Well, here we are … starting a new year … and wallowing in a mixture of emotions. Excitement. Curiosity. Frustration. Determination. Perhaps, even dread? A few tell-tale signs from the holidays are still lingering … cards, decorations, perhaps a return or two. Often times, people feel the need to start fresh as a way to welcome January. So, they make a resolution. Many would even call it a tradition to do so. If you are one of these folks, please, consider making yours “optimism”!
Optimism, or Positive thinking, is a powerful thing that can have tremendous results. If you’re laughing, or just silently skeptical, visit the reference links below. Pessimists give up more easily. They are depressed more often. And they tend to have more health issues. Optimists, on the other hand, do better in school, at work, even in extracurricular activities. They have better overall health and they may even live longer. Is there a greater gift to give yourself in 2020? To me, there isn’t!
To put it simply, optimism equates to being healthier. There are five decades of medical research, from around the world, to support this. Being healthier means you are going to feel better, look better and enjoy life more. Optimistic people have better cardiovascular health, stronger immune function, lower stress levels and lower pain levels. When an optimistic person encounters an adverse health event, i.e. orthopedic surgery, they recover more quickly. And, if they are diagnosed with a Chronic illness, they can manage their disease better. Their survival rates are higher. Wow!
The best part is that optimism can be learned! So, if you are a born pessimist, you can change your outlook. Your glass doesn’t have to be perpetually half-empty. You too can reap the rewards of optimism. Are you ready? Here, are some helpful tips:
- Change how you think. Instead of dwelling on a problem, focus on the solution.
- Mentally, coach yourself. We all need a cheering section. Remember to be yours.
- Practice positive self-talk. In other words, DON’T say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone else.
- Be open to humor. Smile. Laugh. Both release stress.
- Identify areas of your life that you want to improve. Take some time, each day, to visualize that success.
- Exercise. Even a little can help a lot, i.e. walk around the block, a 10-minute session of Tai Chi, etc. It will positively effect your mood and reduce stress levels.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Supportive people can offer helpful advice and feedback. Negative ones cannot.
- Acknowledge your accomplishments. Even the small ones count and add up. So, pat yourself on the back and keep moving forward!
A new year is like standing before a blank canvas. We are the artists. And our palettes are waiting. Optimism — like the paint, pencils, brushes, palette knives, etc. — is within our reach. Here’s hoping that each of us creates a beautiful masterpiece!
*Photo by Izabelle Acheson on Unsplash