Always Bet on Optimism

12 May, 2016

Throughout our lives we’re faced with a lot of ups and downs and negative circumstances that test us every day.

When a loved one passes, when we lose a job, when a relationship ends, we feel bad, but it’s necessary to learn to see the bright side, because there always is one.

What is optimism?

The word optimism comes from the Latin “optimun” that means “the better.” Optimism is the ability to see the bright side of things. It’s a matter of character. There are people that stay whole and keep going in the face of adversity, they have a positive attitude and see the good in every situation.

 “Can’t change the situation? If the power to change a situation that causes you pain is not within your hands, you can always choose the attitude with which to face this suffering”
-Viktor Frankl-
man unlocking door

Can you learn to be optimistic?

Psychologist Martin Seligman, Director of the Psychology Department at the University of Pennsylvania, is the creator of positive psychology and states that: “Being optimistic involves putting in the effort to find solutions, advantages and possibilities in every situation you are presented in life”.

Therefore, using optimism requires a great effort and strong will power. It requires training. That is to say that a person can learn to be optimistic, to see the good side of things. But how?

Love yourself

Don’t think negatively towards yourself, love your flaws and your virtues. We’re all imperfect. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be human.

Take care of yourself every day, eat healthy, exercise. Keep your brain active by reading, writing, learning.

Don’t seek the approval of others

Sometimes it causes us a lot of frustration that our friends and family don’t approve of us or the choices we make, but we can’t allow that to paralyze us.

It’s important to keep going, rely on our intuition to make decisions that make us feel good. High self-esteem is a fundamental part to having a positive view on reality.

Learn to say no

How many times do you surprise yourself by saying yes when you want to say no?

Saying “no” is necessary and even therapeutic at times. Limit things that you don’t like, things that bother you. No one will do it for you.

We shouldn’t be afraid of the consequences of the negative, because that fear paralyzes us and makes us feel as if we’re not ourselves.

Learn from your mistakes

Throughout life we make mistakes and fail many times, but we always learn. It’s critical that we find a positive lesson in every failure.

“Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn”
-Robert Kiyosaky-

Try to find the bright side in every dark moment

If your partner left you maybe they weren’t the one, maybe they need to leave your life for someone else to come in or for you to enjoy solitude.

If you lost your job, maybe there’s a better one waiting for you, or you can take advantage of this moment to obtain some training.

You get to choose how you want to view life.

Don’t just think, you must also act

It’s not enough to think positively. It’s also fundamental to get hands on and build our reality from a positive and happy point of view.

Understand your emotions

It’s necessary to understand why we feel guilty or sad in certain occasions and to identify that emotion to understand and control it.

colorful face blue eyes

Benefits of being optimistic

Better health

An optimist gets sick less frequently and gets over an illness much quicker, probably because their positive attitude makes their immune system produce the necessary hormones to fight off antibodies quicker.

Lower stress levels

With optimism, we experience less stress than with pessimism. Optimists believe in themselves, in their qualities and in their achievements, know their flaws, know themselves, learn from their mistakes and are always able to see the bright side.

Better relationships

Optimists have better relationships with their families, their partners, and their coworkers. They’ve learned to connect and learn from each person to bring out the best side of every one.

The secret, as Mark Stevenson said, founder of the L.O.P.O (League of Pragmatic Optimists) is:

“It’s not about saying ‘everything will be alright’, but rather ‘it can be better.’ But we have to look for it”.