“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
~ Abraham Lincoln
To a recent post on Optimism, here, for your consideration, are a few suggestions to guide you through uncertainty and to nurture optimism:
Do something you love. There is always something that makes you laugh, smile and feel instantly happy. It could be a book, movie, person, place or even the endorphins released after an intense workout. Focusing on what you love helps keep your optimism alive. The more time you spend doing things that produce positive emotions, the more optimistic you’ll be. Pretty simple, eh?
- Explore new places. Leaving your comfort zone forces you to feel, learn and have new experiences. Visiting a nearby city or local park are destinations that don’t require a lot of time or money. By changing your routine you create opportunities for your mind to explore new sights and sounds. See and think fresh scenes.
- Express gratitude. How frequently do we hear this? Yet, how often do we create time to be thankful? Write a list of things, people, beliefs, accomplishments for which you are grateful. Acknowledge all that is going right! Volunteer. Doing things for others brings a pleasing sense of fulfillment.
- Focus on what you can control. And accept that fact that there are instances and circumstances in which you yield no control. For example, there’s nothing you can do about the financial markets. However, you can control your personal finances. This includes limiting spending and increasing your savings. Decide and admit what’s really essential. (Hint: it’s okay to let go.)
- Know the signs that stress is affecting you. I learned this one the hard way. There can be significant health consequences to ignoring the symptoms of stress. Pay close attention to changes in your physical, emotional and mental states, and see a health care professional if you’re experiencing any telltale signs.
- Limit your exposure to negative news. This point cannot be de-emphasized. Don’t bury your head in the sand yet don’t subject yourself to negative media 24/7. Unless you choose to. Consider changing your reading and/or viewing habits. Watching a comedy or listening to music instead can have surprisingly soothing and positive effects.
- Look for the positive. When you’re in a less than fortunate situation, make an effort to be optimistic. Yes, it does take some work. Try to be mindful and make a conscious choice to act the way you’d like to feel. Sustaining a positive outlook will help you realize that change – for the better – does happen.
It’s a fact that intentional action(s) can banish (or measurably mitigate) negative emotions. So dream about your success. Don’t hesitate to try something new, even in challenging times. Find what’s best in life, for you, and live it accordingly.