It’s pretty safe to say that most people want to have a positive outlook on life. However, getting there is often the most challenging part. From manifesting abundance into your life to making the most of the hand you’re dealt, so much goes into optimistic thinking. How exactly can we get there? Everything is a process, and that includes changing your mindset and sending your life in a positive direction.
There are so many lifestyle changes you can make to train your brain to be positive. While getting started can sometimes seem tough, the more you lean into the mindful practice of optimism, the easier it will eventually become. Having a solid understanding of how your mind operates is often the first step of the rewiring process, and once you begin to have those conversations with yourself, you can start to progress in all-new ways.
What Is Pessimism?
While pessimism is often loosely defined as “having a negative attitude,” it’s often so much more than that. Getting to the root of pessimism and really understanding it can help lead you toward looking at all of life in a more positive light. Pessimism can be defined through several factors, including self-blame whenever life takes an unwanted turn, feeling that change is a bad thing, fear of the unknown, a lack of self-confidence or the idea that your goals are too lofty for you to achieve.
At its core, pessimism is about fear, self-doubt, and the expectation that the worst situation will always be the reality. In extreme cases, pessimism can lead to low self-esteem which can be a catalyst for destructive behaviors. When thinking about your own pessimism, it can be helpful to consider how you feel about yourself, the expectations of your behavior and how those things affect your view on the world at large. This may open up a lot of doors.
What Is Optimism?
It might be easy to think that optimism is simply the act of living in la-la land where people slide down rainbows and ride around on the wings of cheerful butterflies all day, but real, genuine optimism is far from that. Positive thinking is about knowing that the best-case scenario is possible for you and the entire world. Positivity comes from knowing your worth, feeling free in all your opportunities and possibilities, and enjoying all the treasures life offers.
Some people are born and bred with optimism in their genes, but others learn to build it for themselves and cultivate a positive environment in their own life later. No matter which path is yours, optimism is real and beneficial. It’s never too late to start being positive, either. Don’t think that you can’t change just because you’re older.
Optimism and positivity can be a two-way street because putting good energy out into the world will naturally attract positivity back to you. People like to be around others who light up a room, and when people are attracted to the positive energy you dish out, they’ll feel encouraged to do the same right back, and the cycle continues.
Learning How to Be an Optimist
If you’re not an optimist already by nature, you don’t need to worry. Plenty of people don’t have a natural inclination to be totally upbeat all the time, but just like you can adjust to veganism or waking up early, you can curate positivity, too. Activities like positive self-talk, imagining the best possibilities and focusing on gratitude are all conscious behaviors associated with learned optimism — in other words, you can intentionally sway yourself toward the bright side.
Plenty of things take effort, and being positive is no different. It’s all about being intentional with your thoughts. Rather than letting your mind sink when you feel negative, practicing positive thought habits can lift your spirits and cultivate a more positive mental environment. If you are looking to jump into positivity but aren’t sure where to begin, you can try:
- Making a gratitude list or journal
- Saying positive affirmations
- Getting rid of negative words
- Setting goals for yourself
- Practicing mindfulness
- Talking about your positive intentions with those around you
How Optimistic Thinking Impacts the Brain
Conscious positivity can have so many impacts on your overall health. Obviously, having a happier outlook on life can lower your stress levels and benefit your mental well-being. Depression, anxiety, and stress are all things that positive thinking can help combat, and that’s just the beginning. Being positive can also boost your motivation, make you a faster learner, and increase your energy.
These changes make a lot of sense because feeling uplifted releases positive hormones in your brain and lowers cortisol levels. All this leads to better brain function and real, tangible changes that will make a difference in your life.
Positive Thinking Attracts More Positivity
We’ve already discussed how putting out positive energy encourages others to better respond to you and keep the cycle going, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. While positive actions attract positivity from others and encourage it in those around you, it also creates an aura around you that manifests opportunities into your space. When you truly believe in yourself and know your worth, you won’t be afraid to take chances and find things you love.
The act of manifesting is really about the knowledge that positive things can and will happen to you. While this doesn’t mean you can pick and choose specific wishes, it does mean you’ll be open to all the possibilities life offers you and get ready to take on the best and brightest opportunities.
Training Your Brain for the Sunny Side
Learning to be positive isn’t about waking up one morning and deciding to be happy from now until forever — it’s about doing the work every day to create a positive mental space for you to exist in. Positivity is about so much more than appearing cheerful on the outside. It’s when you feel it all the way to the core of your being because you know your worth. When you do the work, optimism will start to flow.
About the Author
Mia Barnes is a wellness writer, who loves to write about mental wellbeing and mindfulness. She finds that taking a second to breath and process can really change the course of your day. She is also the Editor in Chief at Bodymind.com.