There’s a lot to be said for the ability to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’. Positive forward thinking helps you through challenging times and alleviates unnecessary stress and worry. Start small, in order to train yourself to automatically choose positive thoughts. For example, if you have to go to the dentist, instead of obsessing about the actual appointment, think forward towards the outcome of relief from tooth-ache.
Monitor what you read and watch, for increased optimism.
2. Monitor your exposure to media
Constant exposure to social media, reality TV shows and gossip rarely leads to an optimistic outlook on life. Irritating advertisements, sensationalised news reports and superficial celebrity stories can increase the amount of time you spend on unconscious negative thinking, especially when it’s always running in the background on the TV or radio.
Make discerning choices, with regard to what you’re exposed to, even if it’s just for entertainment purposes. Read inspiring biographies, watch documentaries that give you a sense of wonder, belly laugh over live comedy and choose reputable sources for news updates.
Optimism stems from knowing there’s always another positive experience waiting for you, just around the corner.
How often do you stop to savour positive experiences throughout the day, in the midst of busyness? Maybe it’s that first sip of coffee on a morning break, fresh air as you leave the office or your dog greeting you when you arrive home. Optimism stems from knowing there’s always another positive experience waiting for you, just around the corner.
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4. Let the sunshine in
Numerous studies reveal that vitamin D deficiency is linked with depression and mood disorders. Unfortunately, with so many careers based around office work, getting enough sun can be difficult, especially throughout the week. Make a point of walking in the morning, eating lunch outside and getting out into nature on the weekends. Fresh air is also crucial for a sense of optimism. Ensure your surroundings are filled with natural light or, if that’s not possible, invest in plants like Peace Lilies or Bamboo Palms to enhance air quality.
5. Keep a gratitude list
Lastly, the easiest way to create an optimistic outlook is to keep a gratitude list. While it may seem silly at first, writing down what you feel grateful for, each and every day, really does make the world seem brighter. As you do, you might remember people you’d like to thank for a kind service, small blessings like the chocolate cake you shared for a workmate’s birthday or how much you’re looking forward to another swim tomorrow.
It’s all about training yourself to focus more on the positives, than the negatives, to keep on track towards the brighter side of life.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.