The secrets to optimism

Optimists are thought to feel better and live longer. But what’s their secret to staying so upbeat?

Like many health habits – practise makes perfect. Here are a number of ways that can help you become more optimistic:

Expressing gratitude

Sometimes being appreciative isn’t enough. If you want to become more optimistic, you will need to learn to be grateful for the little things in life, like the sun rising in the morning or when your dog’s excited to see you. Enjoying the little things can make life much more gratifying.

Donate your time and energy

Helping out those who are less fortunate than yourself, or even a friend in need can help you feel more grateful for what you have. By helping others when you can, it can make you feel optimistic about your own life.

Surround yourself with upbeat people

If you socialise with fellow optimists, you can easily absorb their positive energy and implement it into your own life. Olympic Gymnast Mary Lou Retton explains it perfectly: “Optimism is a happiness magnet. It’s true. When you’re around people who are positive and upbeat, it brings you up.”

Ignore the naysayers

Try to remember that what other people say and do is a reflection of their reality, not yours. Try not to take the opinions of other people too seriously, especially when you hear a naysayer telling you that you can’t achieve your goals.

Try to forgive

This is easier said than done, but try to remember that the past is the past and that if you make peace with it, you will feel much better for it.

Simply smile

Smiling can produce a positive atmosphere that draws other people in. Happiness, even in the smallest of doses, releases a hormone called serotonin that adds to the feeling of well-being.

If you are looking to change your life around by becoming more optimistic, a life coach may be able to help. To contact a life coach in your area, please use our advanced search tool.

Read and comment on the original Fast Company article.

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Written by Ross East
Written by Ross East
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