Optimistic thinkers tend to anticipate the best possible outcome in any situation. And research suggests seeing the glass half-full is good for our health, career, and love life.
Some psychologists think optimists tend to be healthier because they cope better when they can’t meet their goals. It’s also possible that people who think positively attribute less significance to stressful events.
Still, thinking positively may be easier said than done.
Here are some quick tips on how to start seeing the glass half-full:
Even in less-than-great situations, there’s a way find something positive. It may be hard to see at first, but try looking closer! Find the appreciator in you (For instance: “I may be completely lost, but the view from here sure is pretty.”)
Write it down.
At the end of the day, write down 3 good things that happened, like finishing a big report at work or getting a present from a friend. The habit makes it easier to appreciate the positive parts of life and be grateful.
Speak with success.
Sometimes it’s not the specific situation that determines a good or bad mood, but how we talk about it. (For example: “The exam may have been super hard, but telling friends we tried our best may cheer us up.”)
Don’t compare yourself to others.
It’s easy to compare ourselves to others and become envious of what you don’t have. Instead, try to appreciate the good qualities and remember what you’re grateful for.
Science has shown people feel more optimistic about situations they can control. So take a seat behind the driver’s wheel and remember choices like working out more and eating healthfully are (almost always) yours!
In one study, participants who held a pen in their mouth (causing them to use their smiling muscles) perceived cartoons to be funnier than those without the pen. So not only are smiles contagious, they may actually make situations seem better.
Life isn’t all good, all the time, so don’t worry if those positive thoughts don’t flow freely. Staying realistic is also important to help manage anxiety and boost productivity.