According to mentalhealthamerica.net, people who were pessimistic had a nearly 20 percent higher risk of dying over a 30- year period than those who were optimistic. With all that has been happening in the world recently, it can feel like all good has disappeared. It’s easy to lose faith in humanity when the media only chooses to focus on the negatives.
However, the world is still full of so many great people doing so many great things. Whether it be a pay it forward in the McDonald’s drive-thru or the stranger that offers to help you carry things from your car, it’s the little things in life that make all the difference. These are ten tips on how we can not only recognize and appreciate these little things, but pay them forward to others.
- Stay Connected
It can be simple to foster negativity when you are surrounded by others who do the same. Choose to spend time with people who look on the bright side and can encourage you to do the same. Make time for your family and friends. Loneliness only increases feelings of sadness. Spending time with people you love has been proven to improve both your mood and your mental health.
- Take Care of Your Body
Helpguide.org tells us that exercise not only improves your physical health, but can assist in sharper memory skills, higher self-esteem, better sleep, and more resilience. Exercise can be as simple as a walk at the park. It will help you to appreciate your body and all the things it does for you.
- Challenge Your Thoughts
Questioning your pessimistic thoughts encourages your brain to re-wire itself. Instead of simply accepting these thoughts as truths, push yourself to understand why you believe that. Counteract upon your own ideas of what life is. Most of the time you will probably realize you had no solid foundation for your negative beliefs or attitude towards something or someone.
- Practice Gratitude
In a society where we praise the rich and famous, you may feel like you’ve received the short end of the stick in life. It is important to understand that no possession can truly equate to happiness. Instead of worshipping your material items, be thankful you have them. Recognize the roof over your head, appreciate the clothes on your back, and enjoy the food on your plate. There are so many things we take for granted daily that others in the world have never even seen before. Remind yourself of all the amazing things your life is filled with.
- The 5 Rule
The 5 Rule is one that can completely transform the way you perceive things. “If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t give it more than 5 minutes of your time.” It can be easy to fall into the habit of only living in the present. Though this can be a good thing in some cases, it also makes one more susceptible to dwelling on small things that won’t matter later. If 5 years from now you won’t remember this situation, don’t let it take up your precious time making you angry, resentful, or mean. Life is too short.
- The Optimist’s Creed
Following and practicing the Optimist’s Creed can change your life in more ways than one. Printing this out and posting it on your mirror to see every morning will guarantee you start each day out with a grateful heart, compassionate soul, and aware mind.
- To be strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
- To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
- To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
- To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
- To be just and enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
- To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
- To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
- To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
- To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
Though some days, weeks, months, and years, it may feel like all odds are against you, sometimes all it takes is a bit of perspective. Be brave enough to fight your inner pessimism and let your inner optimist shine through. You will find that you are not only adding positivity to your life, but to everyone around you as well.