The Choice of Optimism

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on

Optimism is an attitude and choice. None of us come into being as an optimist. It involves context and focus. It’s not a matter of deluding ourselves with the reassurance that everything is going to be okay (because that’s unrealistic and not helpful). Instead, we’re committed to finding things we can contribute to, work on and improve.

So how do you choose optimism? You learn to reflect on the positive aspects of life. You challenge negative self-talk. I remember a song from years ago that talked about changing the voices in your head to like you instead. The first step in any change is to want to change. When you look in the mirror and your self-talk tells you all the perceived negatives, change your mind. It’s not easy but over time, you will retrain your brain.

There is good evidence to suggest that being optimistic can improve both our physical and mental health – even having an impact on our life expectancy. Maybe this is because optimistic people are more resilient and better able to bounce back from unfortunate events? Maybe the are less susceptible to the negative effects of illness and depression, their immune systems healthier and they are often more motivated and energetic? Or perhaps it is just by their very nature they fully expect to live and long and healthy life?

Optimism doesn’t just make us feel happier, it also makes us more confident. It helps us believe in ourselves and our ability to find a solution. It’s hard but when we start to have gloomy thoughts about the future, we have to remind ourselves of all the times that we thought things were going to go horribly wrong and they didn’t. Or even the times that when something did go horrible wrong, we were able to see our way through the difficulty.

Recognizing successes in ourselves is not easy – even if we are a person who easily recognizes and congratulates others on successes. At the end of the day, count your blessings. Amongst those blessings, recognize what you have done well. This can be the simplest gesture to reinforce optimism in yourself and build your self confidence. Appreciating even the smallest of things can work wonderful for your mindset!

When something happens that makes you feels pessimistic or negative, force yourself to look at the situation differently. Change your perspective. The fastest way to become an optimist is to change your narrative. You are empowered from the inside and out and if you feed a positive mind, begin using positive statement, you WILL create change and improvements in your life.

Mindset matters. We can’t control our outer circumstances in our life but how we react is up to us. What will your mindset be today?

Author: Toni Limbers

I am the Professional & Staff Development Manager for Steptoe & Johnson PLLC and director of music for Christ Episcopal Church. The content of this blog is mine and mine alone and is not intended to reflect on my employers' opinions or directives in any way. In real life I am a wife, mother and a MiMi.

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