6 Ways To Increase Your Optimism
My mom just ran her first charity 5K race this summer, which was founded in memory of her dear friend who passed away from cancer last year. That may not sound remarkable until you learn that my mom is 82 years old. She was the second oldest person in the race, but she was the oldest person who completed the race.
She didn’t realize it at the time, but by participating in that race, my mom did three things to increase her optimism:
- She put yourself outside of her comfort zone
- She did something physically active
- She gave back
And those are three things anyone, regardless of age, can do at anytime to increase their optimism. Looking for a few more ideas? Try these three exercises:
Give voice to your gratitude
There is a lot of great research around the power of gratitude:
- It makes us happier AND healthier – and it can make our spouse happier, too
- It strengthens our bonds with others
- It helps us handle adversity
I use one of my favorite gratitude exercises whenever I’m feeling stuck, at a low point, or upset about something. I will stop and ask myself, “What am I grateful for?” It brings me back to my center.
Start a joy journal
In my work, I meet people who really want to feel better about themselves but are overwhelmed by stress from societal and family pressures. A joy journal can be a big help.
It is similar to a gratitude journal, but instead of writing down what you are grateful for that day, jot down a couple of joys you experienced. When you finish the book, you will have a remarkable list of all the things that brought you joy over the past year. Re-reading the list is a great way to lift your spirits.
Reframe your thinking
A basic part of the human condition is to talk about what’s going wrong rather than what’s going right. Unfortunately, if you are thinking about nothing but negative things all day, that tape plays through your brain all night – and that can frame your dreams.
So reframe your thinking. Instead of focusing on the negative, focus on the positive. Expressing gratitude and documenting the joys in your life are excellent places to start. Then continue by going outside of your comfort zone, doing something that is physically active, and giving back to the community.
Take the challenge to bring more optimism into your life. What is one thing you can do today? What can you do this weekend and next week? We want to hear from you about your positive practices. Please comment or email us directly. You might be the next person who I will write about to help each of us have more wellbeing!
Do you want more information on the power of keeping a joy journal? Send us a note, and we’ll share even more inspiring information.
If you found this article helpful and think someone else would benefit as well, remember, sharing is caring - thank you!