When challenging situations present themselves in our lives, it is our own choice whether or not to embrace a more positive outlook. Having optimism during these times is not about ignoring the bad things or pretending they do not happen. Being optimistic is about focusing on the positive aspects of these situations and remaining productive to take follow-up actions. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of choosing optimism as well as tips on how to achieve an optimist mindset.
Why choose optimism?
There are many benefits to having an optimistic mindset, aside from being generally happier than those who are more pessimistic. Did you know that optimism can have positive effects on your physical and mental health? Here are a few:
Lower amounts of stress: You can reduce your stress levels by focusing more on the positive aspects of life rather than the negative. Reducing stress also helps to avoid burnout.
Reduce risk of mental illness: Focusing on the positive and being optimistic has the potential to lower the chance of developing depression and anxiety.
Better physical health and longevity: Optimism has been linked to lower rates of hypertension, heart disease, and even risk of cancer. This may be due to the fact that optimistic thinkers tend to exercise more, sleep better, and eat healthier. A 2019 study even determined that optimists have a life span 11% to 15% longer than average.
Increased productivity: When challenges arise, optimistic thinkers focus on actionable steps and creating solutions to the problem. Optimism is important for improving focus and productivity.
Optimism in the workplace
Working a job takes a lot of time from our lives, so it is important to remember to have a positive outlook during those working hours. As stated above, being optimistic can help increase productivity, which is especially significant when you are at work. Having optimism can also bring about more positive interactions and relationships in the workplace, potentially resulting in career advancements.
There are still bound to be bad days at work, but remaining positive and knowing that they are only temporary will help you push through. A few tips for being optimistic at work include:
Start the day with a positive attitude: If you go into a work day thinking that it will be a bad day, then it most likely will be. Our morning outlook affects our days more than we might realize, so it is important to go into work thinking that you will have a good day and be able to handle any challenges that come your way.
Make sure your workspace is comfortable: It is easier to remain optimistic when you are comfortable in your environment. Little things like adding a few personal decorations to your desk can go a long way in helping you have a positive attitude.
Write down the good things that happen at work: Remembering the good that happened during your day, even if it also had bad things, is helpful in staying positive. Be sure to focus on what you enjoyed at work, such as achieving all of your goals or enjoying lunch with a coworker.
How to be more optimistic
Optimism is not something that people are born with, it is something that is developed. We can choose to be optimistic; here are a few tips and tricks to help you achieve that mindset:
Use positive affirmations
Affirmations are short, positive messages that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day. You can simply think them in your mind, or write them down on a piece of paper that you can read regularly. These might include phrases such as: “I am enough,” “I am successful,” or “This is going to be fine.” Make up your own affirmations to help you stay positive or seek out different examples online to inspire you.
Limit how often you check the news
While it is important to be informed about what is going on in the world around you, it is just as important to protect your mental health. Most news mediums report on negative topics which can cause a more negative outlook on life. Choose only a couple of reliable news sources and limit the amount of time you view them each day. This way, you can remain aware but also avoid too much negativity.
Spend time with optimistic individuals
Optimism can be contagious; being near others who have positive outlooks can help positively shape your thoughts and perspectives. Finding these people can also provide you with an opportunity to have an optimist mentor or simply a friend whose optimist behaviors you can observe and try to utilize in your own life.
Make time for things you enjoy
Being happier and less stressed helps you naturally have a more positive attitude. Remember to make time for activities and hobbies that you enjoy doing to improve your mood and make you feel more content and optimistic.
Choosing to incorporate mindfulness routines into your life can help you move away from any negative thoughts or feelings. Mindfulness is being fully conscious of your situation and surroundings; many people do this through meditation and journal writing. It is beneficial to learn how to acknowledge all of your emotions and thoughts and choose to let them go in order to remain positive.
Know when things are beyond your control
It can be frustrating when a situation arises that you cannot change. When trying to be optimistic, it is important to acknowledge that there are certain things that are beyond your control, no matter how hard you try to change the fact. Learning when to move on and focus on aspects of your life that you can influence and change will help with your positive outlook.
Something as simple as caring for your well-being can be of great benefit when it comes to optimism. It is easier to have a positive attitude and outlook when you are healthy; this means that it is crucial to stay hydrated, eat well-balanced meals, get enough sleep, and spend time around those who support and care for you.
Always remember that optimism is something that you can choose to have in your life. Having a positive outlook not only helps your work life by improving productivity and colleague relationships, but it improves your personal health and happiness. Visit our LinkedIn or Instagram to let us know your thoughts and be sure to add your own advice for embracing an optimist mindset so we can all support each other.