Celebrate National Optimism Month with Me, an Optimist

Welcome, March! Welcome National Optimism Month! Optimism might feel like an elusive feeling, but having an optimistic attitude has a lot of great health benefits:

  • It can make you more resistant to stress
  • It can help you live longer by assisting with blood pressure and hypertension
  • It can help with dedication to your goals

I know what you’re thinking. “That sounds great, HCPL blogger, but optimism isn’t just a switch I can turn on.” And you’re half-right, reader, it isn’t. But it’s something you can train yourself to be. Which is admittedly easier said than done.

Here are five suggestions for trying to be more optimistic, by me, a very obvious expert:

  1. When having negative thoughts about the future, try to spin them into positives, i.e. instead of thinking, “it’s all gonna go wrong.” Try, “it’s all gonna go right.” Simple, but over time it becomes easier.
  2. Pay attention to good things when they happen. Was there no traffic on the way to work? Did the grocery store have a full stock of your favorite ice cream? Make note! Mentally or physically with a gratitude journal.
  3. Surround yourself with positive influences. Follow people on social media who try to put positive messages, encourage your friends. Positivity begets positivity.
  4. Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes. Like me, for thinking this article was a good idea. But seriously, forgive yourself when you mess up or don’t get things just right. There’s always tomorrow to try again.
  5. Visit your library. It’s hard to be pessimistic when you have books and movies readily available. Plus, librarians to assist you with all your-knowledge seeking needs!

If all of those don’t seem like ideas that’ll work for you, here are some books written by people who know more than I do on the matter:

Things to Look Forward to

Think Big

Glad to Be Human

Chasing the Bright Side

Learned Optimism

Hope Is a Verb