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LIVE LIKE AN OPTIMIST
Let's be honest, it isn't always easy to look at the bright side of life. In fact, it can be hard work sometimes. It wouldn't be a bold assumption that some people are just born with optimism, or can simply change their negative mindset like a light switch. A lot of us need some kind of motivation to start our day with a hopeful outlook. And I hate to say it but, a cup of coffee won't fix your mindset (although it can keep you awake until the inevitable crash). So, is there a long term solution for daily optimism? Maybe, maybe not. You could roll your eyes at this article titled "Live Like An Optimist" or you could give in to my tips and create a brighter outlook. Because I hate to break it to you, but a brooding pessimistic charm will get you nowhere, fast. We can't help what life throws at us, no matter how disheartening some situations are. Positivity won't appear overnight. However, if you stay strong and surrender yourself to try a new approach, you'll start to realize the parts of life which fill that classic metaphorical half-full glass. So let's get started!
The first thing you need to do is cancel comparisons. This is a tough one, mainly because there are over 7 billion people in the world to compare yourself to. No matter what you do to improve yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, luxuriously, and so on... there will always be someone out there to make you feel like you aren't good enough. But, guess what? The same goes for everyone. You can't rank the world's population by happiness because nobody will ever win. So accept that. Pull your focus away from others, because it is a waste of time. If you really want to feel like you're on top of the world, shift your attention back to yourself and what makes you proud to stand out from the billions of people on this planet.
So now that it is time to focus on yourself, consider an amazing self-care practice like mindfulness meditation. This might sound like a hippy gimmick to most pessimists unless you take the time to research the neurological effects that this practice can actually have on your mind. I'm not writing a research paper, so to make it short: daily mindfulness meditation has been proven to reduce anxiety, depression, and negativity. When practiced regularly, it has the ability to change the chemistry in areas of your brain that activate feelings of happiness during daily activities. You can practice in classes or for free through the millions of free YouTube recordings and online mindfulness content. In all honesty, I listened to a 10-minute guided mindfulness meditation before writing this to help build my confidence and excitement to write. Now that routinely practice mindfulness, I highly recommend it to everyone.
Mindfulness is a part of self-care, which is important to improve your optimism. You can't always rely on others to understand you enough to know that some encouragement could make you feel better. So why not encourage yourself? Daily affirmations of your self worth can help you walk out the door with confidence like no other... because there is none other like you! Write a list of what makes you special, likable, capable, and someone to admire. No matter how long it takes, you know yourself more than anybody else so you will eventually have plenty of compliments to shower yourself with. To further reminder yourself of these positive qualities about you and your life, write each one on a post-it note. Before you go to bed, take one of the post-it notes and put it somewhere you know you will see it when you wake up (mirror, front door, computer/phone screen, etc.). This way, your first thought of the day will always be positive!
Every practice I have mentioned so far can fit into your daily routine, if you commit to it! So take it day by day. As I said, optimism doesn't appear overnight. You may have a busy schedule, but you can always make room for positivity efforts. You might miss a day here and there, but the only way to fail your optimistic journey is to give up. Each day you make time for this part of your routine, it will give you one more accomplishment to be happy about.
Every day is different and none of them are perfect. Luckily, none of them are worthless either. To build a better outlook, take the time to recognize moments that make each day enjoyable, no matter how big or small. Don't let those moments fade away, embrace the times your friend made you laugh, you saw an old friend, discovered a new favorite song, learned something inspiring, accomplished a goal, or even just one thing that brightened your day! To really cherish these wonderful moments, you could take the initiative to write them down at the end of the day, so you have something to look back on when you are feeling pessimistic.
Lastly, let go of your expectations so you can appreciate the future. We can't plan our lives out, we can only hope that brings us towards what makes us happy. If you have expectations of what is going to make you happy, you can easily be disappointed. Trust yourself that whatever path you are on is what is right for you, even if it wasn't what you intended it to be. Appreciate the present, admire the past, and look forward to the mystery of the future.
Hopefully, you found these tips helpful and inspiring. Feel free to comment your thoughts and let me know if you would like to see more posts that expand on this topic in the future! Also, follow me on Twitter (@emilyokonsky) for updates on new articles and writing projects. Thanks for reading!
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