones. For example, instead of thinking "I can't do this,” try thinking "I may find this challenging, but I can try my best and see what happens."
Take care of yourself: Getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising can all contribute to a more positive outlook on life.
Focus on the present moment: Try to live in the present moment and avoid dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing, can help you to stay focused on the present moment and reduce stress and anxiety.
Take action: Look towards your goals instead of worrying about the obstacles or potential failure. Nothing is ever going to be plain sailing, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking action. The only failure will happen if you don’t take any action. You don’t have any chance to succeed if you don’t try.
Make a list: Take a bit of time to make a list of things you’re good at, things you’ve achieved, and things that are good in your life (and there is always something good!). Focussing on the positive things is half the battle.
Stay hopeful: Keep believing that good things will happen, even in difficult times. This is indeed quite a difficult thing to do, especially when you think that nothing is going right but keep in mind that nothing lasts forever. All things change.
Laugh: If you can laugh and find humour in everyday situations that’ll really help. Without getting all scientific, the act of smiling releases a natural feel good chemical into your brain…so if you can laugh then more gets released and the stronger the effect.
Meditation: Practice meditation or deep breathing to reduce stress and stay centred. If you can find just five minutes a day to sit quietly and focus on your breathing that will have a huge, positive impact.
Try new things: Doing something new can be a scary thing but taking risks will build confidence and expand your horizons. Trying a new dish, meeting new people, experimenting with a new genre of music or film are all things that will help you. If you don’t ultimately like something after trying it, that’s fine, at least you tried.
Accept It’s Not All Plain Sailing: Setbacks happen all the time and it can be extremely frustrating if you’re trying to get things done. I’m in the process of trying to move house and I’m getting issue after issue. It’s very stressful but I’m trying to see all the “problems” as learning opportunities instead of personal flaws.
Uplift: Read uplifting books, listen to inspiring music, or watch motivational videos. There is so much available to help you get uplifted. If you don’t read, you can get audio books, or search YouTube for things that uplift you. Spotify have playlists of feel good music which is easily searched.
Be Kind: “In a world where you can be anything you want to be be kind.” This is one of my favourite quotes but most of us automatically think that we must be kind to others, which of course is true. However, it is vital to be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion. If you were to write a list of things you love how long would it be before you put yourself on the list?
Embrace change: Change can be scary. Again using my impending house move - the autistic side of me is scared and doesn’t like the prospect of change; the life coach side of me is excited! Change is as an opportunity for growth and improvement.
Let It Go: This phrase is now synonymous with the animation film “Frozen” and you can guarantee that if you say that phrase someone’ll start ‘singing’ at you! Annoying as it may be, the song is actually a really good message. Learn to let go of things that you cannot control or change. You can’t change the things that happen to you so you have to accept that. However, you can change how you respond to things.
Little Wins: Celebrate small wins and progress. If you have a goal you’re working towards and you achieve something towards it, celebrate it. If you’re not working towards a goal celebrate things that you enjoyed that day or moment.
Curiosity: Curiosity may have killed the cat but it never did us any harm. Be curious and open-minded to new ideas and experiences. As long as you’re safe what’s stopping you…apart from your limiting beliefs.
Purpose: Find a purpose or meaning in your life that gives you motivation and direction. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but it’s perfectly good if it is. This can take a little bit of thinking about but it’s worth taking the time.
Sense Of Community: Help others and contribute to a greater cause, which can give you a sense of fulfilment and purpose. It doesn’t have to be a financial contribution and in fact giving your time is perhaps the best thing you can offer someone or something.
Remember that being more optimistic is a habit that can be developed over time. It may take a while, but with effort and consistency, you can cultivate a more positive outlook on life. Keep in mind you’re after progress not perfection.