An optimistic outlook on life is thought to have a wide-ranging positive effect on physical and mental wellbeing. In fact, research shows optimists are less likely to suffer from stress, anxiety or depression. But are we born with this positivity or can we develop it? Is it ‘once a pessimist, always a pessimist’? Research suggests not. I have helped many clients successfully reframe their thinking and becoming successful, happy optimists.
So what steps can we each take to become optimists?
Mindfulness gets mentioned in a lot of my articles because it helps with so many aspects of our mental well-being. It’s easy for repeated responses to become conditioned and this includes negativity. Our go-to reaction to any kind of set-back becomes a negative one, and we forget to question this response or the reasons behind it. Mindfulness involves developing an awareness of your emotions and your physical and behavioural responses.
Listen To Your Inner Monologue
Mindfulness helps us become more aware of our inner monologues. It’s that voice which speaks to us and comments on our world and behaviour. Learn to notice what this voice is saying. Is it generally negative or positive? Does it regularly do any of the following?
- Magnify the negative aspects of situations
- Blame you for things outside your control
- Anticipate the worst outcome of situations
- See things as black and white
- Make broad statements such as “you always do this” or “this always happens”
- Personalise negative situations – “it would happen to me”
To become an optimist we need to learn to change our inner voice, removing very unhelpful or negative thoughts and replacing them with more balanced, positive ones.
True optimism is different from blind optimism. It’s not naivety or overconfidence, but a general positive outlook on life. You don’t have to force yourself to be happy all the time, simply question your negativity. Of course there are times when you’re going to feel unhappy or that you’ve been treated unfairly. Instead of ignoring these challenges, concentrate on what you can do to improve your odds or overcome obstacles. Think of what you can do, rather than what you can’t.
It’s often easier said than done to change the way you think. Hypnotherapy helps you cement these changes and make long-lasting adjustments to the way you think. Positive daily affirmations such as the below can help you do this.
- Anything is possible
- I am in control of my own life
- I am in control of my outlook and attitude
- I always have a choice
These tips can help you make a start on becoming an optimist but there are lots more things you can do to develop this positive trait. Positive outcomes will include improved relationships, success at work, better health, lower levels of depressions, improved immune system and reduced risk of some illnesses.
If you’d like further help and advice about becoming an optimist please do get in touch.