How to be optimistic? You know of those people who apparently have a brilliant outlook on life even when things aren't exactly going the right way?
You know who I mean: Those friends who have spilled coffee on their white T-shirt and still have a carefree smile on their face. To those co-workers who screwed up at the morning presentation and are still in a good mood at lunch. They look at life upside down and still live in reality,
Here's the secret: They have nothing magical, there is no unicorn with powers that makes them that way.
They just adopt behaviors that reinforce their mental armor of positivity without making it seem like they are sky high, as Melissa Blakeman, MD, the regional medical director of John Hopkins University, says.
Below below are a few habits that realistically positive people practice on their daily basis.
How to be optimistic?
1. They have calming rituals
Life can bring us a series of stressful events, but positive people know how to deal with that anxiety in a healthy way. In fact, certain stress-relieving behaviors can promote positive emotions. Studies have shown that both exercise and meditation are linked to happier moods.
“Activities such as exercise and meditation are certainly not only a great help to maintain a positive attitude, but also they also help you think more clearly, »Says Blakeman. "When those habits fall by the wayside, I can personally say that I get stuck in the little details and have a hard time finding my way through the frustrations of everyday life."
2. They take advantage of their positivity during challenging moments ...
In an analysis of positive thinking published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, experts suggest that cultivating an optimistic mindset can help you tackle challenges with stamina and, as a result, could potentially lead to great wellness. The study author wrote:
«Because positive emotions arise in response to diffuse opportunities, instead of narrowly targeting threats, positive emotions momentarily broaden people's attention and thoughts, activating them to draw a high level of connections and a wider-than-normal range of perceptions or ideas. In turn, and as a result, those expanded perspectives even help people discover and build personal resources. "
3.… But they also embrace negativity
No one is immune from life's adversities, not even optimists. The key is to be positive but stay down to earth, Blakeman tells us.
"There are certainly a multitude of challenges that we all experience," he says. "Positive people focus their heads on them, with a 'this will all end up happening.' They have this idea that have been through challenges before and have managed to overcome them. » That may mean tackling one task a day or taking time to adjust to the "new normal" of a big change, he adds.
4. They don't abuse themselves
Many of us are our own worst critics, but positive individuals have learned to accept themselves for who they are. Studies show that self-acceptance could be vital to a happier life.
One way to cultivate more compassion for ourselves is through Loving-Kindness meditation, or an exercise where you extend your feelings of love and goodwill towards you and others. Research published in the journal Psychological Science they postulate that those who regularly practice this behavior experience more positive emotions. Not to mention, you will reap other benefits from meditation as well.
5. Eliminate toxic relationships
Who you are is only a partial reflection of who you have chosen to be around you, so a good support system is crucial for an optimistic outlook, explains Blakeman. Studies show that emotions like stress and happiness are contagious, so the more you have them around you, the more those attitudes will reflect on you.
With this knowledge, positive people build a strong social circle that helps reinforce their optimistic nature. "You'd be very surprised how much a good group that supports you can influence a good attitude," says Blakeman.
6. They celebrate small victories
Positive people give great achievements and small victories equal weight, says Blakeman. There is great power in recognizing the little things.
Researchers show that gratitude can lead to increased optimism, and it's a positive habit that people make a point of practicing. Gratitude for the little moments, like getting to the subway on time before I leave the platform or receiving a courtesy email from your boss at work, provide more opportunities to be positive as you focus on the many facets of your day.
7. They don't let their optimism hinder goals.
Despite all the, well, positive research on positivity, there are some drawbacks to being misfocused, especially when it comes to pursuing your goals. Studies suggest that too many positive points of view (having a fairy tale mindset) can prevent you from achieving your goals.
Everyone suffers setbacks in their pursuit of success. Optimally positive people recognize those speed bumps and proceed to solve the problems around them in order to achieve their goals, according to Blakeman. This kind of attitude balances realism and optimism in equal measure, which makes the chase less fanciful but still leads to a satisfying result.
8. They plan for the future
A study conducted by psychology researcher Sophia Chou found that those identified as realistic optimists believed they had more control over their relationships and circumstances.
"All the time they face a question, a challenge or a problem, they never say 'I have no choice and this is the only thing I can do'"Chou told LiveScience. "They are creative people and will have a plan A, a plan B and a plan C."
However, it is important to realize when your current situation or plan becomes too overwhelming. Positive thinking is best cultivated in a relaxed mindSo it's very important to take a break when you become so "stuck with the details" that it causes your attitude to lock up, says Blakeman.