Even if you’re usually a ‘glass half full’ kind of person, it can be hard to feel optimistic about the future when it feels so uncertain. There’s a lot going on in the news right now, so you’d be forgiven for feeling a little disheartened. But that’s more reason to foster a positive perspective.
Happiness Co founder Julian Pace said optimism gives you the ability to bounce back from the disappointments and challenges we face in life.
“Optimism is a superpower if used in the right way. It’s not about seeing the best in every moment; it’s knowing that you can try your best in every moment, ”Mr Pace said.
Here are six simple ways to practice more optimism in your daily life.
OPTIMISM IS A MINDSET
That means it can be learned, you just have to work on it, like a muscle. Train your brain! Try on a positive lens!
Lecturer in the Bachelor and Master of Counseling at the University of Notre Dame Jonathan O’Neill said optimism does seem to come more naturally for some people compared to others, but we all have the capacity to develop and strengthen our sense of optimism further.
“Optimism is also more than just positive thinking – it also incorporates aspects of experience, memory, emotion, physical well-being, and behavior – along with Styles of thinking,” Mr O’Neill said.
REPLACE JUDGEMENT WITH CURIOSITY
Instead of turning to be judgmental of the things and people around you, try reflecting and getting curious as to why these negative feelings are occurring. Ask yourself: Why is this upsetting me? Why am I feeling and thinking this way?
“Being curious helps us keep things in perspective. Get rid of the negative story we tell ourselves and find better answers and outcomes to life and its challenges, ”Mr Pace said.
JOURNALING AND SELF AFFIRMATIONS
Use journaling as an opportunity to practice positive self-talk and identify negative thoughts and behaviors. Getting your thoughts down on paper can help you find a new perspective.
As well as keeping a Diary of daily events and goals – you can simply write down a few things that ring true or parts of your life you’re grateful for.
Self-affirmations can also be an extremely effective tool to remind us that we are in control of our perspective, and the things we think about. Find an affirmation that you love and use it to begin your day on a positive note. It’s remarkable what a positive affirmation can do to your Mindset.
SPEND TIME DOING POSITIVE THINGS
This one is simple: do the things that make you happy. Listen to good music, cook, exercise, Hang out with loved ones. Whatever they may be, spending time doing positive things every day, and working on a healthy lifestyle, will help you feel positive, too.
“The things that have helped me the most to try and stay optimistic during these difficult times have been regular exercise, good-quality sleep, spending enjoyable times with good friends and family, and maintaining my efforts with creative Pursuits (music and writing), “Mr O’Neill said.
OPEN UP OPPORTUNITIES
Take real steps that bring you closer to your dreams and goals in life. What are your strengths and your abilities? Where does your passion lie?
Start talking to people in the fields you’re interested in, to get an idea of the opportunities available and what it’s like to work in the industry.
If one of your goals is to earn a tertiary qualification, or further your skills, Notre Dame student Beth Leong got a productive first step in seeking personalized advice.
“By getting in touch with a prospective student Advisor at the Universities that offer degrees you’re interested in, you can really get a feel for what the courses and community are like and learn what support and opportunities are available – like Scholarships, mentoring and Internships, ”Ms. Leong said.
“Then you can set aside time to apply for a degree you’ve been dreaming of doing, a professional development opportunity, or a new job.”
SPEND LESS TIME WITH ENERGY VAMPIRES
Look around you. Are you surrounding yourself with Debbie Downers? Chronic complainers? Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity. Which means it’s time to add more optimists to your network.
“Spend less time with people who suck the life out of you and drain your energy,” Mr Pace said.
“It’s hard to be optimistic around people who are not.”
It’s important to note that optimism, like any personal trait or quality, can Occasionally have its downsides.
“Someone who is overly optimistic a lot of the time can often miss the detail and reality of what is going on around them,” Mr O’Neill said.
“A healthy dose of groundedness and reality combined with optimism is helpful.”
Open up your potential and the door to new opportunities. The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Early Offer Program for 2023 will be open on Monday 4th April. Visit the website for more information.