Why Optimistic Women Live Longer and Healthier - from "The Voice" by Acecia J.
Your attitude makes a huge difference in nearly every aspect of your life, from your personal relationships to your success on the job.
Being more optimistic is also linked to having a stronger immune system. However, it’s easy to get trapped in a cycle of pessimism, especially if you’re struggling with paying the bills or have relationship conflicts in your life. Here are some tips for how you can turn it around and cultivate a habit of optimism.
Count Your Blessings
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but the power of gratitude can’t be overstated. According to Harvard University’s health newsletter, developing a habit of gratitude can improve your overall happiness and make it easier to stay in an optimistic frame of mind.
Try beginning your day with a mental list of the things for which you are most grateful, or write a gratitude list in your journal before bed. Your list of blessings can be anything from enjoying the cute antics of a puppy to having a job that you like. Nothing is too small to count among the good things in your life.
Fake It – But Only to an Extent
You have probably heard the advice “fake it ‘til you make it,” and this is also true when it comes to cultivating an optimistic outlook. You have a great deal of power over your mental attitude and disposition, even during times when your circumstances are different than you wish they were. Simply setting your mind with a determination to look for and find the bright side can influence your reality so that your outlook actually becomes positive.
At the same time, it’s also important to remember that you can’t completely force yourself to feel happy. Attempting to make yourself feel something when you don’t can sometimes make you feel worse, because your mind and body know when you’re not being genuine. This can feel like putting even more pressure on yourself. Instead, simply reminding yourself often of the things that are good in your life can put your focus in the right place, and positive feelings often evolve naturally from there.
Create Some Natural Positive Vibes
Does it seem like experts are always telling you that exercise is the magic cure for everything?
Well, in the case of improving your outlook, exercise is proven to work. Whether you choose the calm peace found in a yoga class or the feel-good endorphins of a half-hour on the elliptical machine, moving your body will help you feel better, inside and out. Studies have shown that regular exercise enhances motivation and mood and is associated with lower levels of depression and anxiety. If you could take a pill that would actually make you feel more optimistic, wouldn’t you do it? A half hour of exercise a few times a week has the same benefits, without any negative side effects.
Make Necessary Changes
While it’s well and good to stress the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, the truth is that some circumstances make it hard to see the brighter side of life. If your job makes you miserable, work on getting a different one. Seeing a counselor can help if you have difficult personal relationships. If you’re unhappy enough with your life that it’s hard for you to see the good in it, you owe it to yourself and to your good health to work on making changes for the better. Even the effort of working toward making changes can bring positive changes to your outlook… even before you’ve achieved them, simply because you know that you’re making progress.