Cultivating optimism is pretty easy, but you might be surprised to hear that optimism is not an innate quality. Optimism and pessimism are ways of looking at yourself and the world through a positive or negative filter. Once you think of them as reflections of your mindset, it becomes much easier to believe you can change. Like any new behavior, you need to practice every day for it to become a habit. So how does cultivating optimism work?
You can try these six suggestions:
- Keep a journal
Journaling or keeping a diary allows you to process events and to get a different perspective on them. It encourages self-reflection and captures insights into your thinking and behavior.
You can write down what happened during your day and document, not just the bald facts but how you did it, what you did to make it happen, and what you did right. And, importantly, how it felt while you were doing it.
Don’t just record the good things (a promotion, a presentation, or meeting that went well). Remember to write down the thing that didn’t go so well and reflect on what happened, how you dealt with it, and what you might do differently next time.
In case you missed it, there is an entire series about journaling that was posted. For the first in the series, you’ll want to check it out here.
- Laugh to Cultivate Optimism
Consciously notice the funny side of things and write them down. So, if the technology didn’t work, and you had to give the presentation without the slide deck, just laugh about it to your audience. I’m sure that they will understand. Tech doesn’t always work because sometimes the power might go out.
Maybe there was a fire drill in the middle of your crucial meeting. What can seem like a disaster at the time can also be looked back on as a comedy of errors.
Like yesterday, I was attending a webinar when the internet went down, this was not the person’s fault. The entire internet when down in their area. You just have to laugh about it and just reschedule it, which is exactly what this person did.
- Write to your future
Write a letter or a journal entry that sets out the future you want. What job are you doing? Are you running your own business? What have you learned? What has changed? Imagining how your future life looks and feels can be a powerful motivator. Just like positive thinking will help you get out of negative headspace.
- Keep a kindness list
Have a page in your journal where you note down kind gestures. Write down when you are kind to someone, or when someone is kind to you. Even little things count, like opening a door for someone or letting them go first in the line for coffee. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they mount up, and your ever-lengthening list will give you a different perspective on things.
Here’s a HUGE one for cultivating optimism
- Say thank you
Write a letter or email, phone or visit someone (a person outside your family) who has been genuinely kind to you. Tell them how much you appreciate what they did or said and how it has affected your life.
I’m sure that there are plenty of people that come into your life you can practice this on. Just think about it, there will be people that pop into your mind.
- Choose positivity
Make a positive choice to develop and maintain an optimistic outlook. Do this every morning when you wake up. Decide that today is going to be a great day. Everyone will have some level of suffering in their life. Choosing to be optimistic will make it easier to bounce back from the bad times and to enjoy and be certain of the good times.
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Optimism is a learned skill like any other skill or habit you want to develop. Having an optimistic attitude of yourself, of life and the world can have a huge impact on your mental wellbeing and resilience. It will even boost your immune system and lower your blood pressure. Studies have shown that optimists have better career prospects and live longer happier lives. Below are Tips for Developing your Daily Optimism. Enjoy reading this article in our continuing series on mindset.
Here are five tips for developing a more optimistic view of the world.
- Identify as an optimist
Self-talk is powerful! Start telling people you’re an optimist, and you’ll soon begin to believe it, and forget you were ever even slightly pessimistic.
- Accentuate the positives
Notice and acknowledge the positive things around you. Small things like having good food, clean water, and being able to read this article for example. Tips for Developing Your Daily Optimism is a good article to read especially when you start to feel down.
A good exercise is to list ten things you’re grateful for every day – they don’t have to be big things, jot down whatever comes to mind. Go ahead, I’ll wait!
- Stop comparing
No good comes from comparing yourself to others. There will always be someone who is richer, thinner, more successful than you at any one time, and their success or luck isn’t connected to you at all. Don’t be tempted to lock yourself into a small, comfortless cell of jealousy. Instead think that if they can do it, so can you. Think abundance (there’s more than enough for everybody) instead of scarcity (if they’re successful then you can’t be).
Tips for Developing Your Daily Optimism – It’s definitely a start, don’t you think so?
- Shift your focus
Optimism is dynamic and forward-looking. Develop a more optimistic outlook by moving on from the past and instead enjoy the present and actively look forward to the future. Optimists also don’t spend much time dwelling on whatever not-so-good things are in their lives. They acknowledge that bad things happen to everyone, and when bad things do happen, it’s not necessarily their fault. Bad times come, and bad times go, and good times usually happen just as often. Tips for Developing Your Daily Optimism is really great to help you focus on your goals also.
