Do you see the glass as half full or half empty? When you’re faced with a challenging situation, it may be easy to succumb to negative thoughts. However, studies suggest that having an optimistic outlook is beneficial for your physical and mental health, building strong relationships, and being successful at work. Some studies suggest that optimistic thinking can predict lower rates of mortality and cancer, and improve cardiovascular health and immune function. Researchers think that optimistic people tend to be healthier because they cope better when they don’t achieve a goal and attribute less significance to stressful events. One word of caution – you can have too much of a good thing. It’s wise to heed the old adage “expect the best, prepare for the worst.” To build a healthy level of optimism and reap all the benefits, try practicing some (or all!) of the following tips:
Find the good: Even in less-than-ideal situations it’s possible to find something positive. It may be hard to see at first, but look closely!
Write it down: At the end of the day jot down a few of the good things that happened to you. You’ll be more aware and more appreciative of the positives in your day.
Speak with success: Sometimes the situation doesn’t determine your mood, but the way you speak about it does. Frame challenges in terms of what is positive and your mood will follow.
Ditch the green-eyed monster: Learn to appreciate your unique qualities instead of comparing yourself to others and becoming envious of what you don’t have. Everyone is in a different part of their own journey. Remember what you’re grateful for!
Take control: In many situations you have control over your choices, and studies show people tend to be more optimistic when they are in control. Put yourself in the driver’s seat!
Stay balanced: Life isn’t all good all the time, so it’s ok if you don’t have a constant stream of positive thoughts. Staying realistic will help you do your best to make the most of your situations, manage anxiety, and boost productivity.