Optimism can be defined as the act of thinking in a positive way about your circumstances, as opposed to pessimism and thinking negatively. Framing your actions with either optimism or pessimism can have profound effects on the actions themselves. So it is important to think optimistically. It’s simple: be optimistic typically leads to feeling good and vice versa.

How optimistically you view your experiences affects how you will respond to them. For example, thinking positively about a task may enable you to enjoy it more. Think about its impact, the difference it will make to your life, as well as the lives of others. If you enjoy a task more, the more likely it will be that you will believe it worth persevering for. Secondly, optimism will keep you focused on your goals, rather than the struggles you endure trying to achieve them. Optimism both motivates you and enables greater perseverance.

One simple route out of pessimism and into learned optimism is to ask yourself ‘why be pessimistic?’ It can sometimes be that simple. Pessimism is attractive sometimes because it doesn’t require an effort to resolve the situation. In some cases, that may well be appropriate, but in others pessimism may prevent you from thinking of an optimistic way out of your predicament, by directing your focus onto the trappings of the situation. Ask yourself if being pessimistic is truly necessary, and whether (to coin the old phrase) the glass is half-empty, or half-full. This takes a lot of self-honesty, but it’s surprising how much pessimism can be simply a frame of mind!

Instead of thinking only about the bad stuff, think instead about: potential ways around your problem, ultimate goals, whether what has happened is 100% bad, and whether there are bigger problems in life for you or others to deal with.

And then be optimistic: do something positive about it. Make a plan of action, and follow it. Or, do something positive which is unrelated to your issue: you may find attacking your problem becomes inhibited by a lack of confidence, so do something else to show yourself that you can achieve! For example, take up a sport, or do a favour for a friend; the important thing is to do something positively so that you feel more confident about tackling other problems.

So, having been honest with yourself, put a problem into perspective, and acted positively to encourage tackling a problem in an optimistic manner, hopefully you will be rewarded by overcoming that problem. Or, you may have found a way of living with an optimistic frame of mind, until you can act more positively.

 

If you’d like to grow your confidence, enhance your well-being, feel empowered and be inspired, join one of retreat programmes.  Find out more here!

These suggestions have a track record of working for people in this situation. We recommend that you try these tips and see which ones are suitable for you. You may find that other approaches work for you too. Depending on your circumstances, a consultation with your GP may be advised.

 


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