- Don’t get hung up on one outcome
Putting all your eggs in one basket is risky, and it’s highly likely you will be disappointed. It’s also harder to pick up and move on if things don’t work out. An optimist will be flexible about outcomes and see that there are lots of different possibilities. If this one didn’t work, another maybe even better opportunity will come along.
Optimism and pessimism are not hard-wired into people. They are qualities you can change. You can choose to develop a more positive outlook on life and find that you’ll have a happier, healthier, better life!
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Stay tuned, there’s more to this mindset series!
There is increasing evidence that being optimistic about life has measurable benefits, not just for your mental health, but your physical well-being too. So, just what are the 5 Benefits of Daily Optimism?
Well, scientific studies have shown that as you become more optimistic, your life will improve in all sorts of ways. You’re even likely to have a longer life, just from being more hopeful and positive.
Among the many benefits of being optimistic are:
- Optimists are healthier
Optimists not only rate their own health and wellbeing as better, but studies have also shown that optimists have better mental and physical health than pessimists. In a study of the effects of positive psychological well-being, optimism was found to be the biggest predictor of improved heart health. Optimists also have lower blood pressure and cholesterol and a lower risk of developing heart disease.
- Optimists live longer
A study by the University of Pittsburgh found that of the 100,000 women studied over eight years, optimists were less likely to die from any cause than women with a more pessimistic outlook. That was confirmed by a later Harvard study that showed the women who had a positive outlook had a much lower risk (nearly 30% less) of dying from serious illnesses. So, you can see that using the daily optimism habit is pretty important even to your health.
- Optimists are happier
It might seem obvious that an optimist would be happier than a pessimist. But, it has been shown that optimists are not just sunnier in their dispositions, but they are measurably happier in their relationships, jobs, and life in general. They deal better with stress, are more resilient in bad times, and produce less cortisol, the stress hormone that leads to inflammation and a lowered immune system.
Daily Optimism is Key
- Optimists have smoother career paths
Researchers from Duke University found that the optimistic MBA graduates they studied were more likely to find a job, earn a higher starting salary, and have more frequent promotions than the pessimists in the group. Optimists also deal better with negative feedback, seeing it as an opportunity to improve and increase their chance of promotion in the future.
- Optimists roll with the punches
Life’s adversities do not crush an optimist; they remain hopeful about the future. Optimism helps you deal with whatever limiting beliefs you have developed and shows you a way out. Being positive about life’s possibilities means you focus on what you can do. It boosts your confidence and makes you more likely to look for constructive solutions. It stops you from feeling stuck or at the mercy of other people.
If you’re optimistic, you know you can do it!
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Gratitude journaling is a popular tool used by coaches and consultants helping people to improve their health and lives. Studies have shown the benefits of mental and physical health. If you are considering whether this could be something that could help you then you probably have questions about what you need and how to do it. Gratitude journaling is actually very low cost and fairly simple.
You will need:
Writing implements: You could use a pen or pencil but why not increase the fun and creative aspect of your journaling by adding color and even texture. Different colored pens or pencils, as well as different styles, can make your gratitude journal not just a record of thanks but also a really creative endeavor.
Notebook: While you could use a piece of paper, keeping a special notebook for your gratitude journal ensures that you will know exactly where you are writing and allows you to review previous gratitude records. Your notebook can be a plain and simple one or you could splash out on a more decorative one. However, why not consider using a plain notebook and jazzing it up yourself.
By decorating a plain notebook or making a book from scratch you are making a greater commitment to the project itself. Your notebook will mean more to you and you will feel a greater connection to it when you use it. After all, if you are writing positive thoughts inside it, you also want to feel happy and proud when you see it.
Time Alone: By taking time out away from disturbances you are giving yourself space to think, relax, and write. You’ll also find that you enjoy the experience of being alone and celebrating those things you are thankful for.
Now you know what you need it’s time to discover how to do it.
Collect your journal and whatever you’ve chosen to write with.
Find somewhere quiet and that you know you won’t be disturbed. Your journaling time should be a time for reflection and celebration free from outside distractions for the best results.
Ensure you are committed to gratitude journaling and that you want to feel happier as well as more grateful as a result. There is no point in just going through the motions of journaling without creating a positive meaningful emotional experience.
