Are you living a life that is fully optimized? Do you feel that you are getting the most out of your life?
“The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.” ― James Branch Cabell
What is Optimism?
Loving life with optimism is simply living life seeing the brighter side of life. Optimism is an outlook in which one views the world as a positive place. In doing so, one realizes that a wonderful life is worth loving. So often, we get caught up in the trap of negativity and we may feel that everything is working against us—we feel overwhelmed and out of control, but there’s a way to break free of that.
Just because we are caught up in these negative circumstances doesn’t mean that we have to let them control our emotions: we have the choice to change how we feel. Research in various sciences has shown that optimism can greatly affect not only our way of thinking, but also our entire way of life, and a great contributor to our thought processes is a positive outlook.
We can actually program ourselves to think positively over time: it is all a matter of choice whether one wants to make optimism a habit. I personally like to use the “Flip Switch” technique, which allows you to immediately take control of your emotions and thoughts. The technique is really a very simple one: monitor your thoughts and feelings over the course of the day, and when you notice negative feelings, do this:
- As soon as you become of your feelings, STOP! Stop what you are doing and thinking.
- Be totally aware of your thoughts and feelings; just spend a second exploring exactly what you’re feeling.
- Decide to think a more positive thought. This could be as simple as “I am grateful that I am alive today”, or “My work is very fulfilling.”
- Think as many positive thoughts as you can for about 20 seconds.
- Check in with your feelings and see how you are doing.
Most people will find even these few short seconds will make a huge impact on their emotional well-being. After you practice this a few times, you will be able to change to more positive thinking in just a couple seconds.
How to Find More Inspiration for Optimism
- Look for the silver lining: I know I know, it is a little cliche but it really is so true. It’s hard when you’re right in the middle of a situation, but take a few minutes to mentally step back from the situations and see if there is just one area that could be seen as positive.
- Positive Friends: choose to spend time with the most positive people you know. If you don’t know any, time to step up and find some—it will be fun!
- Look for inspiration: there are several ways you can surround yourself with inspiration, such as spending time with smiling babies, or reading inspirational books, affirmations and quotes.
- Be Grateful: there is always something you can be grateful for, so acknowledge it, say it out loud. My favorite is “thank you for my breath”
The more you are aware of your negative reactions, the more frequently you change to more positive thinking, and the more you look to surround yourself with inspiration, the more optimistic your life will be. Once you are in this more positive frame of mind, the easier it is to make the decision to live a fuller life—one with more fun, more joy, more excitement, and more adventure.
Featured photo credit: Cute little boy feeding ducks in the pond in a city park. via Shutterstock