When you write, instead of creating a long list of things you are grateful for put some real thought into it. Take time to write about a particular event and describe in detail why you are thankful for it. Remember to record how you felt and why.
Try to include people you are thankful for as much as you can, not just events. By including specific people and the reasons you are thankful for them you will create a greater emotional impact. It becomes more personal.
Include surprises and unexpected events as these will create a stronger sense of gratitude and a more significant emotional impact.
Time to Reflect
Set yourself a weekly date to write in your gratitude journal. While you could journal every day it may be more beneficial to create a habit of writing in your gratitude journal once a week. This will allow you to plan for it and enjoy it.
There are no right or wrong ways to keep a gratitude journal. Everyone’s will be different. However, it is important that you are committed to the process and the outcome, as well as make time for it on a regular basis.
This is the last article in the Journaling Series. I hope you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read and can put it into practice as you go about your life. Remember, you can write all about what you’re grateful for in your business also. Writing in a journal is not just about your personal life. Make it interesting, you might want to go back and read your journal at the end of the year just to see how far you’ve come. I bet you’d be surprised by what you find out about yourself.
Journaling is not just for 12-year-old girls! Journaling can be a powerful weapon in your get-it-done arsenal, and it’s easy to do. You can and should put all kinds of things in a goal journal, not just your thoughts and feelings on a given day.
Journaling is just one way of tracking your actions and successes, and yes, even your setbacks and failures. It also keeps your goal right in front of your face so you keep on top of taking action steps each and every day. It keeps all your ideas and revelations in one place so you can go back and review whenever you want. For example, if you are having trouble getting motivated one day because you feel like you’ve been working hard, but making little progress, going back into your goal journal is a wonderful way to help you see that all of those little actions really are paying off in a big way. So what should you keep in your goal journal? Start with these ideas and add to them as you see fit.
- Detailed goal--Write down your exact goal in as much detail as possible. Describe it in a way that makes you feel excited about what your life will be like when you achieve your objective.
- Your Why--Your Why is the big reason why you want to reach the goal you have defined for yourself. It’s the reason you are willing to take the massive action steps needed to change your life for the better.
- Massive action plans and schedule–When you make the plan for how you will go about reaching your goal, write it here. Writing it down is important so that you can track your efforts so you can see what actions are creating the most results.
- Braindumps--A brain dump is just a list of actions that you need to take in no particular order. Sometimes all the tasks you need to take build up in your head, making you confused about where you should start and what you should do next.
- Prioritize--After you do a brain dump, organize the tasks into a priority list and add them to your daily and weekly to-do lists.
- Daily to-do list–Write out your to-do lists here so they are always handy.
- Aha’s–As you make massive action, you will have inspiration or aha moments when something becomes clear. Capture those ideas here so that you can refer to them later when you are ready to put them into action.
- Journal entries–Yes, you should actually journal. Sometimes there’s nothing better than stream of consciousness writing to help you solve a problem or get your worries off your chest. It’s a therapeutic and inspirational way to work.
Learning to express yourself through creativity is a great way to learn to live more in the moment than in the past or future. It’s difficult to focus on anything but the present when your brain is actively involved in creating. This is one of the ways you can live a healthier, more balanced, more fulfilling life overall. Today’s article is about Expressing Yourself Through Creativity.
There are so many ways to begin expressing yourself through creativity.
Here, we’ll discuss a few of them, but this list is by no means exhaustive!
- Look for beauty in everything around you. A forest full of trees holds beauty just like a city street lit up at night does. Beauty is subjective, and you may find that the things you find beautiful, someone else does not. That’s okay! The point of the exercise is to hone your ability to look for and find beauty in all places – beauty that will inspire your creativity!
- Learn to communicate effectively. You will have difficulty expressing yourself if you can’t communicate what you’re feeling and thinking. Learning to communicate gives you the power to express yourself with words. It allows you the freedom to capture and relate the ideas you have when inspiration occurs. There is no expression without communication of some kind.
- Find or make a creative home for yourself. It could be a room in your home that you dedicate to expressing your creativity. Maybe it is an art studio away from home, or a garden where you feel safe and unencumbered. Wherever you choose, when you get there, you should feel excited to begin creating.
- Take a step in a creative direction by deciding on a form your creativity will take. This never has to be set in stone, and this will change as you evolve. Maybe right now, it is dance, but later it might be drawing, journaling, woodcarving, or cooking. Don’t limit yourself! Try things that interest you, and if you find them fulfilling, wonderful! If you don’t, simply move on to something else.
- Give yourself time to practice every day. You won’t know if you really enjoy something unless you do it. Don’t let the fear of imperfection prevent you from the beginning. And realize that starting something new is always a little scary. The key is in not allowing that fear to stop you from moving forward.
Hopefully, these tips will get you moving in the right direction towards expressing yourself through creativity. Don’t let the fear stop you – just get started! Once you do, I bet you’ll find it hard to stop writing. Who knows, one day you may write a book about all the things you’ve learned about yourself. Hey, you never know!
Life isn’t always the way we want it to be. All we have to do is to glance at the headlines to see that we live in very uncertain times. Today we are going to unravel 3 Ways to Stay Hopeful During Uncertain Times. I hope you enjoy the article and can relate to it in some aspect.
Here we are, at the job we thought was safe might not be there tomorrow. There’s always some natural disaster somewhere. And people seem to be more cruel than kind. Have you found that to be true? I have, and I don’t like it one bit.
It’s easy to get caught up in a negative spiral of self-doubt and anxiety. So, how do you stay hopeful and positive when around you all you see are negative messages and fear?
Be here now
By focusing on the present, you will find it easier to take a step back and act as an observer. By practicing mindfulness, you’ll see you can enjoy the simple things in life, no matter how bad things may seem. All worries and fears of the unknown can melt away if you focus on the present. Look for things in your life for which you’re grateful. One way you can do this is to start a gratitude journal, where you can write down your thoughts and get them out of your head.
Look for ways to exhibit compassion and empathy
Spreading hope needs to start somewhere. Begin with the one person you can control, yourself. By looking for opportunities to pay it forward through random acts of kindness, you then become the impetus for others to do the same. Your compassionate heart and ability to walk in another’s shoes will be the guide to those around you. And even if it’s not? You’ll have at least changed one heart – your own.
The person without hope becomes stagnant, preferring to hide from the world. If you find that’s the case with yourself, then it’s time to force yourself into action, even if you don’t feel like it. Get out of the house. Call a friend and suggest an outing or go by yourself. Find a green space somewhere because these places have been found to create calm and contentment in those who spend even a few minutes there. The goal is to find a positive action and embrace it, whatever that might be. Pick up litter, hug a child, do something that makes you feel good inside, and there you will find hope blossoming.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity of the world around you. Only by actively seeking hope will you find it. By practicing these three steps regularly, you’ll find yourself able to look forward to each day, no matter what’s going on around you.
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You may not have journaled since you were a kid. Or maybe you’ve never tried it and don’t see the point. But, the action of putting pen to paper is an extraordinarily beneficial way to improve your life. Journaling is an effortless way to change your life when nothing is going right. Today’s discussion is about How Journaling Can Change your Life for the Better. So pull up a comfy chair with a cuppa and enjoy today’s read.
Discover what’s important
When you free write, you end up writing about the things that are most important to you. They may be things that you don’t even think of as that important but looking back over your writings later will give you a strong inclination of what you find the most rewarding in your life. For example, if you find yourself coming back to the idea of starting your own business over and over again, it’s obvious that it’s a dream that’s important to you. When your life is in chaos, you have less to lose, and you might decide to go for it and see what happens.
We get used to living in a routine and frequently overlook the small actions we make that add up to beneficial changes in our lives over time. Journaling helps us see all the successes we’ve had, even when life isn’t going the way we want it to. Using a journal as a form of tracking our successes can bring us a great deal of comfort when times are tough.
Let go of old emotional blocks
We can share our deepest fears and worries in a journal. When we feel down, we often need a sounding board more than we need advice, and journaling gives us that. We can let out and then let go of past hurts and failures, our needs and wants, without having to tell anyone about them but ourselves. Writing is cathartic and can help us release old emotions and beliefs that are no longer serving us.
Find the answers
People who journal often report that they find the answers to problems within themselves by using journaling to tap into their unconscious. Each of us has the answers to every problem already inside of us and journaling is a way to access those answers in a positive way. It’s amazing how allowing ourselves to be honest and open to our struggles ends up making the answer we’ve been seeking so obvious – it’s all there in black and white.
Many people who journal find themselves writing poetry or drawing to express themselves. A journal is a safe place to be creative. There’s no judgment from others, just an open invitation to express ourselves in whatever way comes up. Allowing this creativity to spring forth is another way that our problems get solved because we allow our minds to be in a different, creative space that is open to all possibilities. Are you willing to try it?
In our next article, we’ll be discussing Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success. Make sure you come back to read it.
Expressive journaling can be your road to de-stressing and re-energizing your mind. It can help you declutter your brain and your soul, and help you get feelings out on paper where they can be examined and interpreted. Today’s discussion is all about What is Expressive Journaling?
Do you even know what it is? Journaling like this can help you live more of your life in the moment, as you deal with the past and future in your journal. You’ll feel more secure in your daily life without all that hanging around in your brain, and you’ll find yourself enjoying your days with less worry and pressure.
Here are lots of different types of expressive journals, and each of them can be used exclusively. Or you can mix and match what you want when you want it. We’ll talk about several of the most common types of expressive journals in this article.
- Art Journal – Whether or not you are artistically talented, an art journal is an excellent idea if you love to doodle and sketch. What are you feeling? Turn that into a sketch. Draw an outline and then color it in with colored pencils or gel pens. If getting better at art is your goal, make the page opposite your creation where you write about how you feel about what you’ve created and how your progress is coming along.
- Gratitude Journal – There’s no better way to increase positive feelings in your life than with a gratitude journal. Each day, reflect on your experiences, what you’re thankful for, and lessons that you want to remember for the future. And then take it a step further and let the people you’re thankful for know about it!
- Dream Journal – Each morning, grab your dream journal and write down your dreams from the night before. Leave room after each dream, in case you come back with different insights later on, and you want to record them. Your dreams can tell you a lot about your waking life when they’re interpreted correctly!
- Creative Writing Journal – If stories are your thing, try a creative writing journal. Write a short story every day, or challenge yourself to write a short story in just 100, 200, or 300 words. Challenge yourself and hone your skills!
- Positivity Journal – Each day, pick something positive that happened that really inspired you. Write about what happened, the people involved, and how it made you feel. This can help you see more positive things in life overall, and helps decrease negativity.
So, don’t overthink your journaling – just get started and try!
We are now beginning our series on the topic of journaling. There will be several articles on the whys and the hows so this will be really interesting You might want to read these all at the same time or even save them in a file you can go back to and read from time to time.
At any rate, this is a topic of discussion and you’ll be happy to know that even the most famous people write in a journal. Try it, you might even like it!
Being able to adequately express yourself isn’t something that comes naturally to some, or even most of us. But it’s important for you to be able to express yourself and express your wants, needs, and desires, as well as express things you don’t like. Being able to express yourself is necessary to live an authentic, fulfilling, and healthy life, and to help you create the life of your dreams! Today we’re discussing all about Laying the Groundwork of Self-Expression.
There are three (3) main steps involved in learning to express yourself. These steps may not feel natural at first because they are new, but stick with it! You’ll soon find yourself better able to express yourself to those around you with confidence.
1). Learn to listen to yourself, your emotions, and your intuition. Too often, early in life, we are taught (directly or indirectly) to hide our emotions, and put on a smiling face even when we don’t feel like it. It’s time to unlearn all of that. So, the first step is to begin to really feel the emotions that are inside you. Your first instinct may be to mentally run away from those feelings but try not to do that. Feel each emotion, no matter what it is, without any self-judgment. Your emotions are simply what they are, and there aren’t any wrong emotions, only wrong ways that we’ve learned to react to them. So, quiet yourself and allow yourself to feel because you can’t express yourself if you don’t know what you’re feeling.
2. Acknowledge whatever you are feeling. Honor those feelings, again with no judgment. By self-validating your feelings, you learn to seek answers from within yourself, rather than always looking outside yourself for solutions. In reality, all we need we already have inside of us. Acknowledging your feelings might seem very frightening at first because you feel vulnerable. That’s okay. That feeling of vulnerability will go away once your mind realizes there isn’t really any need for fear.
3. Tune in to how your body reacts to the emotions you are now experiencing. Body awareness is very important in learning to express yourself, as it is one of the best ways to gauge your comfort level. If you tense up in response to an emotion, show your body and brain that everything is going to be okay by doing some deep breathing. Close your eyes, acknowledge the feeling, and then let it go. If a part of your body tenses up, consciously relax it. Use your new awareness to find what works for you in terms of expressing yourself, both emotionally and physically.
What do you think about writing in your journal like this? Have you thought about what you might write about and how it might be different? Let me know in the comments below.